Ask Your Preacher
If my children were born out of wedlock, are they automatically damned to hell?
Absolutely not. Ezek 18:2-4 says that God holds each person accountable for their own individual sins. It is a sin to have children out of wedlock, but that is a sin the parents need forgiveness for, not the children. Your children are not damned because of your choices.
However, your choices do greatly influence your children’s future. Our kids look to us as role-models and guides. God says that how we train up a child will affect where they go (Pr 22:6).
It is a sign of a healthy parental instinct that you are already worried about your children’s spiritual future. The best thing you can do for them is to make your own life right with God. We would be happy to get you in touch with a faithful church (not all churches are faithful) that can help you get on the right track for you and your children. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will happily assist you in whatever way we can.
I don’t get it. So much of the Bible makes no sense to me. For example, the Flood… the Bible said God flooded the world but saved Noah and Noah's family only. The Bible says the reason this was done was because God saw too much wickedness in the world. But I just can’t imagine every child or baby living then in the world being wicked, but the Bible says God killed them all. But in another verse, I remember hearing it said children and babies are not accountable until, like, a certain age… maybe puberty? So all those kids and babies that were drowned in the flood were innocent, yet killed anyway. It makes no sense at all to me.
Too Tragic For Thought
Dear Too Tragic For Thought,
The Flood was a blessing to Noah and his family because they were saved from the sinful influences of that ever-violent generation (1 Pet 3:20)… but it was also a blessing to those innocent children. You are right; all children are born sinless, and they aren’t accountable for sin until they are old enough to be responsible for their own behavior. All children go to heaven. Read “What About The Children?” for further details on the fate of the young.
It is important to realize that when God ends a life, it is not the same as when another human snuffs a life out. God knows that when a child dies, it isn’t the end of their life but the beginning of a new one. When God ends a life, He also has a new life to offer them. All the innocent children that died in the Flood had no chance to grow up faithfully and turn to God because the generation was so wicked that there was no hope for their future. God redeemed those children from such a horrific fate, and He started the world anew with righteous Noah and his family.
What does the Bible say about abortion? Is it a forgivable sin? What if the doctor said, "It was not growing anyway." I was told that but don't know if it was true or if I was told that because I was extremely upset.
All sins are equal, but some sins have worse consequences than others. In this life, a “little white lie” may not cause you much trouble, but committing adultery will devastate your life. However, in the eyes of God, all sin is deserving of death (Rom 6:23). That “little white lie” will send you to hell just as much as the adultery would. Abortion is such a heinous sin because of how deeply it affects the life and emotional state of the mother and the family and because it destroys a child’s life… but abortion can be forgiven through the blood of Christ. The apostle Paul murdered christians (Acts 26:10), but Christ saved him (1 Tim 1:15). In Christ, you are a new person, and the old deeds have passed away (2 Cor 5:17).
Read “Five Steps To Salvation” to see what it takes to become a christian. You can be forgiven, and you can move forward in life with the peace of mind from knowing you will be reunited with your child in heaven. If you would like help finding a faithful congregation (not all churches are faithful) that can help you move forward, please feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com.
(This question is a follow-up to “Providing For Your Own”)
If a christian adopts a child, and many years later the biological parents of the child come to believe (based upon 1 Tim. 5:8) that they have a responsibility to be raising the child – what should the christian do?
Does God no longer hold them to be responsible for parenting the child?
Do I have the right to keep the child and keep them from doing what they believe is their responsibility to the child and to God? This is a serious matter. Please advise.
Dear Family Ties,
Once someone makes a vow, they are bound by it even if they later regret making it. When a child is adopted, the adoptive family has promised to take that child and make them part of their family – that is exactly why those parents are required to fulfill all biblical responsibilities of parenting. In like manner, when someone terminates their parental rights, they also become bound by their word, even if they later regret their decision.
People often make promises and decisions that they later regret and cannot change. When Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of stew, he later regretted the decision but couldn’t change it (Heb 12:16-17). Esau gave it up, and that was that. He had to live with the consequences.
The nation of Israel did the same thing when they made a truce with the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites tricked Israel into making a pact with them even though God had warned Israel that this would cause them trouble. Israel murmured about the vow, but they were bound by it (Josh 9:18-20). We are bound by our word even if later we realize we should have done differently.
An adoptive family has total rights to keep the child, and the birthparents have zero rights to take them back. Both have made a vow and are bound by them.
If you have further questions on this issue, feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please remember to include an e-mail address.
(This question is in response to “Embryo Adoption”)
You stated that, "The Bible is very pro-adoption."
Does the Bible support adopting a child that has living biological parents (those that have offered the child for adoption)?
1 Tim 5:8 demonstrates the responsibility parents have to take care of their own children, and adopting these children could place a legal barrier between those parents and their responsibility to take care of their offspring. Please advise.
Dear Family Ties,
There are two sides to an adoption story, the birthparents whose rights are terminated (either voluntarily, involuntarily, or through death) and the adoptive parents that take the child as their own. We have to deal with both groups separately.
First let’s deal with the adoptive parents. The Bible teaches that when christians are adopted by God, they receive full rights as His children (Rom 8:15-17). Using this principle, when a family adopts a child, they become responsible for all of that child’s needs just as if the child was biologically born to them. Therefore, the commands given to parents and children in places like 1 Tim 5:8 and Eph 6:1-4 would apply just as firmly to an adoption situation.
Now, let’s address what the Bible says about birthparents who place their biological children for adoption. The Bible makes it clear that parents do have a responsibility for their children, and when we said that the Bible is “pro-adoption”, we were saying that the Bible condones adopting children who are in need of families. We were not saying that the Bible condones someone turning their back on their parental responsibilities. The Bible has a lot to say about caring for our children, and in most circumstances, it would be the wrong thing for a christian to place their child for adoption. The only times in the entire Bible that we ever read of faithful people doing this is when Hannah gave Samuel to be raised by the priest Eli (1 Sam 1:24-28) and when Moses’ parents sent him down the river to save his life (Ex 2:3)… and it is safe to say that both circumstances were extraordinary.