Heaven and Hell #329

Heaven and Hell (Dole translation)

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329. Children in Heaven

Some people believe that only children born in the church get into heaven, not children born outside the church. They say this is because children born in the church are baptized and are introduced into the faith of the church by this baptism. They do not realize that no one gets either heaven or faith by baptism. Baptism serves only as a sign and reminder that we need to be reborn, and that people born in the church can be reborn because the Word is there, the Word that contains the divine truths that make regeneration possible. The church is where the Lord, who is the source of rebirth, is known. 1

May it be known, therefore, that every child who dies, no matter where he or she was born, within the church or outside it, of devout or irreverent parents, is accepted by the Lord after death, brought up in heaven, taught according to the divine design and filled with affections for what is good and through them with direct knowledge of the truth; and then, being continually perfected in intelligence and wisdom, all such individuals are led into heaven and become angels.

Anyone who thinks rationally can realize that no one is born for hell - everyone is born for heaven. We ourselves are to blame if we arrive in hell, but children are not yet liable for any blame.


1. Baptism means regeneration by the Lord by means of truths of faith from the Word: 4255, 5120, 9089 [9088?], 10239, 10386-10388, 10392. Baptism is a sign that a person belongs to the church where the Lord, the source of rebirth, is acknowledged: 10386-10388. Baptism does not give either faith or salvation, but bears witness to the fact that the people who will be accepted [into heaven] will be the ones who have been reborn: 10391.


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Divine Providence 324

Heaven and Hell 416, 469

The Last Judgment 22

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 3

References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 314

Other New Christian Commentary

Child 1

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Children in Heaven
The death of little children is one of the saddest human experiences possible. If we could see the other side of their transition we would not be so horrified.
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Offspring in Heaven
Everyone in the afterlife once lived on earth. Angelic couples do not give birth but may raise children who have died. Couples may also produce spiritual offspring.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Quotes: Children in Heaven
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 When a Child Dies
All babies who die go to heaven, where they grow up to become angels.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.