|AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY||
The age of accountability is a very tricky concept.
The Bible certainly teaches that all people are born in sin and under the experiential consequences and judicial penalty of sin which is spiritual death (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 6:23). But we know that babies are not held accountable for the reality of this sinful status, based on the historical record found at 2 Samuel 12:14-23, where David recognizes that he will go to the dead child and the child will not come back to him.
David going to the dead child indicates that the child would be in "paradise" and David would join him there when he dies.
We are also taught about man's experiential accountability to divine justice at Romans 1:18-20,
At what point then does one move from being a baby or child who is unaccountable, to someone who is under God's wrath without excuse?
The answer is found in the doctrine of God consciousness.
This refers not to any particular "age" but is a sphere of consciousness concerning the existence and jurisdiction of God which is arrived at through the assimilation and processing of data in one or more categories.
The example at Romans 1 uses the declaration of God that is inherent in the created universe, (Psalm 19:1-3) which is described as "his eternal power and Godhead (or divinity)."
Once a person becomes aware of this "knowledge of God" (Romans 1:21), they are responsible for recognizing Him as God (honor at Rom. 1:21) and expressing humility (giving thanks at Romans 1:21).
Thus at the time that a child has the capacity to understand the reality of God's revelation about Himself as announced in the heavens - at that time he is now accountable to that revelation.
And only God knows "when" this happens, but it is God's responsibility to get the gospel to those who are interested. The church is simply the vehicle to communicate the gospel in whatever areas its members are located and ministering. And if need be, God will move someone from one area to another in order to get the specific gospel information to someone who is searching for it.
If someone chooses NOT to honor Him as God, then God is not obligated to provide "further" information such as the gospel of Christ. In such cases as this, the person then resorts to embracing various degrees of "darkness" viewpoint, idolatry, etc., AND may or may not ever actually here the gospel - and yet still be totally accountable to divine justice and inherit the lake of fire.
The basis for accountability to God is stated at Exodus
20:5 as, "of those who hate me."
There is one passage that hints at an age of accountability and that's at Isaiah 7:15-16,
When the whole context is studied, it is determined that the age of the child when this occurs is about 2-3 years old.
However, this is probably best left out of the "age of accountability" subject because an ability to choose right from wrong in a child-rearing context is certainly not to be equated with ability to truly understand one's sinfulness and God's solution.
In the New Testament, Jesus seems to suggest that little children are SAVED, but a closer examination indicates otherwise. Matthew 18:1-6 and 19:13-14 is where Jesus uses children as teaching aids to communicate principles of humility to his disciples..
Neither passage can be used with any authority for this
subject because the age of the children is not specified, and because Jesus
is not saying that the children are saved, but simply that they operate
under the same sphere of humility that is required in order to trust in
Christ as one's savior.
İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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