When his son died, David says:
He cannot come to me, but I will go to him.
I WILL go to him.
We already dealt with the fact that this demonstrates the existence of Heaven. But now consider, it teaches that children will go to Heaven (at least under certain conditions.)
The child went to Heaven since David wasn't going to Hell.
The boy Samuel
I Samuel 2:18 - ministering before the Lord
I Samuel 2:21 - grew up in the presence of the Lord
I Samuel 3 - God talks to Samuel (as a boy)
The Boy (King later) David
1 Samuel 17: David & Goliath
Deuteronomy 31:13 Their (aliens) children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as your live in the land ...
2 Kings 11:21-2 Kings 12:2 - Jehoash, 7 year old king.
2 Kings 22:1-2 Josiah, 8 year old king. When 18 years old - 22:13 "great is the Lords's anger that burns against US" 22:14: Tell the MAN who sent you to me 16:I will bring the disaster - 19: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord...and tore your robes...I have heard you... 20: Therefore i will gather your to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace.
2 Kings 21:1-2 Manasseh - 12 year old evil King.
In the desert, (Numbers 14:30-32) all those 19 and younger were allowed to live. This IMPLYS but does NOT PROVE that, should a child of believing parents die before 20, they get to go to heaven.
Now here is my PERSONAL opinion on the age of 21 business.
I believe there are some children who are not able to be accountable until they are around the age of 21 and so God picked that as an arbitrary date for purposes of judging a whole nation. I do not believe that it is a fixed date. I believe that children must decide to accept Christ, either when they are old enough to understand what they are deciding or when they have received, or had the opportunity to receive enough information to make an informed decision.
Why not make it today if you haven't already!
Given this possibility, if you can understand that you will someday have to make a decision, you should assume that that means that you are responsible right now for making the decision and you should assume that "no decision" means you are damned to hell right now (in class we will discuss this phrase piece by piece in detail) - you aren't going to heaven when you die. And if you have decided Yes, you should assume that your friends who have not decided are in a seriously bad state. Do NOT under ANY circumstances, rely on any of the following or anything like them to get you into heaven:
So what happens if only 1 parent is under the grace of God (a Christian under the new testament covenant.) I do not find direct evidence in the NT for this (though Paul tells a wife not to leave her unbelieving husband so that the Children and Husband will be safe. Since this includes the Husband, I don't think it refers to salvation as much as it does the benefits of God)
So there is evidence that as long as 1 parent is under the grace of God, the child is under the grace of God.
What I cannot find any evidence for is the child of unbelieving parents. I'd like to think that they are protected as well, but I do not find any evidence of that in the OT (or NT for that matter.) Sorry. Lets assume that they are NOT protected, and help them get protected by becoming Christians.
MMP>This and Ezekiel (18 or was it 38?) means at a minimum, that by the age of 21, most children are "on their own." They are responsible for their own decisions. (Much earlier for most if you accept my personal opinion stated below.)
The act of circumcision, like the act of Baptism (boy am I going to get in trouble here!) is a sign that the person is, at that time, under the grace of God and has salvation.
This is why circumcision and baptism is performed on young children. It is a sign that the child is currently under the grace of God and will go to heaven should they die at that time. Gen 17: 9-14
Discussion point to have with your parents: Note: Many Christian and the "Evangelical Missionary Church" as a whole, disagrees or is uncomfortable with drawing this parallel. One reason commonly given by our Church and churches like the "Baptists" is that "people misunderstand so we shouldn't hold the belief." Note that, Ezekiel 18 shows that this same "problem" occured with circumcision, but this didn't cause God to change the theology. Whatever you end up believing on Baptism, be sure you don't fall into the trap of saying "people will act wrong if they believe 'this' so.. I won't believe that 'this' is the truth." If nothing else, what you should learn from this is this: Don't trust just one adult as giving you absolute truth. This applies to your Sunday School teacher, your pastor, your parents even. If the point is important, you should consider what these people say but you are responsible to God to make your own decision.
Children were circumcised (baptized in the NT) when they were infants as a sign that they were AT THAT TIME under the grace of God. But remember that (as in Ezekiel 18), even though once circumcised (baptized) - this does not "protect" you. It is not a magic incantation. Ezekiel and the trip in the desert as well as most of the writings of the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi) make it clear that at some point you need to make the decision for yourself.