The present topic is not a very popular one because of the obvious sensitivity of it, but for that very reason it is one that should be discussed from time to time. It is a topic that I know about first hand due to family members relying upon its supposed existence, so I can relate to some who feel pain when thinking about such things as this. It is not my intent to offend anyone with my comments. My intent is to get people who are not thinking about their soul and their Creator to start doing so now instead of later.
The fact that physical death is inevitable for everyone (save the Lord returning) is no secret. Moses acknowledged our limited time on Earth as well as our responsibility to use it wisely when he said, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) The context in which the verse was written revolved around man’s relationship with our Creator and His authority over us. Moses understood the importance of not waiting to come to God.
Whether or not deathbed salvation is a popular topic does not change the reality of the situation. A person determines whether or not he or she will face this situation by their attitude toward the present days of our life on the Earth in general and how we view God specifically. People that procrastinate with their spiritual relationship, duties, obligations and deadlines to God are playing “Russian Roulette” with sin and death. Procrastination has cost many people their marriage, their friends, their jobs and unfortunately their souls! (Luke 12:15-21)
Can a person wait too long to come to God? Unfortunately,according to the scriptures we can. The LORD warned His people in the past about the peril of ignoring His calls (Proverbs 1:20-33; Isaiah 65:12; 66:4; Jeremiah 7:13, 35:17) and through His writings He continues to do so today. The New Testament contains urgent pleadings such as, “For He says, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now [today] is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2). The Gospel demands to be answered while a person has the ability to do so today. Hebrews 3:7,8 says, “Wherefore as the Holy Spirit says, Today if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts….” According to these verses, when does a person need to listen to, come to and call on God? Is it not today?
Many people, even those who know better, are too busy sowing their own “wild oats” instead of planting and growing God’s seed (His word) in their heart (Luke 8:1-18). They wait until they have had their “fun” and then expect God to be happy with whatever time they have left. This can be a costly attitude. It’s like trying to put on your seatbelt after the tires start squealing.
For many the attitude of spiritual procrastination is unfortunately fed by the idea of one’s ability to come to God in the same exact manner that the thief hanging on a cross beside the Son of God in Luke 23 did. The thief lived under a different covenant than what is offered to us today and while Jesus was upon the Earth He had the authority to forgive sins (Hebrews 9:16,17; Mark 2:10). Forgiveness is still found only through Jesus, but on this side of the cross we find it through the application of His blood to our sins by repenting and submitting to the act of baptism and living a life of service according to the gospel (Revelation 1:5; Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Hebrews 5:8,9).
Can a person come to God in the last days or even hours and minutes of his or her life? Let God be the final Judge, but a person must realize that the New Testament teaches that the One who shed His blood for the remission of our sins has given us directions on how to be saved and He so desires us to do so before it is too late (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38, 22:16; Romans 6:1-6, 10:9-13). Salvation’s requirements must be followed according to the Lord and Savior.
If a person has not yet come to Christ they need to stop putting off their salvation and “make their bed” while they are still standing (James 4:4); we do not need to wait until we are laying on it to make such an important decision. Think about it.