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The most high-profile death bed / last-minute conversion to Christ in the Bible is the case of the criminal crucified alongside Jesus (Luke 23:39-43). Only moments before his own death, this crimin...
✿ Salvation at death bed only gives us entry to go to heaven. But the inner-man (soul+ spirit) did not get an opportunity to grow or mature. There is a concept of rewards which you wont be awarded with.There are stages for us to grow spiritually (even though the growth is never ending)! ✿ Four stages of Christian experience: ❶ Greek: teknia (G5040), infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12) It is also used of Greek: nepios (G3516), an infant who cannot yet speak and who knows nothing of sin (the verb nepiazo (G3515) is translated "be ye children" in 1Cor. 14:20). Bible consider them they are not grown at all. They are still unweaned babes (1Cor. 3:2; 1Pet. 2:2). Milk-feeding was a metaphor used by many writers, both sacred and profane, to express the first principles of religion and science. They applied sucking to learning; infant to every beginner; and meat to those who had learned the first principles of truth. ❷ Greek: paidia (G3813), little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13). This is a child beginning in school to receive their first instructions ❸ Greek: neaniskoi (G3495), young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14) ❹ Greek: pateres (G3962), fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14). Compare this with teleios (G5046), man of mature age and thought; man of growth and understandin. ✿ Bible expects us to be born-again at the youth level in order to mature in the Lord before our death comes. The preacher confirms, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them" (Eccl. 12:1). ✿ If a young man lives carefree and follows all the lusts of his heart and eyes, he will give an account of it, for one is judged for everything done in life, whether good or bad. The youth were thus advised to remove the things that will eventually cause grief, and to put away evil from the flesh so that there will be no pain and remorse in the time to come (Eccl. 11:9-10). In other words, Remember your Creator in the days of youth instead of living in sins that will damn the soul; use youth wisely before old age comes and pleasure is rare (Eccl. 12:1). ✿ The evil days and years are the times of old age, affliction, and death (Eccl. 12:1-7). They are called evil because of being the last days of testing on earth--a time in which inventory must be taken, life's values reconsidered, and final preparations made for eternity. This period is also called years in which man will find no pleasure. How many days or years they are in particular is not known in any case. The wise man will live with eternity's values in view and keep himself prepared in all that he says and does. Eternity is a long time and if one does not prepare himself to spend it with God and the redeemed in heaven, he will spend it with Satan and the damned in hell. All people will be duly judged for all things done in the body, whether good or bad (2Cor. 5:9-10 Rev. 20:11-15). ✿ The gospel makes it plain that one must be born again, or converted, to enter the kingdom of God (Mt. 18:3 Jn. 3:3-5); he must become a new creature and live that way until death to be saved (2Cor. 5:17-18 Tit. 2:11-13 Heb. 12:14). The gospel was known to Abraham (Gal. 3:8), and to all Israel (Heb. 4:2). Even before Abraham and back to the time of Adam, people knew the faith life (Heb. 11), so no man in any age could be excused for not living right and not walking in all the light he had (Rom. 2:12-16 1Jn. 1:7). Even the one who has not received the full light has received the light of right and wrong according to the conscience, and he will be judged accordingly.
Here is another good example Matt 20:1-15 or the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5 So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 7 "'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' 8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' 9 "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' 13 "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' NIV Seems to me God doesn't care when you get in as long as you get in because He loves us that much
From a human standpoint, you do not want to put off "making things right with God," as one of our English phrases goes. Putting aspects of your life before things of God--such as a decision for eternity or doing your own agenda instead of the Lord's will--is fraught with risk. Think of Jonah's negative experience. But keep this in mind... God is neither capricious nor arbitrary. He does not play some sort of lottery game. There is no case--ever--where a soul would have come to the Creator in repentance if they had only lived a bit longer. If one dies early--having promised they will think about God some day "when there is time, or I'm old and gray" that would only be the result of a stubborn heart that would never turn their life over to the Lord in any number of years. We cannot know that--but God does. Salvation is not the luck of the draw. It is dependent upon human acceptance of God's free gift. The acceptance by any human being itself only comes from submission to the conviction urged by the Holy Spirit. We are, as souls possessing freewill, able to rebuff God. And the Lord knows us so thoroughly, that no human being is shortchanged in the salvation process--whether the lifespan is long or short. I can imagine some Christians might disagree with the statements above. They might even feel that the salvation of a relative, friend, acquaintance or neighbor rests on their own shoulders--that if only they had been more persistent, more faithful, they could have saved that possibly lost person from eternal separation from God. That is the wrong attitude--and can actually cross the border into arrogance. We cannot save anybody. We can only light a path to God's door. And if we remain silent about our Lord Jesus Christ, that will not cause souls to be lost... Luke 19:39-40 says, "And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples.' He answered, 'I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.' ESV We often think in terms of mankind's flaws--like our imperfect ability to spread the word of God. What is astounding is that we sometimes ascribe our flaws to our perfect God! God's plan of salvation is flawless--for every single soul ever born to this fallen world. Let's see what Paul had to say about this; words that were breathed to him through the Holy Spirit... "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), A teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-7) ESV In the case of an actual death bed conversion, the Lord always has that covered. He knows when the decision to accept Jesus Christ can only come at the very end of life. The most famous of these was the "death cross" conversion of the thief at Calvary. So yes, salvation can come--in the twinkling of an eye--at any moment that we still have the breath of life. I have complete faith that God--through the sacrifice of his dearly beloved Son--has given every human soul who ever breathed on this planet an absolute chance to accept salvation. None are lost other than those who choose to be.
You cannot have "death bed salvation" because the Scripture says you must hear, believe, confess that Jesus is the Son of God, repent and be baptized to be saved (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9). On your death bed, you can hear, believe and repent but you cannot be baptized! The thief on the cross was taken to paradise by Jesus's grace is true, but Jesus had not died, been buried and risen from the dead yet and his new covenant was not in effect. You and I cannot be saved like the thief on the cross.
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