WHY does God allow children to get sick/die?

Hi Pastor Chris!!

WHY does God allow children to get sick/die?








There are consequences to sin. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He cursed the earth (Genesis 3). We can trace all of our problems to that one act of disobedience.


Adam and Eve could have lived forever on this planet. God told Adam that he would “surely die” if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). When Adam ate from the forbidden tree sin and death entered this world and was passed down to us.


The rest of the story is this: God loves us and will re-create creation (Romans 8:18-21; Revelation 21:1-5). This life is not the entire story.

We also believe that children who die before the age of accountability are taken to heaven to be with the Lord. Case in point: King David is spoken of as “a man after God’s own heart.” He had a child that died. David said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). We cannot say exactly when the age of accountability is. It has to do with a child’s understanding of sin and his or her need of forgiveness for that sin. It also has to do with a child realizing that Jesus’ death is the payment for that sin. He or she then receives Christ as Savior. When a child knows these things then he or she is accountable for them. It has been said, “A child who is old enough to sin knowingly is old enough to believe savingly.” Willful sin is the issue.

One other thing, we also know that God will do the right thing whenever a child dies. God can be trusted in these matters. He is sovereign. His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9).


Keep digging! I love it when I find someone who is asking questions and searching for the mind of Christ!




Pastor Chris


Can you explain free will and the age of accountability?

Hi Pastor Chris, 

We have a small group that meets once a month and we are studying Job. In our discussion came up the following questions:

Is there an age of innocence/accountability (with our understanding that it is around age 7) with kids? Is that biblical?

If a child dies before age 7 (which seems to be what people say is the end of age of innocence and they can make their own decision for Christ) do they automatically go to heaven? 

Where does free will come into play?

What of the Muslim/Jewish, etc. child who has never heard of Jesus? What of them? 

Of course all of the women in this group are moms so this one is very dear to our searching hearts.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer these.


In Christ, 








Wow! You and your group are really digging! Great questions! 

I believe that the age of accountability is not fixed at a certain year. Children mature at different rates. This is true even within the same family. The Jews set a chronological age for the age of accountability, but I disagree. For instance, I have met children as old as 10 or 11 that could not tell me what sin is. I remember two girls in a previous pastorate that were 10 and 11 and they had no clue about right and wrong. I have also met children who had a finely tuned sense of right and wrong as early as 4 or 5. No doubt environment plays an important part here. My rule of thumb is this: if a child is old enough to sin knowingly that child is old enough to believe savingly.

Remember, when Adam and Eve sinned it was a deliberate act of disobedience. God had given them clear instructions and they understood them. They chose to disobey God. 

I always ask a child about sin. I ask them what sin is. That is quite revealing. Then, if they know what sin is, I ask the child if he or she has ever sinned. That is quite revealing, too. If a child admits to having sinned, I ask the child how he or she felt when the sin was done. If they have gotten to this point they will usually tell me that they felt bad when they sinned. If they do not say that they feel bad about the sin, then I know that they are still innocent because that Holy Spirit will make them feel bad about the sin. If they do not feel bad then the Holy Spirit has not yet convicted them and therefore they are innocent. 

Yes, I believe that a child who dies innocently will go to heaven. Such a one has not committed a willful sin. Willful sin is the issue here. All children do childish things. Childishness is not sin. It is when a child deliberately does something that he or she knows is wrong that sin happens. When a child sins deliberately, knowingly, he or she is then accountable. 

When King David had a child that died he said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). King David was a believer. We know that David went to heaven after he died. Therefore, the child went to heaven before David. 

As to free will, the same parameters come into play. A child is not accountable for having a free will until he or she knowingly, deliberately, chooses to sin. Ps. 19:13, “Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.”

As to Moslem children (or Hindu, Buddhist, etc.), the same parameters apply. If they are truly innocent (as defined above) and they die, they will go to be with the Lord. If they sin willfully then they are accountable to God the same as anyone else. Many years ago Billy Graham wrote a book titled How to be Born Again. In that book is a story of a man that came to one of Billy’s crusades from far out in the country. (If I remember right it was India.) This man hiked something like 50 miles to attend the crusade. He accepted Christ. He said that he always knew that there was something more. He was never satisfied worshiping trees or his ancestors. The Holy Spirit was at work in his life drawing him to Christ.

God puts a divine spark in every person. He also puts an empty place in every person that only He can fill. Part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to work in the world to empower our witness for Christ. Here is how Jesus spoke of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-8, “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilta in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” The Holy Spirit is called the Counselor in those verses.

I hope these thoughts are helpful to you. They questions you raise are important. Remember, God is full of mercy and grace. He will always do what is right in these cases. He is also omniscient (all-knowing). He knows ahead of time who will respond to Him and who will not. There is mystery here. One thing is for sure, we can trust Him!




Pastor Chris

Do unbaptized babies who die go to heaven?

Hi Pastor Chris,

I have a question regarding unbaptized babies who die, for example a few hours after birth. Do these babies go to heaven? In the new testament going to heaven requires “believing” and “baptizing” or just minimum “believing.” There is no age of accountability in the new testament and a baby is born in original sin, so they are not born “believing” Since they are not born believing and if they are not baptized and die a few hours after birth does this mean they go to hell? Many people try to use the old testament, but weren’t the conditions for belief in god different in the old testament and if you use the old testament shouldn’t christians be applying the old testament rulings for not eating pork and women wearing a viel??

~ Aneel






Thank you for your thoughtful question. I am encouraged to see that you are reading your Bible carefully and often. As you continue to dig into the Bible God will bless you with insight and wisdom for life’s challenging circumstances.


