Q: #59. Can a small child be saved?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Wow... this could open up a big can of worms... Let me say this, I think it would be unwise to set an age limit on salvation. I have known many Christians who said they were saved at 3 or 4 years old, or thereabouts. Would I say they weren't saved at that young of an age? I think the Bible is quite clear we cannot judge another's salvation.
Now that I have established that, let me give two reasons why I see problems with salvation at an early age.
First, I think the Bible is quite clear that repentance is crucial to salvation (Acts 3:19)(2 Cor 7:10)(Lk 13:3,5)(Mt 4:17), and I do not believe a small child can grasp the concept of repentance.
Secondly, Jesus told us that in order to be His disciple we must "count the cost" (Lk 14:28), and be willing to "take up our cross" (Mt 10:38)(Mt 16:24)(Mk 8:34)(Lk 9:23)(Lk 14:27), "lose our life for His sake" (Mt 10:39)(Mt 16:25)(Lk 9:24), forsake all we have (Lk 14:33), and love Him above anyone else (Mt 10:34-38). Can a small child understand these things?
I guess part of it comes down to what one believes is necessary for salvation. What some people believe is necessary, a child may very well grasp. What others believe is necessary for salvation, is very likely beyond a young child's understanding.
If a small child wishes to make a commitment to Jesus, I would NEVER want to discourage that because of age. However, I believe it would be very wise to have that child recommit their life at an older age when they are more fully able to understand the concept of repentance, and the costs of following Jesus.