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Does a child lost to miscarriage go to heaven?
Thank you for your question - it may well be that it is a very personal one, and if so, thank you for your honesty and for giving us the opportunity to help you in your searching for an answer. This is not an easy question to answer definitively from the Bible, but I hope that the truth we will briefly look at will help you as you consider this area.
Firstly let us lay a foundation from which the importance of this question comes - the Biblical view of an unborn baby in the womb. Western society can treat a foetus as if it is less than a human being, and therefore its life is somehow more dispensable than after the point of birth, but the Bible says differently. King David says this in the Psalms:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)
David goes back not just to the time of his birth to describe his sinfulness, but he goes back to the time of his conception. He does not mean that he was committing sin in the womb, but he indicates to us that he already possessed the sinful nature that naturally belongs to all human beings.
The Biblical view therefore is that a foetus is just as human as a person after birth, and this is hard to argue with even practically when you look at the incredibly intricate development of an unborn baby, even in the first months of pregnancy.
This foundation conveys to us the importance of your question - if an unborn baby is completely human from the time of conception, then if that foetus dies, where does it go to?
The honest answer to this question is that the Bible doesn’t conclusively say - in fact some people would say that the verse we’ve already looked at indicates that even an unborn foetus is by nature sinful, and as faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation from our sinfulness, then there is no hope for that person.
However, the Bible doesn’t say this outright, and in fact gives us a glimmer of hope that the truth may be different - in 2 Samuel 12:23 David is speaking of the son that was born to him after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite (whole story, 2 Samuel 11-12). David has been pleading with God for the life of the child to be spared, but despite David’s pleading the child dies in an act of God’s discipline for what David has done. Following the child’s death, David says these words:
But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me. (2 Samuel 12:23)
God has allowed it to be recorded for us in the Scriptures that David is confident he will see his son again one day, and this son had lived a number of days before losing his life.
What this seems to indicate to us is the idea that for those who die so young that they have yet to make any real choices in life, God is gracious to them and allows them into heaven.
While I must stress that this isn’t taught 100% clearly in the Bible, the fact that this may well be the case can bring a lot of comfort to those who have lost unborn, or extremely young children.
As I close this answer, I think it’s worth reminding ourselves of what we do know for certain about the character of God in this area. That is that, whatever happens in this world, we can be confident that God is absolutely fair and just in all that He does. Deuteronomy 32:3-4 says this:
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
There are many times in this life when injustice appears to take over - terrible things happen to seemingly innocent people - and we can find ourselves asking the question ‘where is God in all this?’ The answer, as the Bible clearly tells us, is that in the midst of all the turmoil in this world, God is where He always has been - He is on His throne, ruling and reigning in justice and righteousness.
We can be absolutely confident that there will be no injustice that ever takes place in this world that He will not one day bring into account - every wrong will be righted, and Jesus will set up His glorious rule of perfect righteousness for ever and ever.
We should also remember that we all are in need of grace - we all have wrongs that need righting, and the only way this can happen is by faith in Jesus Christ, and His death and resurrection in our place. Once we have trusted Christ, our judgment is removed, and in this world of pain we can be confident that our Father is weaving together everything for our good (Romans 8:28) - even the painful injustices that we might face.
Therefore my encouragement to you is to trust in the goodness of God for yourself - if you’ve not yet trusted in Christ for forgiveness of sin, and eternal life, then you must do this first. Once you have, you can then view every situation of life in the light of the fact that our Father is on the throne, and He is weaving together His perfect plan, even when we don’t understand what He is doing.
As I close, let me encourage you to seek out the help of your church family, especially if this question is very personal to your situation. We are never called to face the difficulties of life on our own, and in fact are very unlikely to come through testing times without the support of other believers around us. If you are not already connected to a church, I encourage you to find one that you can get involved in, and our church finder may well be able to help you in finding one close to you.
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Isaiah 30:18
- Romans 8:1-39
- Revelation 20:11-21:8
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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