Did God hang babies out to dry with the rest of sinning humanity?

Did God hang babies out to dry with the rest of sinning humanity?

Did God hang babies out to dry? by Cheryl Schatz/The Giving DVD blog

My last post on Judas brought up a discussion of Jesus’ words about Judas and what it would have been like for him had he not been born.

Matthew 26:24 (NASB) “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

What is “good”?

There is no doubt that Jesus’ words are inspired. His words are also preserved in the Scripture so that we can learn things that we could not know without His revelation. Jesus gives a conditional statement about what would be “good” or “better” for Judas on the condition that he had died before he was born. Jesus said that for Judas to die before he was born would have been advantageous to Judas. Look at the range of the meanings for the word that Jesus chose to use:

Matthew 26:24 Greek for good on The Giving DVD blog by Cheryl Schatz

What is the specific usage of the Greek word “kalon” in Matthew 26:24?

Let’s consider the specific usage determined by the BDAG lexicon (Bauer, Danker & Arndt) for Matthew 26:24  

Matthew 26:24 on The Giving blog by Cheryl Schatz

Jesus said that it would have been better for Judas to die before being born. This means that Judas is placed in the exact same category as all other babies in the eyes of Jesus.

Addition: I am adding answers in this section because of great questions that were asked of me in the comment section.

Q: How do we know from Jesus’ statement about Judas that He is not simply inferring less judgment? In other words, if Judas had died as a baby before he committed the sins that he did, he would have been under less severe judgment. Would this not have been much better for him?

The Greek word that Jesus used is highly important. It refers to something that is actually good, not “less bad”. If Jesus had wanted us to know that Judas would have been punished in hell as a baby, but not as much as he would have been punished as a grown man who betrayed Jesus, then He would have used a word comparing judgments, not a word identifying a good thing. For example in Matthew 10:15, Jesus said:

Matthew 10:15 (NASB)
15 “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

The term “more tolerable” is a comparison of judgment. It is not “good” or “beneficial”.

Matthew 10:15 more tolerable on The Giving DVD blog by Cheryl Schatz

Q: Further, would it be possible that Jesus is saying here that it would have been better that Judas had never existed, not that he died before or at birth?

If Judas had never existed, there can be no advantage for him for there would be no person to exist to have an advantage. When God talks about before one is born, He is talking about an existing person.  If He is talking about a person who does not exist there is another term for Him to use.  Let’s look at a few examples:

Look at Romans 9:11-12

Romans 9:11–12 (NASB)
11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

When was this said? When the twins were not in existence, or when they were formed in their mother’s womb? God is not talking about non-existent persons, but about babies who were in their mother’s womb because that is when the words were said to their mother.

Look also here:

Luke 2:21 (NASB)
21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Before conception: This is the term for before one exists as a man. It is translated as “before He was conceived” not before He was born.

If God had wanted to tell us that a non-existent person was more advantaged, then God would have used the term for conception, not the term for born.

Look at two more examples:

Luke 1:31 (NASB)
31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

And:

James 1:15 (NASB)
15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

In Luke 1:31 the term “will conceive” shows that the man Jesus is not yet in existence because it is before conception.  In James 1:15 the difference between conception and birth is shown. So if Jesus had wanted us to know that Judas were advantaged if he had not existed, not only can a non-existent person be advantaged, but we would have to correct Jesus’ words so that He would say, “It would have been better if that man would not have been conceived.”  That is the way to talk about non-existence.  Jesus’ exact words using the term for an advantage and the term for born show that Jesus is talking about a person who existed who would have had a good thing and would have been advantaged.  I believe we should accept what Jesus said is truth and allow that truth to determine our doctrine.

Does Scripture tell us what happens to babies who die?

