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Last updated: Sep 23, 2013
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Question: "Will babies and little children be taken in the rapture before everything becomes terrifying on earth"?
Excellent question. Many Christians are concerned about what will happen to their babies and young children when the Rapture occurs.
First we must remember that, to the Church Age body of Christ, the Rapture is the "blessed hope" of Titus 2:13. If our babies and helpless children are going to be left behind - helpless - to me, that would not be much of a "blessed hope". I believe that Jesus will remove babies and children and all people who have not reached the "moment of accountability" in the Rapture. It is clear that the basis of "condemnation" for human beings is for God to show them the Gospel, or enough about Himself and for them to reject God and the information He has given them.
I do not find where God's Word directly states that children and those without the mental ability to reach "God consciousness" will be saved if they die or if they will go up in the Rapture, but it is my firm belief that they will.
We do have the statement in 2 Sam 12:23, of King David, when his first child died and he was grieving: "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me". This indicates that David fully expected to see his child again in Heaven.
John 3:17-19 teaches that the basis of man's condemnation is "unbelief", which babies and young children do not have.
Jn 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
The basis of this "condemnation, is "knowing the light", and rejecting it.
2 Thess 2:11 & 12 teaches that people go into the Tribulation because they knew God's Truth and "believed not the truth".
11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned (condemned) who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
The statement of Jesus about little children is important:
In Matt 19:14 Jesus said, Literally, "leave the little children alone, and do not hinder them from coming unto me, because, of such, the Kingdom of the heavens consists". I believe God has a plan for every human being that will ever live, and if He does not take our helpless children with us in the Rapture, then He certainly has a perfect plan for their care, and we can fully trust Him with our children.
Some have argued that Matt 24:19 proves that children will not be raptured, but will go into the Tribulation. But, when this passage, and its context, is closely examined, I do not believe it proves that children go into the Tribulation:
Matt 24:15 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened".
It is important to remember that Jesus is speaking here of the Jews who dwell in Judea at the mid point of the Tribulation, and who must quickly flee from the Antichrist into the mountains, in verse 15 and 16.
Notice that the "abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet," in verse 15, is the exact 3 ½ year mid-point of the Tribulation:
Dan 12:11 "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days".
Notice also, in verse 21, the "Great Tribulation", the second half of the Tribulation, begins at that point.
And, in verse 19, "with child" is the Greek word "gastare", the Greek word for "belly", or "womb", which means "pregnant", so, two categories of women are stated, those who are pregnant, and those who are nursing. The reason for their mention is that it will be harder to "flee" from Judea for women who are pregnant or nursing.
At the mid point of the Tribulation there could be children, up to 3 ½ years of age, who were born during the Tribulation, but this does not indicate that children will go into the Tribulation. So, I do not find "children" mentioned as being in the Tribulation, except those who are nursing at the 3 ½ year point.
What is the Basis of Man's "Condemnation"?
Man is not only condemned by rejecting the "gospel", but Romans 1:18-32 teaches that the natural man is also condemned, and has no excuse, by rejecting the truth, in the form of natural phenomena, that God shows him:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (Greek = suppress) the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed [it] unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (Greek = creation) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge (Greek = "epignosis", or FULL KNOWLEDGE. This means enough knowledge about God to be condemned and for God to say "you have no excuse"), God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing (Greek = "epignosis", or FULL KNOWLEDGE. This means enough knowledge about God to be condemned and for God to say "you have no excuse"), the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
John 1:9 teaches that Jesus Himself is responsible for "illuminating", or "enlightening" every human being that comes into the world:
John 1:9 "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world".
"Every man" in this verse is the Greek word "pas", meaning "all sorts", or "all types". This verse teaches that it is the responsibility of Jesus Himself to insure that every individual that comes into the world is "illuminated", or "enlightened". "Lighteth" in this verse is the Greek word "photizo", meaning to "enlighten", or "imbue with knowledge". 1 Cor 2:14 States that the "natural man" cannot receive "spiritual truth", so how does Jesus "enlighten" every human being, if the natural man cannot understand "spiritual" things?
The Scriptures state that God does this by showing man physical phenomena, through observation of the things God has made.
If a person rejects God as the creator of the physical things in this universe, they will also reject the Gospel of Christ.
God teaches the "natural man" through observation of the creation itself:
Rom 1: 20 The invisible things about God are clearly seen by observing the creation, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead (His Divine essence).
Psa 19:1-3 The heavens teach God's truth. Even the 12 "signs" of the Mazzaroth (Job 38:32) or "zodiac", the constellations in the heavens, teach about God, about Jesus and His virgin birth, and His eventual triumph over Satan.
Psa 97:6 The heavens declare God's righteousness.
Psa 98:2 & 3 The nations watched God deal with Israel and learned about God.
Rom 9:17 God's purpose in Pharaoh was to declare His name throughout all the earth.
1 Pet 2:12 The unsaved observe us and, hopefully, they learn good things about God.
The Scriptures teach that the basis of God's condemnation of human beings is their rejection of the Gospel, or the rejection of God as Creator of the natural phenomena that God shows them. I believe that babies and children who have not yet been shown these things by God are not "accountable" and will meet Jesus "in the air" at the Rapture of the Church.
God loves His people, and answers their prayers. When we, as Christians, pray for our children, petitioning God to bless them and take care of them, I am convinced that God will give us a perfect answer to that prayer, according to His will and in His time.
We must trust God, and His will, with the safety and eternal destiny of our loved ones and joyfully look forward to the promised "Blessed Hope".