Is a death bed conversion possible? for Compelling Truth
When people speak about a death bed conversion, they usually mean a person who chooses to believe in Jesus as their Savior just before they die. Does the Bible offer any information or examples of a death bed conversion?
The one clear example provided in the New Testament is found in Luke 23. When Jesus was on the cross, he was crucified between two other criminals. While the Gospels declared that both men mocked Jesus at first (Matthew 27:44), one man eventually realized Jesus was different. We are told, “And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise'” (Luke 23:42-43). This criminal clearly believed in Jesus and Jesus clearly promised the man eternal life.
While a death bed conversion can be legitimate, it is not preferred. In fact, the Bible often speaks of accepting salvation immediately. John the Baptist, for example, taught, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Hebrews 3:7-8 urges, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Second Corinthians 6:2 adds, “now is the day of salvation.”
Scripture is clear that life is short and eternity is long. James 4:14 teaches, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” The Psalmist wrote, “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away…. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:10, 12).
Are you uncertain where you will spend eternity? The Bible teaches that you can know for sure where you will be one moment after you die. First John 5:13 promises, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”