Let’s consider the words of David the man after God’s own heart. In 2 Samuel 12, David had just been told that his baby born from Bathsheba had just died. Consider carefully the inspired words to see David’s response:

2 Samuel 12:20–23 (NASB)

20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’

23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Notice that David was confident that he would be with his baby in the future. David said “I will go to him” but he will not return to me. David understood that the baby was gone and would not be returning to him again on this earth, but he knew that he would go to be with the baby in the future! David had such a confidence in this fact that he acted out his belief by worshiping God. David had fasted, hoping for God to give him a miracle by curing the baby, but when God did not bring health to the baby, and the baby died, David came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. David was comforted by the God who cares for the innocents.

Who are the innocents?

God Himself has called the young children as “innocents.”  In Jeremiah 7:31 God spoke about the terrible act where Judah was sacrificing their children in the fire to Baal.

Jeremiah 7:31 (NASB) “They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

God despised the burning of babies as a sacrifice to Baal and called their blood the blood of the innocents.

Jeremiah 19:4–5 (NKJV)

4 “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents

5 (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),

God repeats that these children were innocent in His eyes in Psalm 106.

Psalm 106:37–38 (NASB)

37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,

38 And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood.

Who does the Kingdom of Heaven belong to?

Jesus also said that the kingdom of heaven belonged to the children, and so they were not to be hindered from coming to Him.

Matthew 19:14 (NASB) But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

One last testimony is David’s own reaction when he heard about the death of his son Absalom.

2 Samuel 18:32–33 (NASB)

32 Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!”

33 The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Absalom was not an innocent nor was he a child. He had lived his life in wickedness and was actively pursuing his own father to kill him and take the throne at the time of his death. David did not say that he would go to Absalom. He knew that Absalom did not die in faith nor was he pursuing God in righteousness. Absalom died in opposition to God living a life of wickedness. David’s words that he wished he had died rather than Absalom are key to understand the difference between the death of Absalom and the death of David’s new born baby. David knew that he would go to be with his dead baby son in the place of the righteous dead, but he also knew that Absalom would not be with David in death. Absalom was not ready for death in that state. David’s grief and his state of mourning show a marked difference between the death of the innocent and the death of the wicked.
 
So what does this tell us about Judas? The Bible reveals that Judas came into the world as an innocent. Had he died in that state, it would have been good, advantageous, and far better for Judas for he would have been taken care of by God. By the very words of Jesus, we can know for certain that Judas was not predetermined as a baby to be sent to hell. His walk in life as he ended up as the son of perdition was his own determined path in opposition to God.

The Scriptures do not show that there are just two categories of humans – the elect and the reprobate.  There are three categories.  The elect, the wicked and the innocents.  Every person who comes into the world as a baby starts out in the same category.  They are the innocents.

27 thoughts on “Did God hang babies out to dry with the rest of sinning humanity?

  1. How do we know from Jesus’ statement about Judas that He is not simply inferring less judgment? In other words, if Judas had died as a baby before he committed the sins that he did, he would have been under less severe judgment. Would this not have been much better for him?

    Further, would it be possible that Jesus is saying here that it would have been better that Judas had never existed, not that he died before or at birth? If so, then this passage doesn’t prove that babies go to heaven. Or at least the uncertainty wouldn’t help us conclude one way or the other.

    Further, we might only be able to conclude from the passage in Jeremiah that those ‘innocents’ were innocent of the sins of their fathers. Is this a strong enough statement to conclude on its own that babies are innocent of all sin? While my view is that babies and those mentally unable to understand sin and the gospel are covered by the blood of Jesus, I’m not sure the above verses make a rock solid case for it.

    On the other hand, the examples from King David’s reactions to the deaths of Absolom and the first born to Bathsheba portray to us what his beliefs were and make a stronger case for the salvation of babies.

  2. As usual, well written paper Cheryl. I am going to try and focus on smaller questions as opposed to giving all the things I might disagree with or need further clarification on. My first question is do you think it is possible that David is saying he will go to him because he too will die. As a note, I personally think babies go to heaven, but when asked I say, “I don’t know, there is not enough clear evidence to go on but as is everything it is in the hands of the only One it should be in.”

