Death Bed Salvation, Ps 116:3-4

Ps 116:3-4 describes a person who turns to the Lord in what is commonly called “death bed” salvation or a “death bed” conversion.  Some people will wait till the end of their lives to call upon the Lord.  This text explains what causes them to finally come to the Lord.

The sorrows of death.  Religion is okay while you’re vibrant and alive.  But it is no match for death.  People need something a lot more certain than a priest’s prayer or an infant baptism.  They’re facing eternity without assurance.

Lali was dying of cancer and her religion did not give her enough peace to face the sorrows of her death.  When I sat on the floor with her, next to her palate which served as her bed, she eagerly heard the gospel and confidently accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior.  After that, she could face the sorrows of death with the hope that she would keep living past her body’s demise.

Sandra was overwhelmed in the hospital with the thought of her death.  When Anne and I visited her and presented the gospel to her, Sandra accepted Jesus as her Savior and received eternal life right then.  Her death was still imminent but her sorrow was gone.

The pains of hell.  There is a genuine fear that they might wind up in hell for the bad things they have done in this life.  Hell becomes very real when you’re just days away from spending eternity there.  Death bed salvation will keep a person out of hell just like getting saved in VBS will.

Fred, after being diagnosed with brain cancer, was visibly distraught about the possibility that he might not be going to heaven because of some of the things he had done in his life.  When I sat beside him on his sofa and led him verse by verse through the gospel, Fred saw that by receiving Jesus Christ, he could have forgiveness for all of his sins and a home in heaven when he died.  He readily received Jesus and all of the distress concerning his destination was gone.

Virgil was dying of stomach cancer and our mutual friend wanted me to tell him about Jesus.  At first, Virgil was reluctant. But after hearing about full salvation now and a home in heaven after his death, Virgil was ready to be saved and genuinely trusted Jesus Christ to save him.

The trouble and sorrow.  When people consider the trouble of the past and the sorrow they face at the end of their lives, they often look for peace and reconciliation.  Jesus Christ has just the answer.

Peg was a friend of one of our church members.  She had lived the life of a skeptic. And she was bitter because of the sexual misconduct of a youth pastor in her former church.  She was determined to have nothing to do with the Lord, as a result.  However, when I visited her in the hospital and told her of all the wonderful things accompanying salvation in Jesus Christ, she turned to the Lord.  The last three weeks of her life were spent in glorious fellowship with her four saved children.

Fernando Aleman, the pastor of El Buen Pastor in Beeville, led a lady to the Lord in her eighties.  She was dying in the hospital and had alienated all of her family members in the course of her life.  Once she got saved, however, she had Bro Aleman call her family.  One by one, she invited them into her hospital room to make it right with them.  She reconciled with all of them and testified of the grace of God in Jesus that had brought her to this place of reconciliation.

Conclusion:  A person calling upon the Lord on their death bed can get right to the point of salvation just like the thief on the cross did.  Don’t quit praying for them until they die.  Always be ready to go to them with the gospel right up until the time that they do die.  They might get saved on their death bed.