The unexpected death of our 23-month-old grandson

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These last several days have been a difficult time for my wife, myself, our children, and many family members. Our 23-month-old grandson Lake was admitted into a hospital and was listed in grave condition. Sadly, today Lake succumbed to his medical distress. I am not writing this to invite you to my pity party. Instead, I am writing this to share our need for salvation, to defend sound doctrine, and to glorify God.

I am thankful that my local church has been praying for us. But an unwise decision of mine was asking for prayer from a Facebook audience. Some of them seized this opportunity to insert their false teachings, and so their comments were removed.

As an Elder of Christ’s Church I am to be on-guard for false teachings, and defend sound doctrine, even during sensitive matters such as this.

As Paul instructed in Titus 1:9, “holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

In the pastoral epistle of 1 Timothy 6:3-5, Paul also wrote the following warning and instruction.

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

Henceforth I am going to address one of those false teachings that I saw (via Facebook) in this brief post.

There is much controversy over the sound Biblical doctrine known as original sin. On the contrary, some professing Christians wrongfully teach that an infant, baby, or a small child has never sinned. They mistakenly teach that a child does not sin unless they are aware that their act is sin, or until they have reached an “age of accountability.” Therefore, they erroneously believe a child does not need salvation from sin until they have reached that point. The biggest provocateurs of this false teaching (the age of accountability) are likely to be pastor John MacArthur, and comedian Todd Friel.

The Bible is clear that all men have sinned (Rom 3:23), and we were not only born into sin, but since all mankind inherited the first Adams sin, we were all “conceived” in sin (Psalm 51:5, Rom 5:12-19).

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:12-19).

Hence, regardless of age, we need to be saved from our sin, and God’s wrath. That is why we must be born a second time (born again) through the atonement of the Second Adam – Jesus Christ. Henceforward, this Biblical doctrine is known as original sin.

So, the question is, where will little Lake spend his eternity? The Biblically correct answer would be “I don’t know.” Admittedly due to his age, I never shared the Law and Gospel with Lake, and he was not old enough to make a profession of faith (not that professions are salvific).

In Paragraph 3 of Chapter 10 of our London Baptist Confession of Faith, that question is wisely answered with the following.

“Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; 10 who works when, and where, and how He pleases; 11 so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word” (10) John 3:3, 5, 6; (11) John 3:8).

The keyword is “elect,” as only God’s elect goes to heaven. Was Lake one of Gods elect? Since I could not know that, I cannot know which way his soul will go. Though we have prayed for Lakes salvation (God willing), we have no assurance of salvation, so now I can only hope for heaven. The ‘not knowing’ is a difficult place to be. Nonetheless, my Christian duty is to glorify God in all matters. Which includes knowing that God is sovereign over all matters, and that He decrees these things to occur, and that His will and providence be done, and not mine; that is most comforting.  

Yes, all of the human race was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), but we do not become a child of God (1 John 3:10) until we are born twice (John 3:3-5).

So, I ask, what about you? You may have put your clothes on this morning, but a mortician may remove them tonight. Are you ready to meet your Maker? To know more about what happens after death, and how a sinner like me (or you) can be saved (salvation), please read my Good News Gospel tract below.

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