  3. Excellent questions, Ryan!

    The Greek word that Jesus used is highly important. It refers to something that is actually good, not “less bad”. If Jesus had wanted us to know that Judas would have been punished in hell as a baby, but not as much as he would have been punished as a grown man who betrayed Jesus, then He would have used a word comparing judgments, not a word identifying a good thing. For example in Matthew 10:15, Jesus said:

    Matthew 10:15 (NASB)
    15 “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    The term “more tolerable” is a comparison of judgment. It is not “good” or “beneficial”.
    Matthew 10:15 more tolerable on The Giving DVD blog by Cheryl Schatz

  4. Hi Derek,
    Ah, two commenters to keep up with. Great!

    No, I do not believe that David was just saying that he was going to die. I believe that the words used as written for our benefit and are inspired. David said that “I will go to him”. He didn’t say that “I will die too”. These inspired words follow the words that the baby will not come back to life to be with David, but that David is comforted that he will go to his son. This is the explanation that David gives for the question about why he has washed himself and is eating. David is assured in his heart that he will see the boy again and so he takes comfort in his God who takes the innocents to Himself. If David was only saying that he too would die, then that would be no reason to wash himself and eat. It would be a negative saying not a positive one. And the fact that David worshiped the God who holds his son, shows a confidence and faith in God that He is a God of justice and mercy. It reflects the words of Jesus who also said that kingdom belongs to children.

  5. Ryan, your next question is also excellent!

    You said:

    Further, would it be possible that Jesus is saying here that it would have been better that Judas had never existed, not that he died before or at birth?

    If Judas had never existed, there can be no advantage for him for there would be no person to exist to have an advantage.

  6. Ryan,
    You asked:

    Further, we might only be able to conclude from the passage in Jeremiah that those ‘innocents’ were innocent of the sins of their fathers. Is this a strong enough statement to conclude on its own that babies are innocent of all sin?

    Really, really good question. The Bible gives evidence that God does not charge the son with the sin of the Father, yet the son may not be considered innocent.

    Deuteronomy 24:16 (NASB)
    16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.

    Also the term used for the innocent children means blood free of blame:

    Innocent on The Giving DVD blog by Cheryl Schatz

  7. Remember, Derek, that Jesus is comparing Judas as a person in two different situations. He is not comparing a non existent person to Judas. A non-existent person cannot be benefited.

  8. Look at it from another angle. Look at Romans 9:11-12

    Romans 9:11–12 (NASB)
    11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
    12 it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”

    When was this said? When the twins were not in existence, or when they were formed in their mother’s womb? Is God talking about non-existent persons?

  9. Look also here:

    Luke 2:21 (NASB)
    21And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

    This is the term for before one exists as a man. It is translated as “before He was conceived” not before He was born.

    If God had wanted to tell us that a non-existent person was more advantaged, then God would have used the term for conception, not the term for born.

    Look at two examples:

    Luke 1:31 (NASB)
    31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

    And:

    James 1:15 (NASB95)
    15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

    The term for “conceive” is
    Conceived

    The term for being born is

    Give birth

    James 1:15 is a perfect example of the difference between conception and birth and God has certainly placed the inspired words into Jesus’ mouth when He used the term for birth rather than conception. In James 1:15 the term for “brings forth” is literally to give birth.

  10. Cheryl, excellent insight and exegesis. I think the case is based on principles as much as proof texts. It is cumulative evidence hinted at Scripture, so Ryan is reasonable to not make a big doctrine off any one text that may have alternate understanding. I would say babies go to heaven based on their non-rejection of Christ/gospel, lack of moral/mental capacity, provision in the cross (?). What are your views on ‘Augustinian original sin’? Catholics would say a baby must have the sacrament of infant baptism to deal with original sin and be born again (they are wrong on this). I would say traditional original sin is not biblical because sin is moral/volitional, not genetic/substance/metaphysical. So, the innocent thing resonates with me, but not so much with ‘original sin’. http://www.gospeltruth.net/menbornsinners/mbsindex.htm (note: I disagree with Calvin and Pelagius).

