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Updated January 17th, 1999
Dear Pastor Malone:
I have viewed and read your website on the end times, I have one question. During the tribulation, what will happen to the children? I was brought up to believe that children would not have to live through this terrible time, the tribulation period. That all children would automatically go to heaven. At what age does this no longer apply? Will children be born during the tribulation? What will happen to these children? What does the Bible say? I am the mother of three children, twin boys of 7 years and a daughter of 9 years. My daughter is saved but I know my boys do not really understand. Your response on this would subject would be most appreciated.
Thank you for your email.
This topic has come up more than a few times throughout my ministry. To answer this question, we have to look back in Bible history to see how God handled situations of destruction and war. Letís take a look at the first time God destroyed the world.
When God told Noah to preach for 120 years that the world would be destroyed by water, in the end, eight people climbed into the ark. Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives. When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, Lot and his two daughters were the only ones to survive, and if his wife had not looked back, she would have survived as well. God saved the children of the Godly (saved) on both accounts.
When the children of Israel left Egypt for the Promised Land, they fought many battles along the way. In every battle, Godís instructions were the same, wipe out everyone, including children. Of course, they didnít always obey the Lord and it came back to haunt them every time. God did not save the children of these heathen nations of old and there is no scriptural proof that he will during the tribulation period.
Will God rapture children out of this world? We now have to clarify which children, the children of the saved or of the lost? I believe scripture is clear that God will rapture the saved of this world, including their children under the age of accountability, before the tribulation period begins. I base this on the scripture found in I Corinthians 7:13 & 14 which states, ďAnd the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.Ē Does this mean that an unsaved spouse is now saved because they have married a saved person? No! What it is saying, I believe, is that the children are sanctified because of the believer until they come to their age of accountability. The children of the unsaved will go through the tribulation period. If they die during the tribulation period (before they come to the age of accountability) they will go to heaven. Personally, I believe they will go to heaven even if they take the mark. Many children will take the mark because they just donít understand and due to parental control. But that is a personal belief of mine.
Of course, this subject is not clearly defined in the Bible and weíll just have to let God sort it out. He is in perfect control in every situation and only wants the best for us. I can tell you this for sure, there will be no children in hell, and absolutely no one who doesnít deserve to be there. At what age a child crosses over to man or womanhood, and is called into account is different for each individual. Today, with the age of television and music, I believe we have hastened the age of accountability for our children. Many are learning about sex, drugs, and everything contrary to Godís law sooner than ever. May God have mercy on the children of this godless and perverse day and age!