Denominations are not the only ones who believe in deathbed religion. Members of the Lord’s church also believe in it as well. What is deathbed religion? Among denominations, it usually denotes a person who is on their deathbed who declares their belief in Jesus. They say that such a confession saves them. Thus, deathbed religion among denominations declares that a person can be saved without baptism.
Among brethren, deathbed religion denotes a person who confesses Jesus to be the Christ, is removed from their deathbed, repents and then is immersed into water, and thus saved just before death. Sounds a whole like the denominations with the addition of baptism.
So, who is right? Neither one is correct. It’s true that the scriptures demands a person confess Jesus to be the Christ (Rom 10:9,10) and then must repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). However, this is not all the bible declares a Christian must do in order to be saved. All the saints must suffer persecution for the cause of Christ (2 Tim 3:12 f; 1 Pet 4:16). All the saints must be tried (Jam 1:12). If all one had to do is to wait until they were about to die and then ask to be baptized, they would make the laws of Christ of none effect.
Imagine all the trials and tribulations of the prophets and apostles. Imagine all the trials and tribulations of the saints of God. Notice the words of the Hebrew writer:
“…who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented — of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Heb 11:33-38).
Also take note of the persecutions and trials of the apostle Paul:
“…in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Cor 11:23-28).
No one can accomplish all of these things on their deathbed. It takes time for the Lord to try his own and no man is immune from such trials and persecutions for the Lord is no respecter of person (Acts 10:34). What God demands of one, he demands of all. All the saints must obey the complete gospel of Christ. All the saints must be tried and persecuted for the cause of Christ.
Even the idea that a person can wait till their dying days, when they have nothing to give God, or the ability to contribute anything to his kingdom, that they can evade studying God’s Word (2 Tim 2:15), teaching or preaching the Word (2 Tim 2:2), helping those who are in need (Gal 6:10), while enduring the afflictions of all saints (1 Pet 5:9,10), is purely the vain imagination of the wicked! No man can enter into the kingdom of heaven and not have taken up his cross and followed after Christ (Lk 14:27). NO NOT ONE!