At What Age is a Child Accountable to God?

The Bible Mentions No Age of Accountability, However….

The Word of God says nothing about an “age of accountability,” only the traditions of man.

Jesus used a child as an object lesson in Matthew 18:1-6 to demonstrate the necessity of childlike faith to receive eternal life, and the results of offending a child by withholding the truth of salvation. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said:

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Some children arrive at a point of mental and spiritual development, and can understand what sin is and how to be saved earlier than others. This is usually true of children who are brought up in a home where Christ is exalted, where the family attends church and prayer and Bible reading are preeminent in the home. Many children are saved at an early age (5-6). God is no respecter of persons. It takes the same Gospel, the same Christ, the same blood to save a five-year-old as it does a fifty-year-old, though children are usually more receptive.

Reading and explaining sin and salvation to a child should be done at an early age. There is nothing more thrilling than a parent sharing John 3:16, Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9-10 with his child and leading Him to Christ.

Verses for Reference

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. – Matthew 18:1-6

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. – Romans 10:9-10

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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