Q. After reading of recent horrific crimes committed by young children such as a ten-year-old boy brutally murdering a woman of ninety, I wonder if you think that the taking of the children in the rapture is based on God’s knowledge of who will become born again at a later time. Or could it be that the age of accountability could be at a much younger age for a child like that? In that case, maybe all of the children won’t be taken since God knows the future? Also, I remember a time when Paul was accosted by young children (don’t know how young) and he called a bear out of the woods to attack them. What is your understanding of this?
A. Setting aside the question of whether there are a lot of young children committing “horrific” crimes or not, there’s no indication that God will pick and choose which children to take in the rapture. This would be a very strange thing for Him to do since He doesn’t hold children accountable for their sins. It also puts children in a position of being disqualified for bad behavior. This is a condition the Lord does not impose upon believing adults, something for which we can all be thankful, so I can’t imagine Him doing such for children.
Speaking of children, Jesus said the kingdom of Heaven is made up of such as them (Matt. 19:14), and said unless we all become like them we will never enter (Matt. 18:3). What He meant is we have to become someone who is considered to be innocent in the Lord’s eyes, as if we had never sinned. We do this by allowing His death to pay the price for all our sins.
On the other issue, I think you have confused Paul with Elisha. According to 2 Kings 2:23-24 Elisha was being harassed by a large gang of youth. (The Hebrew word could be used for anyone age 20 or under) He pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord, but it was God who sent two bears to accost the youth, injuring 42 of them. Apparently He took their lack of respect for His prophet quite seriously.