The salient point about the children killed by God at the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah and Armageddon is that they will never be resurrected, that they descended into eternal death. That's not true of people who were executed at other times, such as the Pharoah and his soldiers that died in the Red Sea (this is not the time to say this never happened, this is directed to people who do), or all the people God had executed at the hand of the Israelite soldiers such as in Canaan.
*** w54 1/15 p. 61 par. 26 Disciplining Children for Life ***We keep them sailing along with the New World society by giving good instruction, by setting right examples, by administering necessary discipline. Let the worldly wiseacres say that if we discipline our children we hate them. Their undisciplined children will die with them at Armageddon, but our disciplined ones will live with us forever in Jehovah’s New World society.
*** w52 1/15 pp. 42-43 par. 22 Training Children for Life in the New World ***At this point we must consider the matter of "family responsibility" as legally presented in the Scriptures. Under the Biblical principle of "family responsibility" where the father or the mother or both become iniquitous, adverse judgment comes upon the entire household of minor children. Take the example of Achan, who committed a fatal trespass against Jehovah. By so doing Achan brought condemnation upon his whole family of children and they were all stoned to death with him. (Josh. 7:1, 24, 25) Paul speaks of this principle in the reverse, which might be referred to as "family merit". If the father or the mother of a family is a believing and practicing Christian he or she brings merit to the entire family of children. Paul writes: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in relation to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in relation to the brother; otherwise, your children would really be unclean, but now they are holy." (1 Cor. 7:14, NW) Therefore this proves that minor children of Christian parents are indirectly sanctified or counted worthy of protection in God’s sight until they reach the age of individual responsibility. Hence in this day of final judgment since 1918 parents are responsible for the final destiny of their minor children. When Armageddon strikes all minor children who are not under such "family merit" arrangement will meet annihilation with no hope of a resurrection. This is strongly indicated at Ezekiel 9:6 (AS), where it is written: "Slay utterly the old man, the young man and the virgin, and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark."
*** w52 6/1 p. 341 par. 2 Fixing Destinies in This Judgment Period ***This judgment period will be completed during this generation, and when the execution of judgment starts at Armageddon the destinies of all persons then living will have been fixed. Some become perturbed over this, and speculate on the existence of a third class not separated into sheep and goat categories, and which will be resurrected in the millennium for its judgment period. Into this third class they would put all babes and children, and any adults not reached by the Kingdom message by the time Armageddon strikes. Such speculators can produce no solid Scriptural support for their theory. It seems to be spawned either by human sentiment over creature salvation or by a negative, defeatist attitude toward a successful completion of the preaching work. Or by both.
*** w52 6/1 p. 343 par. 8 Fixing Destinies in This Judgment Period ***If a parent chooses to sin against the holy spirit despite the eternal interests of his offspring, that then becomes the responsibility of the parent. We have seen how the destructions at the time of the Flood and at the time of the fiery downpour on Sodom and Gomorrah were final. No small children were preserved in the ark; they must have been slain by Jehovah. Many babes and youngsters must have been in Sodom and Gomorrah, but their youthful innocence did not cause Jehovah to count them righteous. The presence of ten righteous ones would have saved the cities. There were certainly more than ten unresponsible children. Along with their unrighteous parents they were slain by Jehovah.—Gen. 18:20-33; 19:1-26.
Parents are commanded to instruct their children in God’s ways, and if in these last days parents fail to heed the divine instructions they may bring destruction not only upon themselves but upon their small children at Armageddon.
*** w51 5/1 p. 286 Questions From Readers ***
Adam’s offspring did not come under eternal destruction because of his fall. Why should young children suffer eternal destruction at Armageddon because of having wicked parents?—E. N., Minnesota.
Adam and Eve in Eden were on judgment with respect to the tree of knowledge and the course they took fixed their destiny, it being a time of judgment. Adam and Eve’s children were not born at that time and hence not directly or personally on judgment in Eden. That is why God could arrange for the ransoming of all of their future children who would accept his arrangements, this acceptance being shown by them at whatever time God might be pleased to bring them into a period of judgment. It is likely that for the majority of men who have lived on the earth this time of judgment will be in Christ’s millennial reign, at the time of the general resurrection and thereafter. At that future time of judgment arranged for them by God’s mercy each one will be on his own responsibility, as shown by Ezekiel 18:20-23.—See "ThisMeansEverlastingLife", pages 94, 95.
However, long before this many persons will have had their time of judgment, as the Scriptures show that God has brought certain judgment periods upon human society at certain times, during which he held them accountable for their course of action. That they might be really accountable for themselves and for their young children dependent upon them, he caused testimony to be given that they might know the issue and make their decision, by which they would determine their destiny, independent of any inherited condemnation from Adam. He warned parents not only of the consequences to themselves but also of those to their unresponsible offspring.
One of such judgment periods was the flood of Noah’s day, prior to which Noah preached righteousness for some forty or fifty years. (Heb. 11:7; 2 Pet. 2:5) Another was the fiery end of Sodom and Gomorrah, which cities saw warning miracles by angels and heard witnessing by Lot before the rain of fire fell. (Gen. 19:11-14, 24) In Jesus’ day it was a time of judgment and he warned certain Jewish cities of a fate like that upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and judged certain scribes and Pharisees fit for the eternal destruction of Gehenna.—Matt. 11:20-24; 23:33, NW.
Our present day is also a time of judgment, and it is this that the objectors to the answer in the November 15 Watchtower apparently fail to fully appreciate. For seventy-one years TheWatchtower has been publishing the warning of God’s Word, and since 1919 Jehovah’s witnesses have been active as never before in giving world-wide witness, in this time of judgment when the enthroned King is separating the nations as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. Abuse and persecution come upon them from both adults and children under the influence of their elders. So it is because we now live in a period of judgment that we say all persons are on trial. And because children are present they too come in for judgment, and their case is not parallel to that of Adam and Eve’s offspring, who were not present in Eden at the time of that pair’s judgment trial.
*** w51 11/1 p. 646 Comfort for Men Who Sigh and Cry ***There is no question as to those making up this class of good-will persons, for they are given a special mark of identification. "And Jehovah said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem [the city called by God’s name and which well pictured Christendom today], and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry over all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof." After such marking work is completed, the prophecy says, the execution forces of Almighty God will move swiftly at Armageddon and will utterly destroy every man, woman and child who is not properly marked, that is, all who do not sigh and cry because of the wickedness committed in the earth.—Ezek. 9:2-5, AS.
*** w50 4/1 p. 106 par. 19 More and More Pioneers of Good News ***To the contrary, you might say: ‘I love my child too much to fill his young mind with ideas that would cause him to become unpopular with his neighborhood playmates, and for this reason I will not encourage him to serve God now, but will wait until he is grown; then he can decide for himself.’ Is this true love for the child? True love would be to take the course that would benefit the child most, over the longest period of time. At Armageddon’s slaughter old and young alike will not be spared. After the marking work had been done according to Jehovah’s instructions, the command to his executioners then was: "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark." (Ezek. 9:6) Therefore no guarantee is given that a child will pass through Armageddon by reason of the field-service record of a parent that is careless toward his own children. In fact, the parent might be zealous and faithful on every point except that of offering his own children freely in God’s service. The selfish love held for a child might cause a parent to try to protect it from the adversary’s rebukes which come to all who stand for the Kingdom.