What happens to babies and mentally ill people that die?

In 2 Samuel 12:23, after his child dies, King David says, “But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” We can infer from this verse that children who are unable to make a decision for salvation are covered by Christ’s death and are taken to heaven just as David’s son was.

Similarly, any person who is mentally ill to the extent that they could not be aware of their sinful state and believe in Christ for salvation can seemingly be put in the same category as a child. It is not unreasonable to assume that a mentally ill person is saved by the grace and mercy of the same God who saves babies and small children. Knowing the love, grace, and mercy of God, this would seem consistent with his character. The Word of God does not specifically say this, however. As in everything, we must be careful not to be dogmatic about any issue the Bible does not specifically address.

Tyler J. Collins | Creator of Discover the Answer