a man of unclean lips of an unclean land…

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.

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3 responses

  1. Briggie

    I agree. God did not put a timeline on our salvation – save of course the day of Christ’s return (read Revelation 22). As for those who accept Jesus on their deathbed I believe they are accepted to Christ. It doesn’t matter how many days weeks, or years you have been saved. Mark 10:31 says, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matthew 10″30 says, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” and Luke 13:30 says, “30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

    Now, just because you say “Lord, I believe in you as my personal Savior and ask you to come into my heart”, does not mean you are saved, because words are just words. Jesus will look into your heart to see if that is the source of your repentance and salvation and unless He sees the change in your heart, he cannot accept you unto Him. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

    I too hope to live a long life here on earth serving Christ and getting to know more of Him because when the time comes for me to leave this earth, I want to get as close to His throne as quickly as possible.

    May 27, 2008 at 3:46 am

  2. Patti Wilson

    I’m searching for the chance that my boyfriend who committed suicide could have beaten the demons that had taken over his mind at the very end and was forgiven for taking his own life. He did have a good heart but demons (ie. alcohol, depression, self-pity) took over. I keep telling myself that the “bad jack” took out the “good jack’. I pray for mercy on his soul, but I know it is between Jack and God. Only God knows what was in his heart. I do find comfort in the article I just read about death bed salvation. God bless

    October 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

  3. cherie

    Scripture backs up the theory of death bed salvation. We who have accepted Christ at an early time in our lives have nothing to brag about, except to brag on or praise our wonderful God for sending Jesus, who is our salvation. We have been commissioned to go out and preach the gospel. We are to be like campaigners for Jesus. If people come to Jesus as a result of our testimonies, we rejoice with them.

    Many times we do not see the result of our campaigns. Sometimes we only get to witness the introduction of Jesus to the lost, but we do not get to witness their salvation. It is like when we endorse a candidate up for election of a political office, but we do not get to see who votes for him/her. If, at the time of a person’s last moments on earth, he/she recalls a memory of someone campaigning for Jesus, they may elect to “vote”, or accept Jesus, the salvation offer is still very valid to them, if they genuinely repent and believe in Jesus.

    They receive salvation and perhaps the person that introduced them to Christ is no where in sight, their efforts, no matter how long ago, were not in vain. Therefore, we should be like Christ at all times, spreading the good news wherever we are, and give His love whenever there is a chance. We never know when our kind words and testimony will be recalled, and used by the Holy Spirit to bring salvation to someone on their death bed!!

    November 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

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