  11. godrulzz37 Thanks for your kind words!

    It seems to me that principles are based on what God has already said, thus knowing what God has said is highly important.

    I don’t think Ryan has had time to read my response. Does a verse have multiple interpretations? I believe that we must research the words and grammar to understand what God has written and doing that will make any “alternate” interpretation fall away. That is why questions like Ryan brought out are very important. When we deal with questions head on and study diligently to answer, this will either bolster our view or make us re-evaluate what we believe. I think this is a win-win proposition. It is why I appreciate questions and challenges. They allow me to become stronger in my position or change my position.

    The issue of babies going to heaven because they are part of humanity whom Christ died for is legitimate. But for most of Calvinism, this is not part of their theology for Christ only died effectually for the elect. To allow babies to be saved, in that view, must mean that all dead babies are pre-elected unconditionally from eternity past. That would also mean that no un-elect baby is allowed to die. Or one is stuck with unborn babies going to hell and suffering which is not the position that Jesus took when He welcome all children to Himself. The character of God is a big part of the answer one brings to the table.

    As far as “original sin”, I do not believe that a person is charged with Adam’s sin that is passed on to his offspring, but I do believe in a sin nature known in scripture as the “old man” is passed on through Adam and it shows itself as a natural tendency to rebellion and sin. I wrote a piece on this on my other blog here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2006/11/20/adam-as-head-of-the-family/ This article explains the necessity of the virgin birth because of the sin of rebellion of Adam.

    As far as the Augustinian view of original sin, I have not read his writings, so I can’t comment on his views. The Catholic view does not match with the Scriptures so I would reject what they teach about baptism and babies.

    I hope this helps. I am working on two other articles on the Lamb’s book of life. The first one will be who is in the book of life and the second article will deal with Rev. 17:8 regarding whose name is not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. I hope the articles will be thought-provoking.

  12. I believe there is a distinction between physical depravity (taints the whole human race) and moral depravity (based on individual choices). I think we form a nature as we sin and that we do not have a causative Adamic nature back of the will that makes us sin (Lucifer and Adam fell from innocence without a ‘sinful nature’; NIV has also taken away preconceived ‘sinful nature’ translation to make it more accurate to the Greek ‘flesh’/sarx, a metaphor for sin in some contexts). I did not read your blog on Adam-head, but I think the Augustinian (rooted in his thinking) Federal Headship view is fully correct. Rev. 13 and Rev. 17 have textual variants and those verses are of interest for foreknowledge, perseverance, election, etc.

  13. godrulz37,

    Forming a nature as we sin, doesn’t account for the “natural” sin nature of even young children who do not need to be taught to lie.

  14. It also doesn’t account for the importance of Jesus not having a human Father. If there was no rebellion inherited through Adam, then Jesus could have had a human Father and still been the Son of God.

    I am unconvinced of any argument that makes Adam’s sin irrelevant to us.

