Heavy Questions

By Mark Swarbrick

A Christian who I respect a great deal has raised some heavy questions and asked for feedback. My comments are in blue. So here we go…

Now I am going to ask some heavy questions. I am hoping some of you will give me answers of what you think. I am just asking. Maybe some of you will come up with helpful thoughts.

All your questions that follow are real deep issues that Christians down through the ages have wondered about and some have come up with various outlooks. I found that C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on these matters helped me a great deal, particularly his book, The Problem of Pain. That said, I will toss my two cents into the ring.

First and foremost, I think we have to acknowledge in our hearts that though we may not know the answers, we can know by faith that God is good and his plan is perfect, and when we get to heaven and no longer “see in a glass darkly,” we will say, “Oh yes, of course! Now I see how wonderful and wise the Lord’s plan was in all this!”

I saw where these people who have always been joined at their heads, just passed away. As I understand it, they had separate thoughts. However thirty percent of their brain was shared and operated as one. The same blood ran through both of them. I recalled all the scriptures of how He formed us in our mother’s womb. He knew us, saw us before we were even in the womb. So my questions began to run, did you created this God. In fact all the babies born twisted, mentally handicapped, etc. is that all because of a fallen world and God let these babies be born like this?

Yes. Because of a fallen world, marred by man’s sin. Sin always affects the innocent as well as the guilty, even little babies. Our minds recoil when the innocent suffer and we say, “Why God?” Apparently, sin is so terrible that God did not hide any of its horrible ramifications and consequences from us, in hopes that mankind will see how twisted the world is and accept the explanation in God’s word and run to Jesus for salvation. How incredible, that in spite of the horrendous evidence that the world has taken a wrong turn, so many people of the world refuse to look to the Scriptures, where the problem is clearly explained.

Now these pictured, I don’t know if they ever accepted Christ as Lord. I know they were born girls but one of them as an adult decided she was a man and changed her name to George. More questions. All the babies and children who have died pre birth, after birth, and older, what happens to them? They never accepted Christ. But they did not reject Him either. Would you say the billions over the ages are in or out of heaven.

The majority of protestants believe that all babies and young children who die go to heaven. I believe this, based upon the things Jesus said about them: “Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven” and “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Also consider King David’s statement about his baby boy, born of Bathsheba, who died. David said, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”  (2 Samuel 12:23). This indicates that the child went to heaven. Clearly, King David held the belief that babies that die go to heaven.

Then there are all those who simply do not have a mind to understand about Jesus.

I believe these are perpetually “children” in the Lord’s eyes, and will be saved. I think of the beggar Lazarus at the rich man’s gate. Nothing is said about his spiritual condition or that he knew God. And in heaven, what was the reason given for him being there? Nothing is said about his righteousness or religious knowledge. The rich man in hell is told this: “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.” (Luke 16:25)

Those who are mentally deficient and do not have a mind to understand the way of salvation are certainly of those who received bad things in this life and it seems that scripture indicates there is a different paradigm at work in their case.

Finally we have the billions upon billions who never heard anything about Jesus or the gospel. Millions born in other remote lands that no missionary, radio, or anything ever reached them. They did not accept Christ, who is the only way to the Father. Some say they will be judged with the light they lived in. Other say they have to have accepted Christ. Yet it would be like a poor dog who had no hearing but his master would punish him for not obeying. Poor dog could not hear. If all the ones who never have heard, and the children, etc. go to heaven, then the only ones who don’t are those who hear about Jesus and reject Him.

We know that Jesus said: “no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) So, how does this work with babies who died? Hold onto that question for a moment and consider this passage:

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21)

I see it this way. It is the love of darkness that keeps people from coming to Jesus. Babies have not yet been seduced by sin and they have not come to love darkness. When they die and see Jesus, they are automatically attracted to him. They see Him, they love Him, they accept Him and they come to the Father through Jesus.

