Death Bed Salvation
Can you live like Hell your entire life and get into Heaven with a death bed confession? While this appears like quite a complex question, I think the answer is fairly simple. Yes.
My personal view of Soteriology (the study of salvation) really has little to do with the “confessor” and a majority to do with the recipient of the confession. The Bible teaches that salvation comes from God and God alone and that man is incapable of coming to God without divine intervention, which comes in the form of regeneration (God renews the heart and mind of a fallen man to draw the individual to Himself). If it were up to us, Scripture is quite clear that we would never come at all because we are naturally at opposition to God. So God calls when God wills, whether that is at an early age or at the end of a life. So it is entirely possible that someone could live their entire life in sin and then experience of the grace of God immediately before death. Doesn’t seem fair? Let’s explore.
One Biblical example in particular stands out on this subject. While Jesus is hanging on the cross, one of the thieves cries out for mercy. Jesus responds by promising that they would be together in paradise. Now, this thief died soon after this interaction and has no opportunity to preform redeeming acts to compensate for his life of sin. Fortunately for him, it was never about what he can do.
Salvation does not represent a perfection of the recipient, but a covering of righteousness that ends in justification in the eyes of God. I am not a better person on my own now than I was before Christ called me into a relationship with Him. The difference is that my sinful life is now covered in Christ’s righteousness, not because of anything I have done since, but because of what Jesus did previous. So the long and short of it is, whether you are a follower of Christ for 80 years or thirty minutes, the righteousness of Christ is sufficient to make you just.
To the Christian, if this angers you then your priorities are quite out of whack I’m afraid. We are taught that living this life in a relationship with Christ is the most amazing blessing that we can have. I look forward to being able to serve Him for 60 years (hopefully) and I am blessed to have been called earlier in my life. To live life here with Christ is to live life like it was truly designed.