God's Truth In Love

Children and God

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet, Prophetess, Truth, Uncategorized on April 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Question Summary:

Is there a specific age when children become accountable before God?

Reply:

People are often confused by this topic. When do children become accountable for their sin? Do children go to hell? This is an area where spiritual leaders have tried to find a definitive answer in order to appease or comfort people when there is no definitive answer according to Scripture.

There are denominations that teach that a child becomes accountable for sin at the age of twelve, a belief that has been derived by combining scripture, psychology, a legal mentality, child development theories, and a specific event in Scripture. There are other denominations that believe baptism of the child must take place in order for the child to enter heaven, thus, accountability in some proxy form via the parents begins at about a week old. Neither is absolutely true as neither one is actually based in a clear mandate specifically for children from Scripture.

The specific event I referred to earlier was Jesus’ appearance in the temple when He was about twelve years old (Luke 2:42-50). The train of thought is that if Jesus, at age twelve, was aware enough that He knew He need to be in the Father’s house, then children are accountable by age twelve, thus age twelve became the age used to mark firm accountability before God. All of that sounds wonderful and yes, by age twelve a child is self and sin aware but that awareness of self, sin, and God can come before age twelve as well.

God is characterized in Genesis as knowing that the heart of people is sinful and evil early in life, in their youth.

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. Genesis 9:21

Youth in the Hebrew is a “young person, childhood, the state of juvenility” then when you dig even deeper into the meaning back to one of the root words, one aspect of the word means “a boy or girl” from “from the age of infancy to adolescence” which is a wide range of age.

Therefore, the age of accountability is not one set age but differs from person to person based upon their mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup and development. Whereas, one child may be very self and sin aware by age eight another may not be until age ten. Many children have had their spiritual conversion long before age twelve. I myself became saved at age eleven with much evidence to support true conversion. Likewise, my child converted to Christ at a very young age, seven, was writing salvation tracts at age eight, on her own, and by twelve was having dreams and vision, which came to pass almost immediately and repeatedly. I am aware of a little boy who was converted at eight, and was prophesying shortly afterwards with Scriptural accuracy and consistency for a long period of time. True spiritual accountability before God will vary, sometimes greatly, from person to person.

Once a child begins to show evidence of self, sin, and God awareness, they should be presented with the Truth of the gospel and encouraged to turn their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus, the Christ. People should not assume that they have until that child is twelve to concerns themselves with that child’s salvation. Jesus should be shared as soon as the individual is aware of God, aware of his or her own sinfulness, and aware that sin is wrong.

Our God is also a just God and a loving God. Children who died in infancy or before they are fully aware of God, and their accountability before Him, are taken to be with Him because they are clean in His sight, having never really understood and therefore never really ever rejected Him.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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