Are little children more savable than adults?
There is this idea that because children are generally in a state of innocence that they are more likely to respond to the gospel and be saved. Such a false idea has given rise to the church children’s ministries and para-church children’s ministry organizations. There is a push to get children to church. It seems every church has to have a VBS program or AWAN’S program; we set up Five Day Clubs and work with Child Evangelism Fellowship in order to get the children saved. The thought is, “we must reach the children for Christ.” Sunday School programs are managed with the idea that we must get the children saved. Sunday School teachers are credited with “leading some child to Christ.” Every Christian parent’s joy is the salvation of their children so great effort is given to evangelize the children.
There is an obscene push in the Christian education of our children. There is the idea that if we take them to church, get them in the youth or children’s program, give them enough Bible that they will be educated into being a Christian. They will learn all the right words to say, they will know what prayer they are to make to be saved. We even give them the pre-formulated prayer that they are to repeat, asking Jesus into their little hearts. All of this is completely unbiblical and will in their mature years likely to make them hard against true Christianity.
It is no doubt a great mercy for children to be brought up under the influence of the gospel and godly parents. This influence will at the least cause them to be good and upright citizens in our society and bring a glory to their parents who have been faithful in their upbringing. But we err greatly if we think that such an upbringing will make them Christians (in the Biblical sense). You cannot educate your children to be Christians.
We do not limit God by denying that His saving work can be accomplished in a child’s heart. Even this preacher was saved at the early age of ten. But one’s tender age does not make one more savable the one of great age.
A child’s conscience is generally very susceptible to moral influences; his emotions are very easily moved by moral appeals; therefore, he might respond to some gospel appeal without the true work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. (This is why we don’t baptize young children in this assembly.)
Children’s transgressions and sins are not as many or as great as that of an older person, nevertheless the principle of sin is the same. Neither the young or the old can be saved apart from grace and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. The most innocent and guileless child is incapable of spiritual acts and has a mind which is enmity against God, without grace.
Faithfully teach your children the gospel of Christ. Don’t ask them if they want to be saved; if God grants to them regeneration and the gift of faith you will know it. God is faithful in manifesting his children by their faith. A saved child with give evidence of their love for God and his Word. Don’t fret as to their salvation, salvation is of the Lord and he bestows it upon whosoever he wills.