  15. Adam’s sin is not irrelevant because it introduces sin and death into the human race. Physical depravity gives us a propensity to sin vs causative nature. It leads to death (physical, spiritual, eternal, with the latter two kinds personal, not genetic). Moral depravity and sin is strictly volitional, not constitutional, genetic, etc. (Rom. 1-3 is the primary sin/hamartiology passage). There are other explanations for a child sinning without being taught (relating to having legit needs met on demand, but later retaining a selfish worldview beyond infant dependency on adults. Lucifer and Adam sinned without a sinful nature. The will and mind are the seat of moral choice, not a substance, nebulous nature back of the will, etc. The proof texting is thin to try to retain the traditional view in the face of clear passages on the nature of sin (lawlessness, rebellion, selfishness, missing the mark, etc. vs nature). If this is so, then the incarnation/virgin conception relates to Deity adding humanity, God becoming man in one person with two natures. I think it is a misconception based on wrong transducian theories (sin passed on in the male sperm, blood, etc….if that is not speculative beyond Scripture, what is?!) to say the virgin conception/birth was necessary so Jesus was not born a sinner or tainted with sin (but was not Mary a sinner with flawed genetics?!). Wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions. I think the traditional view is tradition, not truth, speculative, not Scripture. Rebellion is not genetic (we can’t blame Adam, Satan, parents, teachers..), but strictly volitional. If you make sin genetic/metaphysical vs volitional/moral, how do you argue consistently against homosexuality being a choice vs innate? Hmmm….. If Jesus just had a human father/mother, He would be human, not God-Man! Having a body does not make one a sinner (unless you are Gnostic/Docetic). Jesus was sinless because He never sinned. We are not sinners because our parents had sex, no fault of our own. Adam is responsible for his sin, we are tainted by it, but we are responsible for our own sin (so babies don’t go to hell because they don’t sin either). The impeccability of Christ is debated. Most say that He could not sin because He was God. Well….

    I realize I may be coming across as a heretic, but I don’t take going against the grain lightly and have wrestled with these things for decades (has have you). I risk being misunderstood, but I think there is some food for thought. Thx for your grace and patience.

  16. godrulz37,
    You said:

    Adam’s sin is not irrelevant because it introduces sin and death into the human race.

    Would it be fair to say that Adam’s sin passed on a physical decay to all of Adam’s seed? That this decay (the fact that we are born dying and with a limited time here on this earth) is passed on to all of us through Adam?

    I realize that Adam and Lucifer both sinned without a sin nature, but they both sinned willfully and with full knowledge, and the rest of us started to sin when we didn’t even know what sin was. We have a propensity to sin that cannot be explained by the way God created us. This is the reason why God treated Lucifer and Adam so harshly. They were traitors because of their sin. But a young baby who has never understood what “a lie” is naturally acts in a way contrary to the way God made us to be.

    I also want to make it clear that I do not believe that we inherit “sin” from Adam. A “sin nature” is not sin. Adam is responsible for his own sin and we are responsible for our own sin.

    I do not believe that Jesus was born of Mary so that He was not born a sinner, but without a sin nature. If you read the link I gave you it has charts that explain what I believe. I won’t go into it here as that would be redundant.

    i have a great deal of compassion for people who struggle through this issue. I just want to encourage people to see what God says on an issue. What are His exact words and His grammar and why does He say what He says?

    I hope this helps!

  17. Yes, the first paragraph is what I and others call physical depravity, a consequence of Adam’s sin. In Romans, it adds the phrase…because all have sinned. We follow in Adam’s footsteps and have moral depravity as we choose to sin. We do not get moral depravity genetically. If we did, we would be no more responsible than having brown hair and gays would have an excuse and no culpability for their sin (same with pedophiles, etc….note that a gay person does not have to have gay lineage). I agree we have a propensity to sin, but sin is still volitional and mental or there is no culpability (like infant or severely mentally handicapped). We all eventually sin and form a sinful nature. We are sinners because we sin, not because we are conceived. We do not sin because we are born sinners, gay, liars, etc. We all eventually, universally sin, but the will and mind with propensity to satisfy self and flesh having some Adamic influence (but not the real explanation since we do not have to act on temptation, desires, etc…or we should not tell same sex attraction people that they can resist giving themselves over with sex, etc.). The soul that sins is the one that dies (Ezekiel), so we agree (and you may disagree somewhat with traditional formulations of original sin doctrine…good).

    I think we all claim biblical support and there are interpretative issues, even with translations. We want to avoid proof texting, watch our biased paradigms, and strive for exegesis, not eisegesis…we agree.

