It happened again. I was leading a workshop at a Pentecostal church for children’s leaders when I came to the topic of children receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. As usual, I received blank stares followed by a question from one brave person who asked what everyone else was thinking. “Aren’t children too young to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?”
I’ll list the reasons I gave that group for why children are NOT too young to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
God promised the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to children as well as adults. Not only does the promise in Joel mention sons and daughters, it mentions all people or all flesh, not all adults.
Joel 2:28-29 (NIV) And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
God promises the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.The baptism of the Holy Spirit is something you achieve after you’ve been a Christian for a certain amount of time or reach a certain age. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a free gift, like salvation, for everyone, including children, who believes.
Luke 11:11-13 (NIV) Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
The gift of the Holy Spirit is specifically mention as being for our children.
Acts 2:38-39 (NIV) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
The youngest person to be respond to the Holy Spirit was in his mother’s womb. John the Baptist was a fetus in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth, his mother, was six months pregnant when Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, visited. Elisabeth’s baby leaped in her womb. If that is possible before a child is born, of course children can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
There is no junior Holy Spirit. When Jesus rode on a colt into Jerusalem, He was fully God and fully man. So the fullness of God in the flesh resided on a child donkey. A child handled the fullness of God just as a child can receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. There is no junior Holy Spirit.
Children are receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit today. Both of my children received the Holy Spirit when they were children. Many children in my children’s ministry throughout the years have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many times when I hold children’s revivals or speak at church camp, children receive the Holy Spirit.
There is no age limit mentioned in the Bible, and there is no age limit I have observed while ministering to children over the last 28 years. Children can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.