Does a death bed confession really count? How is that possible? Can a person really change? The saying goes – a leopard never changes its spots. That’s base on Scripture! There are a few problems with this line of thinking. The first and most prominent being the example of the thief on the cross.
Do you realize that the only one who defending the crucified Jesus was the thief on the cross right next to him? We don’t know anything more about either of the men who were crucified with Jesus – only that both of them verbally attacked Jesus. Then one changed his tune and rebuked the other criminal and asked Jesus that he be remembered. This is where Jesus says that he’ll do more than remember him. “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” That death bed absolution is an example of at least one man who confessed his sins and is now in glory. We have Jesus’ own word for it.
I don’t know that any of us have a problem with the thief on the cross. But we don’t need to go very deep into the history books to find someone that we would all agree doesn’t deserve to be in heaven. The problem is that NONE of us deserve to be in glory. The real problem with this question is that it doesn’t come from outside Christianity. This is a problem that Christians have. If a Christian would like to place limits on the worthiness of the residents of the pearly gates, it is a short jump for Satan to twist our thinking, catch us in weakness and leave us in despair. After all none of us deserve to be in glory.
The only place for the Christian to find security of his or her salvation is in the merits of Jesus Christ. Everything else will disappoint us.
Watch this week’s Bible class taken from our series Not Sorry – Apologetics: Do last minute confessions get people into heaven?
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.