Question number 15: I'm Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy Ministries, and you have been sending some questions, and so I'm going to try to answer them. Now, there's only one source of answers here, and that's the word of God. Sometimes I may give my opinion, but I'll tell you when it is. I'll be giving you the scripture, exactly what God says on the subject.
After all, the Bible is a book written by the word of God and the product is the words of God.
Now, here's a question, number 15.
Those of you who don't know, the rapture is when Jesus Christ comes back and snatches up those that are his own. Some people call it the great grab. It comes from the Latin word where it says, "Caught up," which is rapture in the Latin.
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 talks about the rapture. “Behold, I show you mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye that the last trump... For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'"
So that's a description of that time when Jesus comes back with a shout, the voice of the arc angel, the dead rise, and we all have glorified bodies, and we go up to meet Him.
Now, 1 Thessalonians 4:13 also discusses this subject to the rapture of the church. "For I would not We have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep." That's a term the Bible uses for dead Christians. "That you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." Must going to be a lot of old people he's bringing back. Can you see them? Trumpet sounds, and somebody says, "What, we here already?"
"For this we say unto you, by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain in the coming of the Lord shall not prevent, go before those which are asleep." So Christians that are dead are called asleep. They're present with Christ, but they're asleep. So he said, "Those of us who are living are not going to go before them." So in other words, if you're standing in a graveyard and the rapture takes place, the people that are dead asleep in Christ are going to come out of the grave first, so you get to see it. And then as they are caught up into the air, the living Christian will be transformed and caught up with Him.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first." So the ones that are asleep are also called the dead in Christ. "Then we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, will be caught up together with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord. Comfort one another with these words." So that's a description of the rapture.
Now, the woman asks the question, "What happens to children when the rapture takes place?" In other words, what happens to children if Jesus comes back tonight, right now, and you have a three-month-old infant in your arms and you're taken up, will your infant go up with you, or will it be left behind?
Now, if you're a Calvinist, you believe that your infant is diabolical, wicked, and deserving of hell, (ridiculous,) because of something Adam did 6,000 years ago, before they're born. So if you're a Calvinist, you believe the parents have to go through a process to save that baby before rapture.
Now, if you're a Roman Catholic, you also believe that that child is born with a sinful nature. And unless the Catholic church and the priest carries on sacraments on behalf of that infant, baptism and sacraments, last rights, then that infant would go to hell as well.
I'm neither one of those. I'm a Bible believer. So what does the Bible say about these infants?
James 4:17 says this: "Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him and his sin." You've got to know right from wrong in order to be counted as a sinner.
Romans 5:13 "For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed where there's no law." Until there's a law, a consciousness of law, violation of the law, then sin is not imputed to you. "For I was alive without the law once,” Paul said, “but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." So Paul said, in his own personal experience, before he became acquainted with the law of God, he was alive. But when the commandment came to him, he said, "It killed me. I died." Because why? Because the law found him to be a sinner. It brought guilt and condemnation.
Now, Romans 4:15 says, "Because the law worketh wrath, for where no law is, there is no transgression." Where no law is, there is no transgression. No child is in transgression. No infant, no child has disobeyed the laws of God and is guilty before God and damnable because of their personal sin. None.
Now, they all inherit the physical fault of Adam in that they all inherit a depraved body, a body that's dying, that will die, may die in birth, may die in infancy, as a result of what Adam did. In Adam all died, but that's death is a physical death is proven by First Corinthians 15 where he speaks of it. Won't go into that now.
Now, King David had a newborn child, and the child was sickly. And during that first week, David fasted and wept and prayed. Some of you may have experienced something like this. He wanted God to heal the child. God did not heal the child. The child died. And here's what second Samuel 12:23. David says, "But now he's dead. Wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." So David, speaking of inspiration, understood that where that child was, David would join him in the afterlife.
So David saw the child as in a heavenly state, not in a damnable state.
Mark 10:14 "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased." That's when the disciples were shooing the children away. They were upsetting the church service, so they were going to have children's church somewhere else and keep them away from the main auditorium. And so Jesus was upset with them. Displeased, he said to them, “Suffer the little children to come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." That's interesting. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God's made up of little children." That's the soul of the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:15 "Verily I say unto you whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.' And he took the children up on his arms and blessed them." So Jesus did not see those little children as some kind of a sinner in need of repentance. He said, "That's the nature of heaven. They're like this. And if you don't get like that too in faith, you cannot enter in."
Now, the Bible has some interesting things to say about children in the future after this life. Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come under me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Now, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are different. You can get my series on that. You can order my book, called Eight Kingdoms.
