22 June 2002
A Prayer of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.

Salvation History

Part I
Forbid Them Not!
The Salvation of the Innocents

By Edgar Jones
This opens a short series of five articles.  The study began with the clear objective of establishing what Jesus teaches about the salvation of children.  Then, wonder of wonders, I began to learn things never before understood.  This only supports the thesis that we never get too old to learn!  Three different categories of salvation came into view for the first time, and this realization prompted many new insights.  These three categories can be labeled for convenience as follows:
1. The salvation of the innocents --  the little children of men
2. The salvation of the penitents --  who are nobody's children
3. The salvation of the infants --  the little children of God
The first three articles will cover each of the three categories, with the fourth and last devoted to summarizing the implications of this triple tiered salvation.  Let us start by asking the question:

Where are all the little children who have died?

Jesus answers this question with simple, clear and brief words, easily understood.


Matt.19[14] Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.

Matt.18[10] See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
[14] So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Do not hinder them!  Do not forbid them!  Let the children come to me!   To such belongs the kingdom of heaven.  Little children have no stain of sin because the stain of original sin is utterly non existent except in the minds of false prophets and their victims.  Children  do not require the ministrations of a church.  Our Father in heaven accepts them unconditionally for,
I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
He has always accepted little children and He will always accept them for He does not change.  To do anything other would be a violation of his divine and most holy character of love and mercy.  This is the emphasis that Jesus has presented to us, calling upon us to imitate the Father:
Luke.6 [36] Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Furthermore, their nationality and the religion of their parents has no relevance; Jesus makes no distinction and, again, the Father does not change.  He has always been merciful!  The same is true for their time in the history of the world, whether BC or AD.  Little children go to the Father in heaven when they die to this world and the language of Jesus strongly suggests that they dwell there as angels, beholding the face of God.

Original sin is a false doctrine.  It appears to have its roots in Paul, and has been promoted, explained, and discussed by the churchmen throughout the centuries.  Being false, it requires much sophisticated argumentation and arcane theological vocabulary to sustain it, in addition to the baptism of babies.  Here is the Catholic view, briefly stated:

Original sin is  the privation of sanctifying grace in consequence of the sin of Adam. This solution, which is that of St. Thomas, goes back to St. Anselm and even to the traditions of the early Church, as we see by the declaration of the Second Council of Orange (A.D. 529): one man has transmitted to the whole human race not only the death of the body, which is the punishment of sin, but even sin itself, which is the death of the soul [Denz., n. 175 (145)]. As death is the privation of the principle of life, the death of the soul is the privation of sanctifying grace which according to all theologians is the principle of supernatural life  Therefore, if original sin is "the death of the soul", it is the privation of sanctifying grace.1
And here is a typical Protestant (Lutheran) view from the Formula of Concord:
[5] 1. And first, it is true that Christians should regard and recognize as sin not only the actual transgression of God's commandments; but also that the horrible, dreadful hereditary malady by which the entire nature is corrupted should above all things be regarded and recognized as sin indeed, yea, as the chief sin, which is a root and fountain-head of all actual sins. [6] And by Dr. Luther it is called a nature-sin or person-sin, thereby to indicate that, even though a person would think, speak, or do nothing evil (which, however, is impossible in this life, since the fall of our first parents), his nature and person are nevertheless sinful, that is, thoroughly and utterly infected and corrupted before God by original sin, as by a spiritual leprosy; and on account of this corruption and because of the fall of the first man the nature or person is accused or condemned by God's Law, so that we are by nature the children of wrath, death, and damnation, unless we are delivered therefrom by the merit of
Christ. 2

The eternal salvation of little children is sure.  The mercy of the Father accepts no less than their universal reception into his Glory. They do not have either the maturity or the knowledge to sin, and therefore have nothing within them to offend God.  That is why we refer to them here as the innocents.

On searching the Word, I have found no basis for discriminating between the innocence of little children and that of older persons of childlike minds and personality.  There is a ready example of such a person in a young person named David, who lived on our cove with his mother.  Being about thirty years of age, David's personality had never developed beyond that of a small child although his body was mature.  He was at once both uninhibited and harmless, perfectly projecting childlike innocence and meekness.  On returning home from an absence, we found him in the swing on our porch, swinging with the enjoyment of a child and oblivious to the implications of it being someone else's home and swing.  When this "little one" dies to this world, is there any reason why God in heaven should discriminate between him and other little children who have died?  Will not the very same divine love and mercy apply to him as to any innocent one?

I can only conclude that God will make no distinction between David and little children, therefore all the "innocents," of whatever age at their demise, are to be included in this category.  The Father has been calling "innocents" to himself continually, since the very first "innocents" walked on the face of the earth.  This calls up a time from the deep past when the entire race consisted of innocents, being prefigured by Adam before his fall.  Will not he also continue to call the innocents to himself until the end of the age?

You see how complex things become when men depart from the simple doctrine of Jesus of Nazareth?  And how simple when we listen to Jesus?  Concerning the little children and all of the innocents, it is fully stated in three short words:

Forbid them not!

1. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm#VI
2. http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-sd/originalsin.html
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