Is there an Age of Accountability?

Our listener asks, “I’ve heard the phrase “age of accountability” used often in some denominations with James 4:17 as the scripture support. I know there is no specific age mentioned in the bible but is there a point in every person’s life where they reach an understanding of good and bad (sin) and now because of that knowledge become accountable to God. Some will also use that verse along with II Samuel 12:23 to support children dying before reaching that “age” will go to heaven. How can this best be explained biblically and in a way that makes the gospel clear? Knowing we are born in sin, are sinners separated from God, and will die and spend eternity in hell if we haven’t trusted Christ as Savior – how can one best minister to someone who has lost a young child? Thanks for your ministry! I look forward to hearing your answer.”


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