Those who have become adults and have lived a life of selfishness and sin, when they die and see Jesus, they automatically hate the goodness and light. It makes them feel ashamed and angry. They are revolted by goodness just as they were on earth. They reject Christ after death because they rejected Him in life. For them it is too late to change.

Now, concerning those in other countries that perhaps did not hear about salvation in Jesus. There are three possibilities that I can think of:

One, perhaps God has planned it so that all those who He knew would reject Him, are born in places where they will not hear the Gospel. There is no scripture that says either way about that, but maybe that could be so. I tend to doubt this, but I don’t really know. We will have to wait ‘till heaven to find out.

A second possibility is that perhaps if one has never heard about Christ, but responded to all the light they have and done their best to do right, they will automatically accept and love Jesus after they die. This would fulfill the principle that no one comes to the Father but through Jesus. Some may object, “Do you mean people get a second chance to accept Christ after death?”

No, that is not what I am saying. I am saying this: They have accepted or rejected Christ by how they lived. Every time someone chooses to wrong, they are in a sense rejecting Christ and every time they do right, they are, in a sense, accepting Christ. When a person who does right hears the Gospel, they would respond to it. How do we know? Because Jesus said so: “whoever does what is true comes to the light.” (John 3:19-21)

Consider also babies that die. We know from Scripture that they go to heaven. Yet they did not accept Christ in this life. But they do accept Him when they meet him in heaven. One could argue that if someone lived in a deep dark jungle and never heard about Christ, but lived a comparatively righteous life, then they too would accept Christ and his forgiveness when they meet him in heaven.

If this is so, it would beg the question, why tell them about Jesus then? My answer would be this: They are not dead yet and Satan is not done trying drag them to hell. We must tell them because they need the Holy Spirit and new life in Christ to help them battle sin. They are in danger of being seduced by sin and tricked by the devil before they die and if that happens they may cross over into darkness. Furthermore, God commands that the Gospel be preached to all nations, so it is not optional. We must preach the Gospel with urgency. We have no certain knowledge that a person is saved unless they accept Christ. If we truly care about people, we will share the Gospel and not just hope God works it out somehow. The New Testament presents us with the truth that preaching the Gospel is to be done with urgency. 

A third possibility is that God may be doing amazing things as such people die. Consider all the reports of Jesus appearing to Muslims in other countries where the Gospel and the Bible are forbidden. These appearances have resulted in many Muslims coming to Christ. Also consider the thief on the cross, who found salvation in his last moments. My point: God will do all He can to save a person and he will do amazing things when a person is dying. We don’t see it usually, but I think it probably happens more often than we know.

I am reminded of a story I read once of a man who was married to a Christian wife who constantly prayed for him. Yet, he lived his life without God. He didn’t really do bad things at all, he just didn’t accept Christ or go to church or think about God in any way.

But one day he was in his truck looking at some property to buy, and his heart stopped. He said later he felt the death coming up his legs and swallowing him up. In the last moment before he died, he realized the emptiness of his life and he called out in his mind, “God forgive me!”

He said those three words saved him from hell. He died and saw hell and Jesus snatched him out of it and took him to heaven. After some time, the doctors revived him and he woke up in the hospital. He serves the Lord today and is in church every Sunday.

But if he wouldn’t have been revived everyone would have assumed that he died without Christ and was lost. My point is, we just don’t know what God does in the very last moments of a person’s life. I believe the Holy Spirit does all possible to make a way of salvation for everyone who can bring themselves to faith and repentance.

Well, enough questions. Would just love to hear what some of you think. My faith holds to the gospel, but just wonder if any of you have thoughts. Thank you for reading.

So, those are my thoughts. Don’t know if they are all correct but it is how I deal with it in my mind. And this I do know for sure: God is good and His plan is perfect in every detail. We won’t understand it all in this life, but we can fully put our trust in Him and He will be pleased with that simple childlike faith.


  1. I am thankful for your answers. They seem will be so helpful to many. Including me. As I am so old I have many thoughts that raise many questions. I hpr others will read your thoughts. Love you dear bother and friend. Steve Joos


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge