For each of the realms or parts of man – Body, Soul, Spirit – there is an age of innocence and an age of accountability. Between them is a line set by God. We all begin life in innocence, unknowing and progress (normally) toward knowledge and accountability.

In the physical realm there is a time from birth that we do not yet know our bodies nor have a capacity to control them (think diapers). I do not know when we cross the line and become accountable for the actions of our bodies – God knows. I suspect however that it might be at puberty. We enter a whole new experience of responsibility and knowledge at that point. Many have struggles restraining and controlling the bodily appetites. This is the basis of Freudian psychology. As much as Freud would encourage the release of all our bodily appetites we (under normal circumstances) become accountable to God for these at some point.

Next, consider the soul. The soul too is made of three main parts – mind, will and emotions. The soul is a powerful and dangerous realm of activity. It is so powerful that in can conflict with the will of God and overcome it. This would be the frightfully common expression, "Not Thy will but Mine be done." Within the soul we also have the functions of intellect, conscience and intuition. The soul in essence is a choosing mechanism, expressing the heart of man. We are born innocent of our choices, exempt from accountability till the functions of knowledge, understanding and conscience come into service.

I am told that the Chinese place the age of accountability for the child at age seven. In Jewish tradition the child becomes a man or woman at age thirteen through a rite of passage, conferring to them responsibility for their choices and their lives. These are the lines set by these cultures. Where God places the line I do not know. But I do know that if you live long enough and develop a healthy mind and conscience that you will cross the line separating innocence from accountability at some point. This is why the realm of the mind is so critical. What you put into your mind has a profound influence on these choices and most all of us have choices concerning what we allow into our minds.

But the line of particular interest to me is the line of accountability in the spirit. God has been pumping knowledge about Himself into our minds from our earliest perceptions of our world.

In Romans 1 it says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse".

This verse tells us that men are without excuse toward Him. He has been pouring knowledge about Himself to us through creation itself. We go through life naturally curious about our world. God begins to speak to each of us. Yes, Someone did create this. I AM did. And then there is the Word of God. The Word, like Christ has a ministry as does ALL of God’s good gifts – to seek and to save that which was lost. The Word is calling men to repentance. It is sent out and will not return void.

Now here is the point. As we gain knowledge of God through His creation, through His Sons, through His Word, we become accountable. We cross the line at some point.

I will never forget when I was sharing the Gospel with a coworker almost 25 years ago now. I was a brand new Christian. She had seen what God did in my life and kept asking me for an explanation. I know that God was talking to her because I was saying things I did not even understand yet (but for the spirit in me). This may have been the third or fourth time I shared the Gospel through the power and wisdom of the spirit when all of a sudden God stopped me cold and placed His hand over my mouth. She said, "Why did you stop so abruptly?" I told her that she had heard the Gospel clearly now and I was not allowed to tell her anymore because she had crossed a line of accountability. God has revealed Himself to her and she had to make a decision. I never shared the Gospel with her again and she never asked again. She knew that she did not need to know anymore, she just needed to make a choice for or against God.

God has a day of salvation. A day where He reveals Himself and you become accountable. "I didn’t know." will not be a valid ticket out of the hell of choosing. Not choosing is choosing. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. " Heb 4:13 Be not deceived, God is not mocked.

Now with this knowledge pray for God to show you the meaning of this verse:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Heb 6:4-6.

I know what the Spirit is saying to me and it is scary. There is a line.

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