This is a difficult question because the scriptures do not directly address this issue. We read about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” When the Apostle Paul uses the word ‘we’ in these verses, he is speaking of those who “believe that Jesus died and rose again.” He also speaks of those who were “dead in Christ.” These are the believers in Christ who had passed away. So, we can say definitely that all those who have ‘life in Christ’, will be involved in the Rapture. Those who have died and gone to be with the Lord will return with Him, their bodies will be raised, and they will return with Christ back to Heaven. Those believers who are still living will be changed and ascend to Heaven with Christ and those who now have resurrected bodies. For more on this, I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.

Will babies and children be included in the Rapture? Again, the scriptures are silent on this, so I surely cannot speak emphatically about it. Many writers have written on this, and their thoughts are varied. Some believe that the Lord would never do anything to harm a little child by leaving him behind, yet we read in several occasions in the Word where the Lord commanded complete destruction of a city, including women and children. We read the words of the Lord in Ezekiel 9:6, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.”

Some teach that the children of those who are saved will be caught up in the Rapture, and the children of the lost will be left behind, but there is no scripture to clearly justify that claim. It seems that the only thing the writers agree on is the fact that the scriptures do not address this issue directly.

With that being said, I will suggest that babies and small children will possibly be Raptured. In 2 Samuel 12, we have the account of King David’s young son being stricken of God with a deathly sickness. David prayed and fasted continuously for his son. In spite of the earnest prayers of David, his son died. We then read David’s reaction to his son’s death in verses 20-23, “Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David, at that point, realized that his son had been taken to Heaven and that he would see him again one day when he would go to Heaven.

It seems reasonable to me that if a young child would be taken to Heaven at death, then a baby or young child would be taken to Heaven in the Rapture. But let me emphasize that I cannot be dogmatic about this because we have no scriptural authority to do so. However, I can say without hesitation that whatever the Lord does, is the right thing to do. The Lord says of Himself in Genesis 18:25, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” We can trust Him to do what is the right thing. (265.6)