I have often found a deathbed salvation hard to accept, especially those who have spent their earthly life doing every kind of evil, even rape and murder – even against those who are helpless and have no avenue of escape like children, but why? Well, they don’t deserve it. We feel superior to those hopelessly embroiled in lifelong sin. BUT. When we received salvation, carrying our (at the moment) lifelong sins, in that moment of admitting, Jesus pardoned all of our sins, wiping the slate clean as if we’d never sinned at all.
Once we have been saved and made new, we no longer bear these crimes against God. We may still feel the weight of them, but we needn’t. How about the sins we commit after we have been pardoned? Do we treat them as the former – already forgiven? Surely not! Although we have been cleansed from the former, we now bear the current sins. We still have to ask, but it will be forgiven. What about the future sins? Does God forgive? Yes, but why should He?
He saved us even though He knew we would sin against Him again and again. But surely we are better than the mass murderer, the rapist, and the ones who care nothing for God until they come to the end of this life, not knowing what comes next. Then they are happy to receive the Lord’s pardon. That’s not right, is it? It might surprise you to know the Lord sees and judges your sins the same as theirs. No one is worthy, yet all receive grace when they seek it. We are no better than the next sinner – all that put Jesus on the cross. You may count yourself as worthy in your own eyes, but in the eyes of God, we are all the same.
God showed me this as I was praying and pondering some things like the death bed confession. Basically, I am in the very same place as they –sinners all — perhaps with more time left (and perhaps not). Whatever I do today that is a sin against God is the same as an unbeliever. I need grace every day and on my deathbed I will need it still. No one is worthy, not even me.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)