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The Sinner’s Prayer As Fire Insurance

deathbed conversions fire insurance


Many people think that they can get saved “at the last minute” by simply reciting some “sinner’s prayer” on their deathbed, after living a life of sin and rebellion against God and His commandments.  The problem with this idea is that reciting words that we have no understanding of, is not the Gospel.  We can’t expect to pray some prayer on our deathbed as “fire insurance” to get us out of a jam at the 11th hour.  God still needs to first show us our sinfulness, our need to repent, His holiness and that Christ is the only savior, by his death on our behalf.  Also, reading a sentence like “I believe that Jesus died for my sins” does not mean that the reader believes what he or she is reading nor does it mean that the reader understands what they are reading or reciting.  I can tell someone to recite the phrase:


“I believe that quarks exist and I believe everything that Murray Gell-Mann ever said about them.”

and they can then go ahead and recite that sentence, but that does not mean that they will know what a quark is, or that they really will believe that quarks exist nor will they know who in the world Murray Gell-Mann was or what he said about quarks.  And such is the case with both the dying man and the Christian who thinks he can shoehorn his dying friends or relatives into heaven by getting them to repeat some “sinner’s prayer”.  Salvation requires an act of God and it is an act of God that is NOT in response to something the sinner says or does.  It is entirely an act of God’s mercy and it is solely according to God’s prerogative.  God is not mocked.  You can’t expect to manipulate Him into saving you on your terms and according to your timetable, just because you repeat some magical incantation that preachers have come up with for easy – yet false – conversions. No matter what we want to believe, God has declared that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), and it is “the Spirit that giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6).  So unless God is at work via the preaching of the Gospel and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, our efforts “in the flesh” to come up with “simple salvation prayers” will profit nothing. — RM Kane


“Salvation is of the Lord” – Jonah 2:9


“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” – Psalm 127:1

Please check out our articles on Predestination & Free-Will for more solid Bible-based teaching on God’s sovereignty in the salvation of souls.