Browsing through a book of quotations, you will notice that the most fascinating quotes are those made by people on their deathbed! In one sentence they tell the world where their life has led them. A famous atheist’s last words were, “About to take a fearful leap into the dark!” All of God’s covenants, all of God’s promises are nailed to one simple desire of our divine God—He wants to SAVE US FROM SIN. With the end of life, comes the verdict of our covenant relationship.
- A pastor said, “I believe in deathbed confessions. I know they are accepted by God, but I have to admit I’m a bit nervous about them, wondering if the confession is absolutely genuine!” It is natural to speculate about the motives of others. How does God view the approaching sinner asking for salvation? How does God’s knowledge of the future affect His response?
- Entering into a covenant relationship not only cleanses us of guilt and regret but also fills us with joy! Imagine what happens in the courts of heaven when you take the first step towards spending eternity in heaven. What do you think your guardian angel has to say? In the heavenly scheme of things, how does your entering into a covenant relationship make a difference to your access to eternal life?
- Two thieves hung on either side of Jesus. One mocked him, while the other asked for salvation? With what confidence can we claim God’s promise after years of turning away? Notice that Jesus did not address the thief at all until the thief spoke to Him. What does this say about the role of the Holy Spirit? How does this help us understand that we can ask for salvation regardless of how hopeless we may be? Imagine that the thief, after receiving salvation, did not die. What kind of impact would he have had in his community? How does entering into a covenant relationship affect missions and evangelism?
- Someone has described the thief’s eleventh hour salvation as “literally blundering into paradise.” Regardless of “when” we accept Jesus Christ, we all “blunder” into heaven! There is no other way because we are wretched sinners who, without God’s grace, will continue blundering. Do some people try to take advantage of that grace by waiting to accept Christ after they’ve lived the way they want? How would you convince a person of the importance of accepting Christ now instead of waiting until the eleventh hour?
- Ambrose, an early Christian preacher said, “How much richer was Christ’s grace than the malefactor’s prayer!” When there’s more than enough of God’s grace to compensate for our every sin, why do we sometimes question our Christianity? Is being a Christian merely claiming the title? Does being a Christian mean you will be saved? What verses could you quote to verify your salvation?