Actually, there are several problems concerning the rapture. People have wondered about the unborn, both of the saved and of the lost, and about the children who have not reached the age of accountability, both the children of the saved and the children of the lost. They are not saved in the technical sense. They are safe. We know that if they were to die before they lose their innocence that they would go to be with God. I have already dealt with this question on the web site.
However, what about the rapture? We know that the born-again believers will be taken up to be with Christ. But what about our young children? Probably nothing could be more horrifying for a Christian mother of young children than to think that her children could be left behind to face all the horrors of the tribulation as described in the book of Revelation while she was at peace up in heaven. As you mention, there is also the problem of the children, born and unborn, of the lost. Will they get different treatment than that of the saved?
Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer. I think that the children of believers are especially protected. We will deal with this first and then try to see if this applies to the children of the lost. Here are the reasons I believe the children of believing parents will be taken up at the rapture of the saints.
- The entire point of teaching the rapture is for the purpose of providing comfort. The classic passage on the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The first verse of this passage states its purpose: "that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope" (v.13). The last verse of the passage concludes, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (v.18). The rapture is a message of comfort. Now my reasoning is this: if the rapture did not include the young children of Christian parents, how could it be a comfort to them? They would be terrified that at any moment the Lord could come and take them away only to leave their little ones to the wiles of the antichrist and his horde. It just makes no sense at all.
- Christ made a special effort to show His care and concern for children. On one occasion He declared, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14). How could He leave our children behind when He takes us up to heaven? I believe that He could not.
- A somewhat difficult verse is found in 1 Corinthians 7:14 - "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." I have taught that this verse refers to the powerful effect that even one Christian parent can have on a home and on the children. However, if we apply this verse to the present problem, perhaps it has further meaning. Does God look on the young children of believers as holy in any real sense? Do these children have a protection that the children of lost parents do not have? I am not ready to say dogmatically, but this verse may be teaching this. At least, when considered with the points above, we can rest assured that the children of believers who have not yet reached the age of accountability will be received into heaven along with the saved parents.
Now, can I give the same assurances to the lost? No, I cannot. The second point above might be used to argue for them, but the other two points cannot be used for the children of the lost. In other words, the argument is much weaker for them. As far as I can tell, this is an area of information that is not revealed to us. We have to understand that God does not tell us everything. I tend to believe that they probably go up, but I have to admit that I am lacking in proof. I have to resort to the faith that is required in other sticky problems like this: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).