  18. godrulz37,
    You said:

    I agree we have a propensity to sin,

    This is the sin nature that I am talking about. However when God created humans there was no “propensity to sin”. Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image and the propensity was to be like God in morality. We can no longer say that. In fact that Bible predicts that all of us sin even though most of us were not created at the time it was written. It is because God’s original creation with the propensity to morality was broken down by sin and the propensity to sin is an addition to what God originally created. If we can agree on that, then it doesn’t matter what we call it, we both accept that we will all sin because we have something that God did not create within us. And praise God, one day that propensity to sin will be destroyed and we will be back to the morality that God intended in the first place. I SO look forward to that day!

    Thanks so much for your gracious attitude in this discussion. I am used to people taking a strip off of me from left to right and then back again. It is a blessing when Christians can discuss these issues and still consider one another worthy of Christian charity!

  19. Some is semantics, some speculative, some significant differences. The nature/nurture, environment, genetics, choice stuff has been debated in secular circles. Propensity is not causation. There is a distinction between easy (Pelagian), difficult (my view/semi-Pelagian perhaps), and impossible (Calvinism). Total depravity is not total inability. Since it only takes one wrong thought, motive, word, deed to sin and become a sinner, we do not need theories that are not strongly supported by Scripture to explain why all eventually sin and need a Saviour. This is academic unless people blame shift and do not see why God would hold them responsible for something they cannot help (cf. hair color). Denying that we sin or are in need of a Savior (some religions and philosophies) truly is a problem. I think there is some room to debate nuanced details in doctrinal disputes as long as we don’t blatantly deny core truth (so, those who deny the impeccability of Christ still strongly affirm that He was, is, always will be sinless). Thomistic (Aquinas) views on being, etc. were philosophical and I am suggesting confusing being vs choice issues is a mistake leading away from clear, biblical teaching.

  20. So the logical bottom line question would seem to be, are we the same morally as before Adam sinned? Or did God create us to be naturally moral beings?

    I don’t think I know anyone who would think that we are exactly the way Adam and Eve were when they were first created. And I also don’t know anyone who would say that we will be this way in heaven. The change seems to be in which side of propensity we exist. Morality or sin? I believe very strongly that we will have zero propensity for sin in heaven even though we will still be human.

  21. The debate does have implications for sanctification. So many struggle with sin despite conversion. There are sinless perfectionism theories, exchanged life theories, Wesleyan eradication of sin nature as second work of grace, etc. See, another can of worms….sanctification. I agree there is a difference pre and post Adamic fall, but the question is one of nature and degree (not explicitly revealed on the details). For free will theists like us (vs determinists), it is a legitimate question why we will not sin in heaven or rebel. I can’t say I have all the answers, just musings.
    One bottom line question for me is if we sin because we are born sinners (tradition) or are we sinners because we sin (Rom. 1-3)? As well, for sanctification/justification, what about monergism (Calvinism) vs synergism (cooperative element, conditions, choices, etc.). I don’t have a problem understanding why all sin, but I am more perplexed why so many believers still sin, are in bondage to sin, etc. despite the indwelling Holy Spirit, victory of the cross, etc. My underlying assumption is that sin is volitional, not a substance or nature (though increasing patterns of bondage/nature develop as we habitually sin).

  22. Nothing like a keen mind and a good heart/character, truth on fire, more light than heat.

  23. semar,
    Welcome to my blog!

    If Jesus meant that it was better for Judas never to have existed at all, He made a mistake. There is a term for non-existence and that is before one’s conception. Jesus didn’t use that term. He said before his birth not before his conception. Thus Jesus confirmed that unborn babies who die are better off (because they are in the kingdom) than the sinner who ends up in hell. Jesus’ words are clear and specific. We cannot change them to mean something else. See my comment further up where I give screen shots of the different ways that the Greek shows before one’s birth or before one’s conception. Two totally different scenarios.

  24. semar – we all have opinions, but what really matters is the reasons why we hold them and whether or not those reasons hold up in light of scripture.

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