Many Christians believe that the church, the body of Christ, (i.e., all true believers) will be taken out of the world before the great tribulation comes. This “taking out” of the world is often referred to as “The Rapture.” Jerry Jenkins and Tim LeHaye made this view popular in their “Left Behind” series. Will children of believing parents who have not reached the age of accountability be included in the rapture? Will children of non-believing parents be included? These are difficult questions and like many others, in the end, we must leave it to God. But I have an opinion!

I believe that the children of believing parents will be part of the rapture. 1 Corinthians 7 suggests that unbelieving children that have a believing spouse are under a special umbrella because of the believer. This could mean that unbelieving children before the age of accountability are under the protection of a believing parent. This is not the case for an unbelieving spouse who has already reached the age of accountability. Further, Jesus compared His return with the circumstances during the time of Noah. After Noah preached for 120 years he and his whole family; his wife, three sons and their wives, all were taken into the ark and spared the judgment that was to fall upon the earth. Another comparison the New Testament alludes to with respect to the coming of the judgment of the Lord is God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. At that time Lot and his two daughters were taken out before God’s wrath fell upon the cities. His wife also was taken out and if she had not looked back she too would have been saved. Although there is no specific verse that states this, I believe it’s fair to say that God saved the children of the Godly before His judgment came upon the earth. Therefore, I’m comfortable with suggesting that will be the case with the coming rapture as well.

This may not be the case with children of non-believers. When Israel left Egypt enroute to the promised land God instructed them to kill all the inhabitants of the land that they were about to occupy. This is often referred to as God’s judgment on those inhabitants because of the wickedness and Israel was His instrument of purifying the land. He even instructed them to kill all the children. Of course, Israel did not obey that command and it came back to cause their downfall in the future. God’s judgment did not spare the children of the ungodly at that time which might suggest that God will not save the children of the ungodly from the coming tribulation either. Like all those not raptured with the church, however, these children and their parents, will have the opportunity to come to faith during that time of tribulation. If they die during the tribulation before they reach the age of accountability they too will go to heaven.

“…We know that God is always good and does only right…” 1 John 2:29