Today is July 9, 2019

Verse of the Day — 1 Corinthians 6:1

Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to the law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?


Christians should not sue Christians.


Christians should not sue Christians. The Bible teaches us that we have no business going to a court of law to settle Christian differences. We should be able to find a wise Christian mediator to settle our personal disputes. But more importantly, we have our personal testimony to consider above money.

I say (going to court is) to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? —1 Corinthians 6:5-7

Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. —1 Corinthians 10:32-33

So settle your disputes like brothers, not adversaries.

And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land. So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left. —Genesis 13:7-9


Dear Compass,

A pastor at a church we formerly attended preached from the pulpit regarding an “age of accountability” before which sin is not imputed to a child. His statement was that if a child died, say before the age of 8 or 10 or 12, that child would automatically go to heaven.

Recently I encountered a similar idea in a book by Tim LaHaye, where all the children are raptured (even babies in the womb) with the church. In Dr. LaHaye’s book, women later in Tribulation are giving birth to babies conceived after the rapture, which seemed like a contradiction to me. Are these two ideas the same doctrine and where is either found in Scripture?


The “age of accountability” theory is based on these OT verses regarding David and Bathsheba’s child conceived out of wedlock:

Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!”

But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”

So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

And he said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’

“But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” —2 Samuel 12:18-23

The contention that David could see his child in heaven (“I will go to him, but he will not return to me“) is what your pastor probably bases his theory on. However, God calls whomever, prior to the foundations of the world being laid:

. . . just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him . . . —Ephesians 1:4

So, it could be that David’s child was chosen, but other children are not chosen.

The “age of accountability” theory really borders on works. It means that it is up to someone to “do” something before they can be saved—which is untrue. Also, if you really believed in the “age of accountability,” then the logical conclusion is that you could kill your children before they grow up to be sure they go to heaven, rather than take a chance that they won’t trust Christ in their lifetime and go to hell. But—their salvation CANNOT be based on something you do.

To us, it’s best to be content with the fact that heaven is better than anything you can imagine. And that would include imagining that all the babies who die young will be there.

but just as it is written,
—1 Corinthians 2:9


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