Total Hereditary Depravity (Seventeen)

It is written:

Matthew 18:2-4-Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3  and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


Matthew 18:14-Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.


Matthew 19:14-But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Curious indeed these statements from Jesus, if we are to believe in the Calvinistic notion that children are wicked little sinners.

How could wicked little sinners be of the kingdom of Heaven?

Why would we be commanded by Jesus to become like little children if they are are indeed totally depraved and stained with original sin?

Notice that other passages of the New Testament also encourage us to be like little children:

1 Corinthians 14:20-Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

Strange indeed for the inspired Apostles to be teaching disciples of Christ to become like children, if such are indeed wicked sinners!

More to the point, these passages of Scripture demonstrate us another stark difference between the teaching of Jesus and that of John Calvin and his followers: according to Calvinists, infants (or a large majority of them anyway) are going to be dammed for eternity in Hell; but according to Jesus, children will not perish!

Augustine (whom John Calvin relies on for much of his teaching) had expressly taught that infants and children children will be damned to Hell because of original sin (unless they are baptized in the Roman Catholic Church):

“For only infants, who have not yet done any works of their own, either good or bad, will be condemned on account of original sin alone…”. (Letters, 215)


“It may therefore be correctly affirmed, that such infants as quit the body without being baptized will be involved in the mildest condemnation of all. That person, therefore, greatly deceives both himself and others, who teaches that they will not be involved in condemnation;”. (Merits And Remission Of Sin And Infant Baptism, Book 1)

John Calvin himself taught that children will go to Hell unless they are of “the elect” (more of that in a future study):

“I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy, unless that it so seemed meet to God? . . . The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree.’” (Institutes, 3.23.7 (p. 231-32)).

Now friends, contrast this with what Jesus clearly teaches in Matthew 18:14. Consider these words on the language of the passage:

“Further, in Matthew 18: 14 Jesus said: “It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” The word translated “little ones” is micron. It applies to children up to reading age or where they can discern between right and wrong. The word thelema, “the will of your Father,” has to do with the decision using the will. It is different from the word in 2 Peter 3: 9 where we read: “The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (KJV). There the word translated “will” is boulomai which has to do with desire toward purpose. He desires that all men would not perish, but obviously some do by making a decision to go against the Lord, but thelemo in Matthew 18 says that the Lord has made a decision concerning the “little ones” that do not know the difference between right and wrong, that they will not perish.” (John Ankerberg & John Weldon, When Does Life Begin? And 39 Other Tough Questions About Abortion, 237-243 (Kindle Edition); ATRI Publishing)

The Bible clearly rejects the notions of original sin and teaches us that infants and small children are sinless.

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