“But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2nd Sam 12:23)
There are two things, even three, that we can garner from this verse, one is that the child born to King David and Bathsheba was a boy and the second is that the child went to be with the Living God. There was no question in his mind that David would also go to that place.
I ask a question of you today again, one that I am not sure any of us can give a viable, concrete answer for, at what age does sin begin? At what age does a human being become accountable for their actions and find it necessary to repent and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul?
This child was an infant, days old at best, and so we presume, and rightly so, that David spoke the truth, when the child died it went immediately to paradise, at what “age of years” he arrived there we will leave for perhaps another discussion.
I offer you this verse as well for your contemplation in the subject matter, “For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.” (Isaiah 7:16)
Is the child who recognizes within itself the ability, and willingly does so, to rebel against its parents by saying the word “no” when told to do something, even if it occurs in its first year of life in danger of damnation? Is it considered open rebellion against the Almighty for a three-year-old to disregard with intent of malice his parents’ commandment to put his toys away? Is the six-year-old child who pushes another child down in anger guilty of sinning against the Lord?
I do not believe the age of the child can come into question here, but the intent of the heart must, and we cannot consider whether or not they have been taught the Scriptures or have knowledge of the Almighty for Romans 1:20 stands as a truth. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
When do we know we are to refuse the evil?
What causes a person to recognize that they are offering an excuse to themselves in the presence of the truth is the moment when what is called original sin becomes a foundation within them. At that moment when they recognize within themselves that they have chosen the evil over the good, if they die in that moment, they will go to hell.
Are there five-year-olds in hell, seven- or ten-year-old children in the place of torment? The thought is inconceivable to many, for we like to believe that some form of maturity must be conceived within their minds, that the essence of right and wrong must be evaluated within us with cognitive recognition, with deductive reasoning skills that a child cannot attain to.
At what point is free will expressed, and is that point in life, no matter the age of the person, the moment when, if repentance is not offered, eternal damnation is the only recourse?
Are there children in hell?
Does the grace of God forgive without repentance? Is age taken into account by the Almighty when open rebellion, when sin is conceived? At what point do we become accountable for our actions? Is God merciful because of the child’s age, glossing over sins willfully and intentionally committed because they are yet what we would consider “too young?”
David’s son, his infant son, went directly to paradise, there is no questioning this, it is written in the Word of God, David went there also. Grace is what saves us, when is our free will expressed, that is the question.