Q. In the past you have written, “I believe that a person can ask with his last breath to be saved and the Lord will agree.” Does that mean if somebody says with his last breath “God, if you exist, please help me!” the Lord will save him from eternal damnation? Is this enough?
A. The way you phrased the question implies that the person isn’t really sure that God exists, and that’s not enough for salvation. New Testament passages on salvation (like Romans 10:9) are clear that it’s our belief that the Lord died for our sins and rose again that saves us. If we believe that, we can ask to be saved with our dying breath and the Lord will grant our request.
This was the Lord’s message in the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). Some were hired in the first hour of the workday and and more were hired through out the day until finally some were hired in the last hour. But at the end of the day, they were all given the same amount.
A parable is a fictional story that represents a spiritual truth. In this parable the landowner represents the Lord and we are His workers (Psalm 24:1). The workday is our life (Hebr. 9:27), our belief is the only work He requires of us (John 6:28-29), and salvation is what we receive in return (John 3:16). No matter when in life we come to believe that the Lord died for our sins, we all receive the same salvation.
“For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).