Deathbed Conversions – Can Seriously Wicked People Like Mass Murderers and Serial Killers Get Saved?

Deathbed conversions are entirely possible, according to scripture (The term “Scripture” now applies to both the Old and New Testaments, though when the New Testament writers referred to Scripture, it referred only to the Old Testament until the time when Peter compared the writings of Paul and the “other scriptures” in 2 Peter 3:15-16)

God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him (Alcoholics Anonymous Page 46)
All that is required to get to heaven is to believe. (John 3:18)

There are still a few people out there who believe that you must be baptized to get to Heaven. And I have argued until I am blue in the face. Yes, baptism in the common circumstance is indispensable. Once you believe go get baptized immediately! But on the same token, for instance on a battlefield, somebody laying there dying sees the light, I do not see God turning him away. So God inspired John 3:18. God is willing that none should perish. God is love. (1 John 4:8) Not that He has love, but He is love. God has more love in his little finger than any of us will ever have our entire lives.

If it is as easy as believing, can’t everyone go to heaven? What about seriously deranged people like mass murderers and serial killers? Will they see the light at the end of their life and get saved?
I am sure there will be many people in heaven that will surprise a lot of people. However, it is not so easy to see the light. It is simply not possible with the unaided human mind to discern God. Jesus said it (Matthew 16:17) and I have confirmed this in my own personal experience. There is ample proof in both the Old and New Testaments. Think about this. Peter and company followed Jesus for three years, seeing miracle after miracle, and they were still basically as spiritually blind as bats. And think about the ancient Hebrews. How could anybody be delivered by miracle after miracle, walk through the Red Sea, and all that and still make a golden calf to worship?
And in my personal experience, I have debated with atheists until I was blue in the face… and it just cannot be done. You must seek God, and God must call you in order to find Him.

God made it as easy as believing to get to Heaven, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). At the same time, going from belief to unbelief is an infinite chasm that cannot be jumped by human power. Most of what God is and stands for makes no sense at all to the unbeliever. This is further exacerbated by the devil, explained below.

Some People Cannot Be Saved

God wishes that every man would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) However, He knows that many will not. Jesus said that there are children of the devil and children of God (1 John 3:10). This is by the individual’s choice. There are some people who hate God and everything he stands for. Sad but true. And these people will never see the light. I am sure there are a lot of people reading this aghast… So a word of explanation is in order.
Satan is the god of this world system. Back when Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he gave title deed of the planet over to Satan. Note that Eve was deceived, but Adam flat-out disobeyed. Adam had been given title deed to the earth. (Genesis 1:26) Adam, by his disobedience gave title deed over to Satan. Your God is whom you follow (Romans 6:16). Adam followed Satan and made Satan his god. Sad but true. This is how Satan was able to offer the kingdoms to Jesus, if Jesus would just worship him. But in the same way that one man’s disobedience plunged us into this system of pain and tears, another man’s obedience (Jesus) wrested it back.

God allows the “god” of this world to keep the spiritual eyes blinded of people who do not love God and God’s ways.

I said all that so that this Bible quote might make sense.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NIV)

And Satan’s best deception of all? That you have to be good enough to get to heaven. The Gospel makes no sense to unbelievers who are trying to work their way to heaven (1 Corinthians 1:23 ) But there is no such thing as earning your way to heaven. It is simply not possible. We cannot even comprehend what it would take to be “good enough” much less have any hope of achieving it.

For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20 NASB)

God has a sense of justice that far surpasses ours. As much as He hates to destroy anyone, He also gave us a free will and He is not going to ram His ways down our throats. And by allowing Satan to keep people blinded, He is unlikely to allow unrepentant seriously wicked people into the kingdom of heaven.

  • By Brad Bratton, January 4, 2010 @ 7:26 pm


    I enjoyed this column very much. I just read it aloud to my 22 year old son, on leave from the Air Force. That’s one reason, I haven’t done a lot of work, however, I did spend several hours on a newspaper ad. I will send you the raw piece, as is. I will add disclaimers etc. Let Reggie take a look too.
    Back to your website. I really am enjoyed it,will continue reading, and will share it with friends. You have done a great job with this site. keep up the good work.

    In Christ,


  • By Christian, June 8, 2010 @ 6:05 am

    Many will be surprised Im sure.and vice versa on who may be in Heaven and who not.But I dont judge.I wont put anyone in Heaven or Hell.Nice article thanks.

  • By jorge alvarado, July 10, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

    “You must seek God, and God must call you in order to find Him.”
    I think this is backwards. I believe every time God is the one who “gets” you, then you follow (or not) John 6:44 comes to mind.
    Also, Jesus came after Saul of Tarsus to do His work. There are more examples (The Old Testament is a lot about God appearing to people to tell them to do His bidding).
    In keeping with this, is it possible God would allow someone to do terrible things, and at the deathbed (or before even), come looking for them?. I think He is the kind of God who can, bad or wrong as it may seem to us.

  • By A.L. Howard, July 11, 2010 @ 8:04 am

    I agree, Jorge. God must call you before you will seek Him. Our flesh will not desire God of its own volition.

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