Vol.IV No.II Pg.7
April 1967

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

A discussion of the obligations of the local church in benevolence has raised the question: "Are little (not accountable) children in the Kingdom of God"? The passage under study is Matt. 19:14 -- "of such is the kingdom of heaven." LVT


This question has been asked twice in recent months. All passages dealing with local church support of the needy teach us that saints were the recipients. I strongly suspect, however, that another factor is present; viz., self-maintenance of the Lord's people. But this must wait...

"Kingdom" is but one of many ways of describing the people of God, and their relationship with Christ. In this figure the people are citizens, and Christ is King. This suggests submission to authority and dominion. It comes about through understanding the teaching of Christ (Mk. 12:34). One hears the word of Christ's kingdom, (Matt.13:19) repents, (Mk.1:15) comes, (Matt.21:28-f) is born again, (Jn.3:5) produces results. (Matt.21:43) Little (unaccountable) children do not fit in such a figure.

In other figures describing God's people they are branches on the vine, Christ; and must bear fruit. (Jn.15:) They are lively stones, built upon Christ the foundation; (1 Pet. 2:5) or soldiers, fighting the good fight of faith (2 Tim. 2:3) (Eph.6:10-f). None of these figures have a place for unaccountable children.

An unaccountable child is not saved, nor does it need to be saved. It is SAFE, never having been lost. Sin is the transgression of law, and until a child becomes subject to law, becomes accountable before God, that child can not sin. It is sin that condemns, and spiritual death passes upon those who sin (Rom. 5:12). Infant "citizenship" in God's kingdom is an error, growing out of Calvinism and Total Hereditary Depravity errors.

Matt.19: "of such is the kingdom" refers to the characteristic of innocence and humility of the little children. In Matt. 18:3 we read, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Does this mean we must become undeveloped, young in age, unaccountable?? Of course not! We must take on certain characteristics of little children -- as the next verse says, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child.." The kingdom of God is made up of accountable people, adults, who have such characteristics as those named.

Bro. Turner:

Does the "law of love" authorize congregations to support general benevolence projects? FJ


The "law of love" for God teaches us to respect His authority, (1 Jn. 5:3) and quit trying to work in our own pet projects under such pretenses. Is it lack of love that causes Paul to "refuse" the younger widow? (1 Tim. 5:11) Does God quit loving the man who would not work? (2 Thes. 3:10) We best show our love, to God and man, by rendering assistance as God authorized.