Can a Child Repent?

Recently I received the following question: “I’ve always wondered about this question, can a child repent? I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was seven. I can’t recall repentance. I recall saying that I knew I was a sinner, but I don’t recall any turning back. So am I not saved? There were many years of self-centered living, but I always came back after periods of wandering. There have been times of doubt too. So I must ask that question, can a child repent?”

BRO. CLOUD’S REPLY: A child old enough to understand repentance and the gospel and saving faith can repent. But we need to be exceedingly wise about child evangelism, as we explain in the report “Careful Child Evangelism.” There we give 11 suggestions: 1. Fill their minds with God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 4:12; Psa. 19:7; 119:130). 2. Teach them the gospel, and teach them, and teach them (Ro. 1:16; 1 Co. 15:3-4). 3. Deal with repentance (Lk. 17:3; Acts 17:30; 20:21). 4. Don’t pressure them. 5. Discipline them. 6. Pray, pray, pray (Jam. 5:16). 7. Look for the convicting, drawing work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 12:32; 16:7-11). 8. If a child does profess saving faith in Christ, encourage him or her to seek the Lord and His will (2 Tim. 2:19). 9. Look for scriptural evidence of salvation in the child’s life. (We give five chief evidences.) 10. Let God confirm to the children that they are saved (Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6). 11. If the child later expresses doubt about salvation, encourage him to settle it. See

(Friday Church News Notes, March 6, 2020,,, 866-295-4143)