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Age of Accountability

I. The "age of accountability" is a concept taught by some which says that children are born sinless and are pure and innocent until some magical age at which they become accountable for their sins.

1. At that time, they become sinners who will go to hell when they die if they don't believe the gospel, ask Jesus to come into their hearts, get baptized, do good works, or complete whatever condition any given religion teaches they must do to be saved eternally.

2. Prior to the mystical "age of accountability", if the child dies, he would go to heaven since he is not yet a sinner.

II. The Biblical "age of accountability"

1. The Bible teaches that the "age of accountability" is age 0.

2. Death, sin, and condemnation passed to all men through Adam.

A. Rom 5:12 - Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

B. Rom 5:18 - Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

C. Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

3. Men are conceived in sin and start sinning as soon as they are born.

A. Psa 51:5 - Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

B. Psa 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4. This is why God hated Esau when he was in the womb, before he had done and good or evil.

A. Rom 9:11-13 - (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

B. God hated Esau before he was born because Esau was a child of wrath by nature.

C. Eph 2:3 - Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

D. Nature n. - 1. a. The essential qualities or properties of a thing; the inherent and inseparable combination of properties essentially pertaining to anything and giving it its fundamental character.

III. Problems with the "age of accountability

1. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), so if babies have no sin, why do some of them die?

2. Jesus came into this world to save sinners (1Ti 1:15), so if babies are not sinners, then Jesus didn't come to save them (limited atonement, anyone?).

3. If babies are not sinners, then they don't need a Savior (only sinners need a Savior).

4. If babies are not sinners and they are therefore not dead in trespasses and sins, then they don't need quickened (regenerated, born again).

A. Col 2:13 - And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

B. But if a person is not born again, he can't see the kingdom of God.

C. Joh 3:3 - Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

D. Therefore, the logical conclusion of the "age of accountability" teaching is that no baby which dies will see the kingdom of God.

5. If all babies are born pure and without sin, then Jesus wouldn't have to have been born of a virgin.

A. Sin is passed down through the man (Rom 5:12) which is why Jesus had to born of a virgin and conceived by the sinless Holy Ghost.

B. If all babies are born sinless, then there is a new potential Christ born everyday and there was nothing special about the baby Jesus.

6. If all babies are going to heaven when they die, then wouldn't it be best to abort them all in the womb to ensure that none of them end up in hell?

A. Does this mean that abortion clinics should be renamed salvation centers?

B. This is the problem with heresy - it condemns itself.

IV. The fact is that babies are saved the same way that adults are saved: by grace.

1. Like adults, some babies are God's elect and are therefore saved by grace, and some are not and are therefore eternally damned.

2. Rom 9:11 - (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

3. Rom 9:16 - So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

4. Rom 11:5 - Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

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