This one is especially difficult for parents of young children.
The Bible tells us in Romans 5:14 that sin reigns in all people because of Adam. It almost seems unfair that generations of people are cursed because of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. However, this is how imputed sin works. David in Psalm 51:5 reinforced this saying “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
We also know that Jesus clearly stated that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, except through Me.” Therefore EACH person MUST make a choice of Salvation.
How then do we grasp the concept for babies who don’t know Christ and seem innocent by nature? Are they Saved? Will we see babies who passed on in Heaven?
Intellectually, we know that babies, and toddlers to some age, don’t understand the need for Salvation, and therefore cannot accept Christ as their Lord. However, we also know that God is a Loving God. Therefore, He must provide a way for them.
For most, God does this through the Holy Spirit. For Christians, we have experienced the Holy Spirit on our day of Salvation, when we were convicted, and understood the need for God. We then made a choice. Christians, by definition, have accepted God. Others, whether agnostic, atheist or some other religion, have denied God after hearing the Good news.
For babies, however, they have not yet been introduced or understood the need to accept God. God gives everyone a choice to accept Him at an age that is appropriate for each person. For some, it may happen as early as age 7, or 6 or even 5. For many it happens sometime during elementary school. For others, this choice doesn’t come until adulthood.
God created us each uniquely, and comes to each of us at different times in our lives for a decision. The age of accountability is never outlined in the Bible, but because of God’s grace, we can be confident that He has a plan for all people.
In 2 Samuel 12:23, David reinforces this notion when his baby died. David was a Christian; he stated that “I shall go to him” meaning that someday he would join his baby in Heaven.