Does an unborn baby have a soul?
I have a coworker who was telling me his girlfriend had a miscarriage, and that's why he doesn't believe in God. I tried to comfort him by telling him that the baby could not have sinned, thus had to be in heaven. He seems like he may be interested in God, it seems we made some progress. I did let him know that the baby shouldn't have been conceived in the first place, but I also let told him that suffering is a part of life and quoted Acts 10:34.
However, after giving thought to the subject, do we know that unborn babies have souls? I understand they are considered as any human life, from the law of Moses in Exodus. But do we have any more in Scripture that talks about when a soul is given to us? At conception or birth?
I was going to give him a study about suffering in this life and about unborn children, losing children, and death. But I want to make sure where I'm going is the truth.
I've always heard Christians speak about how they will meet their stillborn children one day in heaven, and this has led me to that conclusion. The man I heard say this was an elder, which definitely gives me the impression that it is scriptural to say that an unborn baby has a soul.
Thanks again for all your help. Your answers and articles have helped me grow.
"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them" (Psalms 139:16).
God makes plans for people's lives even before they are born. This is illustrated in Jeremiah's case: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). Jeremiah was picked by God to be a prophet from the time he was conceived. Jeremiah didn't find his job pleasant. There were times he would have rather have died before birth. "Because he did not kill me from the womb, that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb always enlarged with me. Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?" (Jeremiah 20:17-18). The point I would like you to see that Jeremiah saw himself as alive and a person before his birth. That means he did have a spirit (the part that makes you who you are) and he had a soul (life).
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23).
People are made up of three things: body (the physical container), spirit (the part of us that is like God), and soul (our life). When we talk about a human being, we are talking about the combination of all three. John the Baptist was given the Holy Spirit before his birth: "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15). People are referred to as children before and after birth. "But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If all is well, why am I like this?" So she went to inquire of the LORD" (Genesis 25:22). All of this indicates that people are humans before birth.
Therefore when an unborn child dies, its spirit returns to God. "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Thanks again. This helps a lot.