Last Minute Saves

Consider the following scenario:

A rapist and murderer lives their whole life in sin and rebellion, and there on their deathbed they repent and decide to recieve Jesus at the last minute before they die, then they go on to heaven and eternal life.

I agree that on the surface the possiblity of this can be very frustrating for those who have tried to live thier lives as a “good person” and do the right things. I do not know anyone who hasn’t at one time or another felt similar to the brother of the prodigal son as in Luke 15:11-32

“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast–barbecued beef!–because he has him home safe and sound.’ “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ “His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours–but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!'” Luk 15:25-32 (MSG)

Of course when we feel this way, we are forgeting that we are not saved by works, we are saved by Grace.

For we ourselves also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, slaving for various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Tit 3:3-7 (MKJV)

This is a very good thing. I would not even want to get in the business of trying to somehow earn salvation. It would be a whole lot of work for nothing, as earning salvation is quite simply impossible. It has already been given as a free gift, all we have to do is repent and recieve it in faith.

Last minute saves are a small “price to pay” for it to be possible for us to recieve God’s mercy (not giving us what we deserve) and God’s grace (giving us what we don’t deserve).

Plus, we too quickly forget that by living for God in this life we have victory, provision, health, and abundance even on this side of eternity. On top of that we are building up treasure in heaven and have an inheritance awaiting us. Those who live in bondage to sin and repent at the last minute, even though the eternal consequences are forgiven, they still have the temporal consequences to deal with in this life in addition to having spent their inheritance.

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