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Question:

Why does your two roads chart have two doors when the original one has one?  Many people say that we are born on the broad road.  Are we?  Does this have any impact on whether a child goes to heaven that dies before the age of accountability?  Some say that a baby needs to be baptized to go to heaven, does it?  What is the teaching on whole house baptisim in Acts 16?

Any info/links/verses you could give me on the subject of age of accountability, people who die who have never heard the gospel, the broad road, original sin, and infant baptism would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

For years I taught that we are born on the broad and crowded road of Matthew 7:13 and 14.  But because there are two roads and two doors in the passage I have redrawn the two roads chart and have had to rethink my teaching on this issue.  I now believe that we enter the broad road when we reject Christ and that we enter the narrow road when we trust Him.  I am not convinced that we come to that crossroads just once in life but I believe everyone has to decide whether they want to be saved or not.  That decision leads to the repentance necessary for a person to trust Christ and to be "born of the spirit" as in John 3:5 and 8.  We do not depend upon our decisions, we who are saved depend on the Word of God as it promises eternal life through the Lord Jesus.  But God never saved someone who did not want to be saved.  When we "believe not" as in John 3:18, we enter the broad road.

People that are unsaved are technically on a road that could lead to heaven and that can lead to hell.  Those on that road are "lost" but they have not been awakened to that fact.  Until they reject Christ they are "safe" but not "saved."   I have preached that we do not have to do anything to go to hell because neglect is one way to reject the Lord.  "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3)?"  I will continue to preach that.  Anyone who would like to presume that they are "safe" would be old enought to believe the truth and are not safe.

So when are people written in the Lamb's book of life?  Are babies written there?  My view is that everyone is written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world.  To have names written into the Book of Life upon believing would mean that babies are in the book of life since most Christians believe that they would go to heaven if they died and at some point they are not in the book of life and then are again written into the book of life.  Somehow that doesn't seem to make sense to me. 

Most people think that when the Bible says that people are written in the Lamb's book of life that that means that they are written into the book of life rather than being found written in the book of Life. 

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (KJV) (Rev 13:8)

The lamb was not slain from the foundation of the world, but the Lamb's book of life is written from the foundation of the world. I believe all names of all people are written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world.  As people reject the Lord their names are blotted out. People who die without Christ who were old enough to believe will be forced to admit that they are the reason that they have ended up in hell.  It is not what God wanted.

The ESV translates that verse this way:

(Rev 13:8) and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

This verse states the situation more clearly.

(Rev 17:8) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (KJV)

To repeat:  we are born unsaved. We are born "in sin". But the broad road of Matt 7:13-14 is entered into by rejecting Christ. The passage says many go in thereat.

I don't know when people are "blotted out" of the book of life but I do know it is due to and because of a final rejection of the Lord. I assume anyone can be saved until they die, but theologically that may not be true.

Because of my view on the fact that all are in the book of life from the foundation of the world but are blotted out when they “believe not”, one certainly would not need to baptize infants so that they can become children of God and have their “original sin” forgiven or cleansed.  I personally do not know what original sin is.  Possibly those who use this term are referring to the nature of sin that we got from Adam.   If baptizing infants fitted them for heaven and made them children of God, this would mean that parents are responsible for the eternal destinies of their children and that a ceremony makes infants fit for heaven.   Of course later on these children are confirmed into their faith according to many churches.  But some of these churches teach that an unbaptized infant will go to limbo wherever that is.  It is not found in Scripture.   An infant is “safe” until they are old enough to accept or reject Christ.  At that point they are personally responsible for their own relationship with God.  And at that point they "must be saved."  They must be 'born again."  Anyone old enough to be convicted of their need to be saved is old enough to be "accountable."  That would not include the new borns. 

The whole household baptism in Acts 16 is usually used to defend infant baptism. It is assumed that there were infants there. But you will notice that the so-called infants had to be old enough to believe. Act 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Recently, I was reading in Luke 18:16 and notice that the Believer's Bible Commentary by MacDonald had this to say about that verse:

Jesus and the Little Children (18:15-17)

This incident reinforces what we have just had before us, namely, that the humility of a little child is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God. Mothers crowded around the Lord Jesus with their infants in order that they might receive blessing from Him. His disciples were annoyed by this intrusion into the Savior's time. But Jesus rebuked them, and tenderly called ... the little children to Himself, saying, “Of such is the kingdom of God.” Verse 16 answers the question, “What happens to little children when they die?” The answer is that they go to heaven. The Lord clearly said “of such is the kingdom of God.”

Children can be saved at a very tender age. That age probably varies in the case of individual children, but the fact remains that any child, no matter how young, who wishes to come to Jesus should be permitted to do so, and encouraged in his faith.

Little children do not need to become adults in order to be saved, but adults do need the simple faith and humility of a little child in order to enter God's kingdom.

I have always believed that David was convinced that his infant child that died went to heaven and that he would go there as well. He said in 2Sa 12:23, "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 was not his attitude when Absalom died. Absalom seems to be a picture of a Christ-rejector.  I think "going to him" is talking about something other than the grave. 

So what about someone who has never heard the Gospel?

If a person has truly never heard the gospel then they can't be one who "believes not." However, God does hold everyone accountable through their conscience (Romans 2) and and through creation (Psalm 19).  If they want to know the truth, I think they hear it.  The Bible promises that if we seek, we will find.  That was the case of the Ethiopian Eunuch who came from "darkest Africa."  But for those who do not want to "know" intimately the God of creation and who do not allow their consciences to speak to them about their sin, I am sure that they never clearly hear the Gospel and end up among those who "believe not."  Notice:

(Mat 7:7) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

(Act 17:24-27) God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

(Rom 2:15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Link to the Two Roads Chart

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