Now, he said, "For of such is the kingdom of heaven." And we already read this. That's the nature of the kingdom of God. It's also the nature of the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:10, "Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones. For I say unto you that in heaven, in heaven, their angels do always behold the face of my Father, which is in heaven."
So little ones who've died are in heaven beholding the face of the Father. They're not in hell. They were able to go to heaven without having to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ because that's where they're found. And you know how children want you to look in their face, and they just delight in being looked at? Well, Jesus is looking in the face of your dead children. He's maintaining eye contact with them and keeping a smile and encouraging them. So your children are well looked after.
Now, Isaiah 11:6 says, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,” talking about the millennium. “And the leopard shall lie down with the kid." That's a lamb, baby lamb. "And the calf and the young lion," that's like a calf in the field and lion, lion usually eat calves. "And they're fattling together," a little bitty calf you've fattened up. "And a little child shall lead them."
So during the millennium, he said there's going to be lions and lambs and calves and all those creatures that normally war against each other, they won't be doing that. They'll all be in a happy union there. That'd be easier than getting a bunch of Baptists and Pentecostal together, but God will pull that thing off very effectively during the millennium.
Isaiah 11:7-8"And the cow and the bear shall feed. Their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child," now, that's still nursing, "shall play on the hole of the asp." That's a poisonous snake, lives in a hole in the ground.
You'd be scared to death if your suckling child tottles over and plops down over the hole where a deadly poisonous snake lives, and then reach down and stick his finger down in there. "Whoop, woo-woo-whoop." No problem during the millennium. No problem at all.
"And the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den." So the child gets weaned, he's big enough to find A cockatrice, which is very poisonous.
Zachariah 8:3-6 says, "Thus said the Lord, 'I am returned unto Zion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth.” It's not yet, but it will be. “And the mountain of the Lord of host, the holy mountain," that's where the Mosque of Omar sits right now and the temple will sit. "Thus said the Lord of host, "There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.'
Thus said the Lord, 'If it be marvelous in the eyes, the remnant of this people in these days should also be marvelous in my eyes,' said the Lord of the host." So I pointed out that the millennium is continually referenced as something that is full of children. Children leading lions around by the beard, children playing around poisonous snakes, children up by the cockatrice den. The streets of the city full of kids playing all kinds of games during the thousand-year reign of Christ upon the earth. Where did all these children come from?
Now, I'm going to give you my opinion now. This is my opinion. I think probably one of the main reasons for the millennium is going to be so that babies, children who died before accountability, can grow to maturity during that thousand-year reign of Christ and be accountable, just as you and I are accountable in a natural way, having come to understand the law, being faced with Jesus Christ personally and being responsible and held accountable for their life.
I think that's going to happen in the millennium. Can't prove it. But I have another passage which hints at something like that. Listen to this.
Isaiah 65:18 -20 "But he be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create. For behold, I create Jerusalem, a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Future prophecy. "Thou will rejoice in Jerusalem, joy in my people. And the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying." Of course, that's never been true. It will be.
"There shall be no more thence," that's in the millennium, "an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days." In other words, no child will die as an infant, and no man will die prematurely. In fact, in the millennium, everyone will live to be a thousand years old. They'll live the whole time because we are told that the leaves of the tree, of the Tree of Life, which will be brought back, will grow along the sides of the river flowing out of the throne. And the leaves of the tree, He said, are for the healing of the nations.
In other words, the human race will be given access to an herb that perpetuates the cellular growth in the body and keeps people from aging, and it heals sicknesses and diseases. So with access to that herb, everyone will live forever in natural bodies unless they're executed.
And then it says, Isaiah 65:20 "There shall no more be thence an infant days, nor an old man that has not filled his days, for the child," somebody in a class called child, children, "shall die a hundred years old. But the sinner, being a hundred years old, shall be accursed." Now, that's a little riddle, "The child shall die a hundred years old, But the sinner, being a hundred years old, shall be accursed.” So who would be classed as a child at a hundred years of age and at a hundred years of age then be a sinner and then be cursed and damned? What I think's going to happen is the children who come back in the millennium, people who died, babies that died prematurely or died in a womb, or aborted babies, will come back in the millennium and grow up and have to the age of 100 to repent and be obedient to God.If they do not, at a hundred years of age, that group of children will be executed because they're sinners.
So that latter part is my opinion. It's clear from the scripture that you read the Bible that children are not damned. And so at the rapture, it's the general opinion of Bible students that children will be taken up, infants will be taken up, and they'll be present before God. And then my opinion is that they will come back during the millennial reign to be raised to maturity. All right, that's question number 15.