John MacArthur was at the Ligonier Conference I attended a few weekends ago.
A question was asked by an attendee if her miscarried baby was in heaven. MacArthur said yes, Sproul and Lawson hemmed and hawed over it.
So I bought the book by MacArthur Safe in the Arms of God, truth about heaven about the death of a child.
I wrote a post about it a couple of weeks ago here.
I didn’t even make it through half the book and I was yelling “NO” pretty much every page. Hubby told me to put it down since I was getting upset.
Let me say this up front. I am pretty literal when it comes to the bible and like to make sure scripture is not taken out of context.
Another thing, I used to think my 4 aborted babies would be with me in heaven, when I became a Christian and learned the reformed doctrines I came to believe that if my babies were part of God’s elect, they would be with me in heaven. And I really have come to terms with that. If I believe God is Sovereign and God elects His own, then it is logical to believe every single person God knew before they were formed and called them to Himself or not.
Covenant succession is a doctrine that believer’s kids that have died in the womb or early on in life automatically get a ‘Get to Heaven Free Card.”
Back to the book, JM picks and chooses scripture to back up his thoughts about babies in heaven. And by thoughts, I mean, he pretty much puts words into the Almighty’s mouth on this topic. He skipped over any mention of the doctrine of election even in the chapter that deals with it.
He mis-quotes or takes out of context at least 2 scriptures, but I am going back through the book to get into some depth…
Using Psalm 139, John gives us 6 points to consider
1. God knows everything about you before your conception
2.God is actively involved in your life.
3. God will never cease to have knowledge of you.
4. God is never limited in His understanding.
5. God is your personal Creator.
6. God personally planned your destiny.
Sound good so far? Right… he is telling us what we know for certain about those with empty arms…
Next chapter he goes on to tell how God regards children, using such verses at Ezek 16:4-7 [speaking of Israel and Gods people]
He says that scripture reaffirms again and again, God considers all babies to be His and God loves all who are His innocent ones.
Ezek 16:20-22 talks about Israel sacrificing their children bore to God, Gods children.
from this scripture he pulls out that God lays full claim to these innocent sons and daughters.
He states that Jonah 4:11, John thinks the ones who could not tell their left from their right are the children and mentally disabled incapable of making such sinful judgments. i disagree.
John states God alone determines the age of accountability….then states with no scripture backing that every child that dies before reaching the a condition of moral culpability goes directly to heaven.
So Jesus was what, 12, when he was found in His fathers house, so John thinks that is a good general age to look at accountability.
Again, mans doctrine and mans thought on the subject, not scripture.
Bottom line: we are looking at this from a human mind stating all these facts on how a child can or cannot figure out moral culpability, can not understand law and grace. But if we look at it from Gods point of view, and we believe in election, then GOD knows if we are elect at the time BEFORE conception and GOD knows whether or not we are going to heaven or hell, NO MATTER what we do on this earth in our life.
I could go on and for those of you still hanging in there…. Here goes:
Jeremiah 19:-47 talks about the innocents that are sacrificed by heathens, instant ticket to heaven, BUT no scripture backing.
ok, I’m only on page 41 and haven’t even gotten to the chapter on election. And Im getting mad all over again.
Yes, I have prayed and asked God to show me the truth of what He says and believes about this subject, but I believe this may be one of those things we get to wait and see in Heaven when WE are Glorified.
Part 2 coming