What happens to children in the rapture? Will all children go?

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Question / Comment -  What happens to children in the rapture? Will all children go?


What do you think happens to children at the Rapture? I can not find anything to back up the belief that all children will go. Also in reading Matthew 24:19, there are those with children.  Or is this verse not dealing with the tribulation?  



JPN Reply:

Hi Jacqueline,

thanks for the email and question. The quick answer is that the reason you haven't found in scripture what happens to the children in the rapture... is because it isn't there! It simply doesn't address it. There are lots of things that we don't know and we simply end up saying, as Abraham did when he puzzled over what would happen to the righteous in Sodom & Gomorrah, 'Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?' And God will do what is just and right. 

It is a question that is related to whether there is an age of accountability. I believe there is and all children who die before this time are in Heaven. One of the key scriptures for this is 2 Sam 12:21-23 where the child of David's adulterous relationship with Bathsheba died shortly after birth. Note what David says:

2Sa 12:20-23  Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.  (21)  His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"  (22)  He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.'  (23)  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

In terms of whether all children go at the rapture, because it is not specifically addressed in scripture, Bible teachers can and do have different thoughts on the matter. Most believe that the children of believers who are not at an age of accountability will all go in the rapture. I agree with this. Others extend this to all children who are not yet at an age where they can believe or reject salvation. This is possible. But again, we don't have any specific scriptures to base it on. 

For children of one or more believing parents a scripture that could be used to show that those children are also set apart (and therefore are included) would be: 

(1Co 7:14) For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

In terms of Matt 24:19 that is a good scripture to raise. It is definitely speaking of the tribulation and specifically it is talking about the mid-point of the tribulation when the people of Israel see the 'abomination of desolation' (which is the Antichrist putting Himself in the Jewish temple and proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thes 2:3-4). So it only speaks of the potential of pregnant woman at this time. But being the midpoint of the tribulation, this is at least 3 ½ years after the rapture... so they may have got pregnant and/or have nursing babies in that time since the rapture. So it doesn't address specifically whether all children went previously in the rapture or not. 

I had a quick look and couldn't find any reference in the New Testament prophetic scriptures (like the book of Revelation) to 'child' or 'children' (well only in Rev 13 but that is used a type likely pointing to Christ). It wasn't an exhaustive search mind and doesn't as such prove anything. I tend to think that only the children (who are not yet at an age of accountability) of a believing parent will go in the rapture. In other judgements of God that are types of what is to come (such as the flood in the days of Noah and the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah) the children of unbelievers were not removed before the judgement fell. Even if this is the case with the rapture it doesn't mean that if they perish in the tribulation they won't go to Heaven. I believe they will if they are not yet at the age of accountability. 

Anyway...  Because scripture is silent on this I can't be dogmatic and I don't think anyone can. But like I said at the start we do know that the judge of all the Earth will do what is right.  Thanks for the question : )

God Bless,


Their reply

I appreciate your detailed answer and the time you spent replying to my question. It confirmed what I was thinking , but thought maybe I had missed something.  

Thank you for all the studies online.  I have listened to all the audios so far and now making my way through the written ones.  They have been such a blessing.
Take care