Age of Accountability

<<become personally responsible>>

A child has passed the age of accountability once they are capable of making a faith decision for or against Christ. This varies from child to child with some children making a choice at a very young age.

A commonly held belief is that babies and children who die prior to this unidentifiable time in their lives will go to heaven, along with those who have serious mental conditions and are unable to make logical decisions. The reasoning is because these infants and children have not willfully sinned they are not mature or developed sufficiently to understand and be responsible for obedience to God’s moral laws. However from the time of conception we have received an inherited sin nature, passed on from our parents because of Adams sin (Ps 51:5). As a result, all stand guilty before a holy God, and the only way to be declared righteous is to have received forgiveness by faith in Christ. Jesus is the only way to God (Jn 14:6; Act 4:12). It is an individual choice, which those who are aborted or die at an early age obviously have not made. God sovereignly knows if these people would have repented in later life. Therefore, although the Bible does not specifically address the issue and we can only speculate on the eternal destination of such people, we can be assured of the Lord’s justice, mercy and love, confident “the Judge of all the world doing right” for “all His ways are just” (Gen 18:25; Deut 32:4).

See also: accountability, justice, salvation.