Death Bed Repentance – I know well that many do not believe what I am saying because they think there is an immense quantity of death bed repentance. They flatter themselves that multitudes who do not live religious lives will yet die religious deaths.
They take comfort in the thought that vast numbers of persons turn to God in their last illness and are saved at the eleventh hour. I will only remind such persons that all the experience of ministers is utterly against the theory.
People generally die just as they have lived. True repentance is never too late, but repentance deferred to the last hours of life is seldom true.
A man’s life is the surest evidence of his spiritual state, and if lives are to be witnesses, then few are likely to be saved.
It is a painful conclusion to arrive at—but I know not how it can be avoided. It is a fearful and tremendous thought, that there should be so many churchmen in England, and so many dissenters, so many seat-holders, and so many pew-renters, so many hearers, and so many communicants—and yet, after all, so few in a way to be saved! But the only question is, Is it not true? It is vain to shut our eyes against facts. It is useless to pretend not to see what is going on around us. The statements of the Bible and the facts of the world we live in will lead us to the same conclusion—Many are being lost, and few being saved!
Old Paths: Being Plain Statements on Some of the Weightier Matters of Christianity.
Death Bed Repentance Reality by J. C. Ryle.
“There is one death bed repentance recorded in the Bible (the thief on the cross), so that no one despair, but there is ONLY one; so that no one will presume” – Matthew Henry.