You say:

I had two beautiful daughters, one had down syndrome and the other is autistic. Sarah the one who had down syndrome died five years ago from a heart condition that wasn’t treatable. Where would you say she is at? Does the Bible say anything about special needs children? also, would children who died go to hell if the parents weren’t right with God?

As a mother, my heart goes out to you.  I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.  I hope and pray your other daughter does as well as possible.

You ask where Sarah is at now.  This is how the Bible describes what happens to people when they die:

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.

Psalm 104:29
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

So at death, everyone ceases to exist.  Dust we are and to dust we shall return.

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

The dead do not know anything.  The Bible describes the death of a believer as sleep.  e.g.

Daniel 12:2
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Sleep is a good description of death, as the faithful will be wakened from their unconscious sleep when Jesus returns and resurrects them.

Hell is another way of speaking of the grave, or eternal destruction.  God does not inflict eternal torment on people other than to destroy wicked people for ever.  When wicked people are destroyed for ever, they cease to exist – they do not suffer pain – they turn back to dust.

The Bible doesn’t mention very much about children in relation to salvation, and I can’t think of any reference to special needs children.  There are a few passages about the children of the faithful.  These passages would refer to special needs children and other children.  I answered a similar question to yours here.    This link should answer your question.  In particular, it seems to me that the Jeremiah reference in the linked post, hints at the resurrection of the dead children of believers.  This would be a resurrection to mortality, as eternal life is given to those who choose personally to follow God.  The mortal inhabitants of the Kingdom on Earth, will have the opportunity to choose to follow God.  Those who are faithful at this time, will be resurrected to immortality at the end of the thousand year reign.

Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

To summarize:

  • Children of faithful believers are special in God’s sight.
  • According to my understanding of Jeremiah 31:15-17 (see other post) ,  children of the faithful who have died in this life, will be resurrected to mortality at the return of Jesus.
  • Hell is not a place of torment, but the grave.
  • The dead have no conscious existence at all.  They turn to dust and cease to exist until the resurrection.

Once again, may I express my sympathy for your tragic loss.

Psalm 9:9-10
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  (10)  And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

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One Response to What is the fate of children who die?

  1. Leo says:

    This is a very good question and probably many answers could be given on what they may believe.
    I worked for a Mental health/ Mental retardation facility for many years. I just loved those individuals tremendously.
    Many of them had sever brain damage and other ailments and were not capable of knowledge at all.
    Being in the Church and thinking I understand scripture, I thought about them. Here is what I see. Please just hear me out. Those individuals can not confess Christ with their own mouth and therefore I do not see them being in Gods Kingdom at the time Christ returns. Only those who are His will be in the First resurrection.
    Not Revelation tells us in Ch. 20 that the rest of the dead will be resurrected after the 1000 years are finished. I this group I have been talking about being resurrected and given a complete body that will be functional and they will have all their facilities.
    They will be a physical person and be give a chance to confess with their mouth and become a spirit being at that time. Our God is goo and he does have Justice for all.

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