Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | June 18, 2007

Will the Unbaptized Baby of Sinful Parents Go to Hell?

Will the Unbaptized Baby of Sinful Parents Go to Hell?

I’ll address each of these questions along with the Scripture verses I believe are relevent. “Many religions teach that the babies of the unsaved go to hell. What do you think?” First, I feel that this belief is unscriptural. Numbers 14:18` “The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so he does not leave sin unpunished, but he punishes the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.” (NLT)

Can this verse be used to justify a child being condemned to hell for its parents’ unbelief? No.

However, this does mean that the parents’ sin may have consequences that affect their children and granchildren. (For example, children of an abusive parent may become abusive themselves). I don’t believe that a child who dies before they can be baptized is condemned to hell. In order for a person to reject the Gospel, they must first be old enough to understand he message. Also, consider this passage: Ezekiel 18:1″Then another message came to me from the LORD: 2″Why do you quote this proverb in the land of Israel: `The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste’? 3As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, you will not say this proverb anymore in Israel. 4For all people are mine to judge–both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins will be the one who dies.” (NLT)

Here, it’s quite clear that God only punishes the one who actually sinned.

A child will not suffer eternity in hell because of something their parents did, and vice versa. God desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-4) and He takes no pleasure in the death of a sinner (Ezekiel 18:32) “Will baptizing a baby “save” it?” I think that treating baptism as nothing more than “fire insurance” really shows little regard for God’s saving power. Baptism is a cleansing from original sin (Mark 16:15-16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12-15; Hebrews 10:22), a means of receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:5), and reception into the Church (1 Corinthians 12:13).

From my reading of the Bible, I’ve come to believe that what happens in baptism is primarily something God does, not something we do. A few more things need to be considered: first, we can’t save ourselves or anyone else through our own efforts. We are saved through God’s grace alone. (Hebrews 11:6) Second, a person baptized as an infant needs to be raised in the Christian faith (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6), and lastly, it’s essential that the person believe in Jesus once they are able to understand the Gospel.

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (NLT) Romans 10:6 “But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). 7And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). 8Salvation that comes from trusting Christ–which is the message we preach–is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”[1] 9For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.[2] “


  1. I believe in God And Jesus and I am going to start going to church. Will I go to hell?

  2. Hi Rory,
    Welcome aboard! Hope you’ll stick around.
    From your question, I’m assuming you’re a believer in Christ who hasn’t yet been baptized. Please correct me if I’m wrong!
    It’s what’s in your heart that truly makes you right with God. After all, the Bible tells us that God is the rewarder of those who dilligently seek Him. It sounds like you’re actively seeking God to me.
    I hope this helps answer your question.

  3. yes, thank you very much

  4. Hi celticanglican,

    I agree with your position. I believe that unbaptized infants go to be with God.
    Please take a look and let me know what you think.


  5. Hi there wb,
    I enjoyed your blog posts, and thank you for offering your comments. I hope to see all kinds of interesting discussions based on differing viewpoints offered here.


  7. well, the truth of the matter is, we are all sinners. But God loves us so He sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die for our sins, that who ever believes in Him could have eternal life (Jn 3:16).

  8. Well-said, wbmoore. Thanks be to God that He has provided a means of salvation for us.

  9. Hi JesusSaves,
    Your comment didn’t really address the issue at hand.

    Do you believe the spiritual condition of the parents has an impact on what happens if their unbaptized baby dies? Or not?

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