Baptism does not save a person. Baptism is an illustration of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is also a testimony of our faith in Him and illustrates the death of our old life and our new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-5). The New Testament pattern is believer’s baptism. A person believes in Christ and then is baptized as a testimony to that fact (Acts 8:26-40). I do not find a Bible passage that teaches infants are to be baptized.


The question has to do with the character of our God and His grace. Is God unfair, harsh, unfeeling, uncaring? No. I am comforted in the story of Jesus and the children where He rebukes the disciples for preventing the children from coming to Him. Look at Matthew 19:13-14, “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'”


Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children? Be comforted, Jesus loves children and receives them.


~ Pastor Chris

I have a question about reconciliation with in-laws?

Pastor Chris,
I have a question about reconciliation.  My wife came from a home that she claims was spiritually, emotionally, and physically abusive.  Her parents, like us, profess Christ.  We actually have gotten along with them in the past even though these problems have always been near the surface.  But about a year and a half ago, my wife was meeting with one of our church elder’s wife (who is a counselor) about some difficulties she was having with her mom and establishing boundaries with her which concerned our children.  Our kids were telling us disturbing things that was occurring in their home (ie. the two older children were split up and forced to sleep with her parents who were sleeping apart from one another and they were fighting in front of our kids) The elder’s wife informed my wife about some things we didn’t know: her parents were going through severe marital problems and her father had a severe pornography addiction.  They were at that time under the care of the church.  The elder’s wife encouraged my wife to be protective over our children when it came to their home. 
Base on this, my wife and I implemented a policy that our 6, 5, and 2 year old children could not go to their home alone with this issue going on.  We told them that they could come to our house or we would accompany them at their house, but there would be no more over night stays and no alone time until we felt it was safe.  They then went to the senior pastor of our church to complain and elicited his help in undoing this boundary.  I tried to communicate with the senior pastor that there were a lot of issues here that he was not privileged to and that this is a sure land mine, but he got involved none the less and attempted to use his authority to undo our boundary.  My wife confessed shortly after this that she remembers her father abusing her sexually when she was a little girl. 
Eventually, this boundary became a totally broken relationship.  My wife tried to follow the Matthew 18 model and eventually confronted both of them both in a closed door meeting with the senior pastor, two other pastors and an elder.  But this confrontation did not heal the division and there was not any steps made on her parents part towards reconciliation.  They basically deny practically everything my wife confronted them on and they would like to argue perspectives which is not going anywhere.  The church is at a loss on how to fix this.  There is so much dysfunction in this relationship and so much I didn’t even share here.  We actually just left the denomination to escape this mess with her parents because they were insisting on church authority to be used against her.  They have a very strong patriarchal ideas.  And her dad works as the church’s financial officer.  I want to be a peace maker in this situation, but I am not sure how to do that or even if I should.       
~ Darren


The Bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).  You have made good faith efforts to reconcile with your in-laws.  Some people will not reconcile.  Some people will work to have everything go their way regardless of what anyone else thinks or what the Bible says.  You must protect your wife and children.  You cannot knowingly put your children into harms way.  Keep the boundaries in place.

If you want more information about reconciliation get the book The Peacemaker by Ken Sande.  It is the best book I know of on the subject.

~ Pastor Chris

How deal with a disrespectful son?

Pastor Chris,
My wife and I are raising a teenage boy and an elementary school daughter. We have been encountering some “respect” issues recently between my wife and my son. Currently my wife and I are not on the same page with handling our son’s perceived disrespect towards her. I am usually not there to witness it. Once she explains to me the circumstances, we normally talk it out between the two of us to set a course of action (or not) or I talk to our son. This will work once in a while, but like most things it fades away over time. Rarely do I feel the need to act physically towards our son as I don’t believe that is an effective course of action…especially when I am not there to interpret the context of the event. My wife feels that I need to be more physical towards him even though she is the one being disrespected. My bottom-line feeling is that our son will respect her even less if I handle those situations on her behalf. I believe she also feels that I don’t support her assertions of his disrespect once she explains them to me.

We want to lean on our faith as guidance. Thank you! — Stan

Parenting is a difficult task! It sure keeps a man on his knees! Moms too!

Your children must know that Dad and Mom are a team. If one of you is disrespected then the other one has been disrespected, too. You must back your wife.

Have a family conference with you, your wife, and your son. Ask each of them to tell their side of the story in front of you and in front
of each other. Tell your son that when he disrespects his mother he is disrespecting you and that you will not stand for that. Give him one warning and that is all. The family conference is that warning. Tell your son that if he disrespects his mother again that you will take away one of his privileges. Name one or two privileges that you might take away. (Corporal punishment is usually not the best way to discipline a teenager.) If he disrespects his mother a second time, take away a different privilege plus the original privilege. Each time it occurs, increase the cost to him.

The point is, make the punishment fit the crime. Too harsh is unfair. Too lenient will encourage the disrespectful behavior. When you take away one of his privileges make it something that is meaningful to him and something that will not punish you or your wife. Set a time limit
on it. Follow through with it. Make a believer out of your son. Help him to see that you will follow through with what you say you will do.

Remember to love, respect, and cherish your wife in front of the children. Hold the door for her. Help her be seated at the table by assisting her with her chair. Hold her hand when you sit on the sofa together. Your children need to know that their mother is first in your life after the Lord Himself. The best way to show love to your kids is to show love to their mother.

Here are some verses from the Bible for you to ponder as you seek to guide your son and support your wife: Proverbs 3:12; 22:6; 27:17;
29:17; 31:10-31; Ephesians 5:25-33; 6:1-4. You can look them up on www.biblegateway.com.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Pastor Chris