Will young children be raptured?
Marti asks, "Will children before the age of accountability be raptured?"
This is an issue many people, especially Christian parents, wonder about. The Bible does not give any clear instruction on what happens to babies and young children at the rapture. That leads people to wonder if it is possible that Christian parents would be raptured and their babies would be left behind?
What is the Rapture? The rapture refers to the prophesied event in which believers in Jesus Christ will be suddenly taken up from the earth to meet Him in the air. This concept is derived from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and other New Testament passages. Although the term "rapture" is not explicitly used in the Bible, it has become a widely accepted term to describe this future event.
A critical question often asked is whether young children will be raptured, or will they be left behind?
I’m convinced that young children will be included in the rapture. Children before the age of accountability will participate in the rapture. The Age of Accountability is the idea that there is an age at which a person becomes morally responsible for their actions, and those who die before reaching this age are automatically saved. However, the Bible does not provide a specific age. But those who are unable to understand the concept of sin and the gospel are recipients of God's mercy until such time as they can understand.
I have a resource called Do Babies Really Go To Heaven When They Die. In that booklet, I deal with a different but related topic. That resource is about the death of babies, and I conclude that they will be in heaven. I believe that the same principles would apply to the rapture.
The age of accountability is not a fixed age. It varies from child to child. It refers to a level of maturity in which a child is able to understand the gospel and make a decision for or against Jesus. I further believe that some people remain permanently in that state if they are born with a mental disability that prevents them from having an informed response to the gospel. Anyone who dies prior to the age of accountability would be granted entrance into heaven. Everyone in that category will be raptured as well.
I encourage you to read the booklet that I linked above. I base my understanding on the teaching of Scripture. But I also understand that this is simply the result of God’s mercy. Children are not born innocent. We are all born as sinners. But God, in his mercy and love, covered those who are too young, or who are mentally unable to understand and respond to the gospel.
So yes, I believe that all people under the age of accountability will be taken in the rapture.
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