I Had An Abortion Before I Believed… Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I know many people who have suffered the loss of a baby in the womb, have given birth to stillborn children, or suffered the unexpected loss of a child. My wife and I have also lost a child through miscarriage. While it is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day and it is “celebrated” through out the world by both Christians and non Christians alike, we do not grieve like those in the world. So this day we can celebrate that our children have been promoted to glory.
A young girl, who had an abortion and later regretted it after repenting and believing in Jesus for her salvation, asked me one of the hardest questions. Essentially she asked this: I had an abortion before I believed, will my baby be in heaven?
So there are two views in reformed circles on children who die. So what happens to children who die in infancy?
The first view states that God chooses to save all children who die in infancy. Some men who hold this view, who are widely considered reformed, are R.C.Sproul, John MacArthur, and John Piper. This view still admits the seriousness of original sin, and that even the child in the womb has inherited a sinful nature. But this teaching states that God extends special grace to infants not based on their innocence but based on God’s Grace and mercy and the redeeming work of Christ. Adherents to this position will point out that the bible consistently refers to hell being home to those who willfully sin and rebel. John Macarthur makes a very balanced and very convincing argument for this view in his book, Safe in the Arms of God.
John Piper said regarding his stillborn granddaughter:
I believe the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ covers the sins of all who trust him and all who are not old enough to trust him here but will trust him later.
Therefore, I believe Felicity and her great grandfather (John Piper’s dad who also recently passed away) met each other early Sunday morning in the presence of Christ. And my father said, perhaps, “Hello, Felicity. I’m your great grandfather Piper. Come, there is somebody I want you to meet. His name is Jesus. He’s the reason you’re here. You don’t need to be afraid. Your Savior has led you all the way. And Jesus does all things well.”
The second view is that The Children of Believers Are Saved.
This view is held by Reformed Christians with firm beliefs in covenant theology. This is the view that I hold too because I believe that scripture teaches that God deals with us according to his prescribed means, and those means are his great covenants. As God made a covenant with Abraham that extended not only to him but to his children, and thus entered into a relationship with both Abraham and Isaac, in the same way he sets apart to himself the children of believers today.
The Canons of Dort, States:
Since we must make judgments about God’s will from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy.
So, while this confession speaks of the salvation of infants of believers, it does not speak about the children of unbelievers who die. So was my young reader’s aborted baby elect? If you adhere to the first position then yes absolutely. But what if you adhere to my position? Yes! Absolutely! Why do I say this? How can I say this? Yes, she was not a believer when she had an abortion, but Christ’s sacrifice is not limited by our weakness. God’s covenant is not limited by our perception of time and space. God chose you to be a part of his covenant people long before you ever had faith in his sacrifice. So to my young reader, rest assured that God’s promises are for both you and your children – even your aborted child. Rest assured that his grace is greater than your sin. In Christ there is comfort for you, in Christ there is forgiveness, in Christ there is reconciliation. Find comfort in knowing that your child was greeted by Jesus on that morning and ushered into glory.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love