Salvation Can’t Wait Until Your Death Bed
by Dr. D. Wayne Beeks | August 9, 2017
I began this message several days ago, and I was working to complete a message by this past Sunday morning of how sickness and tragedy influence a person’s acceptance of the Lord as their savior. However, events over the past few days have delayed and changed this message to contain a message of a more person level. The inspiration for my original message on “bedside salvation” was based from the old saying, “there are no atheist’s in a foxhole” and “there is no atheist on his death bed.” These sayings make light of how at times of high stress, great sickness, and near-death events, people will turn to Christ, and prayer to get them through a difficult time. This occurrence of bedside salvation has occurred even among some of histories famous and infamous atheists. The following are a few quotes from some of those atheists, who in the final moments of their lives found their lacking faith came back with what could only be described as horrific and of dreadful consequence.
From Voltaire, a famous anti-Christian atheist: “I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life.” (He said this to Dr. Fochin, who told him it could not be done.) “Then I shall die and go to hell!” (His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.”)
From Thomas Payne, the leading atheistic writer in American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? “I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! …No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.”
And from Anton LeVey, the very infamous author of the Satanic Bible and high priest of the religion dedicated to the worship of Satan. Some of his famous quotes are “There is a beast in man that needs to be exercised, not exorcised”. His dying words were “Oh my, oh my, what have I done, there is something very wrong…there is something very wrong….”
Why do so many wait until one minute before midnight of their life to come to the Lord? Knowing that at any time their life could end suddenly, and without the opportunity to accept Christ as their Lord and savior. Now is the time to accept Christ and live in His word. Too many will live their lives with the thought that salvation can wait, as long as there is life, there is hope to obey God, but to many who plan to repent on their death beds, they will never have the opportunity.
A few nights ago, Saturday night, I awoke after having a dream. In this particular dream, I was standing before, and talking with Jesus, and as he spoke to me I asked Him what if don’t recall what you are saying to me, and He told me, “you will know when the time comes., and when you write I will guide your words.” Sunday night I got home from work around midnight, and even though my shift had been relatively quiet, I was extremely exhausted. In fact, I had felt that way the entire day, but now I ached throughout and I felt even more tired and heavy of body than I can ever remember feeling, and went straight to bed.
About an hour or so later I awoke with extreme pain in my chest and shortness of breath. I tried to get up and walk it off, but it only increased the pain and brought on dizziness. I thought for a minute, so this is how it’s going to be, I’m going to pass away in an extremely unglamorous fashion, not in the blaze of glory performing some heroic deed that would be talked about for years. But instead just as an overworked, out of shape, middle aged statistic. Being an EMT and having dealt with such events I knew the risk factors and the symptoms, and this didn’t appear heading anyplace positive. Paramedics came, but even with their insistence of urgency, I declined to be transported. With Claudia’s insistence, a short time later I was in the hospital getting stuck, poked, and prodded. Though I was in a lot of pain, and I prayed if it was His will I would get through this. As I am here writing this, it was His will that I get through that moment in my life. Although I didn’t have a near death experience, there were a couple hours where I wasn’t sure these weren’t my final hours. But what I did experience was the calm and comfort of knowing, should I die at that moment, I knew where I would be. For me there would be no death bed conversion, for I already knew where I would awaken following my passing.
There are many that do go through death bed conversions, and this is well addressed in a quote from one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, “Man’s Thoughts and God’s Thoughts”
“As for peace in the hour of death, he who is not pardoned while living is not likely to be pardoned when dying. Nine out of ten, perhaps nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand of professed death-bed salvations are a delusion.
We have good facts to prove that. A certain physician collected notes of several hundred cases of people who professed conversion when they thought they were dying. These people did not die as they had expected to, but continued to live. In the case of all but one they lived just as they had lived before, though when they were thought to be dying they appeared as if they were truly converted.
Do not look forward to a death-bed salvation, it is a mere snare of Satan. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:22)”
It is a great folly and lie to oneself to believe you can live their life in sin, only to repent and accept Christ in your final hour. Truly does your life run wholly on your time schedule, and in according to your plan? For even if it did, don’t deceive yourself into such a hoax before God as He truly knows your heart, and will not be blind of your deceit if it is not truly in your heart.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV)
I don’t know for sure if this event contains the message Jesus was giving me the other night in that dream, but what I do know is I felt a sense of peace and comfort with having spoken with Him the night before. I know He was with me that night, and He was with me the night and early morning I was in pain. Sometimes we may forget or overlook that He is with us always, the other night He just reminded me, and made clear to me of that fact.
“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).
Salvation can’t wait until or tomorrow, or even later today. The time for salvation is now, for later may be too late.
Jesus, I know that You are the only begotten Son of God, and You died for my sins. Its only through You that I may have eternal salvation. I repent for my sins, and ask for Your forgiveness. I give my life to You from this day forward. Wash me of my sins with Your precious blood that You shed for all of us, and gave us a path for salvation.
We pray in Jesus’s name,