Ezekiel 18:32 (NKJV) says, “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore, turn and live!”
Ezekiel later reiterates that God would rather save than destroy. “Say to them: ‘[As] I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV).
David agrees when he says, “For You, Lord, [are] good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5 NKJV).
God not only offers second chances, but it is also His preference that people turn back to Him and live.
1 John 1:8-9 NKJV describes the process of forgiveness this way. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
These Bible texts might lull some people into taking second chances for granted and thinking that if they toss out a deathbed prayer at the last minute, they’ve got their bases covered. Most likely they will not care anymore, by that point, because willful sin tends to sear the conscience.
Hebrews 10:26-27 NKJV states, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”
Remember, salvation is based on a relationship with God, not on a mere legal arrangement. The evidence of an actual relationship is missing if you wait until the last second to proclaim your allegiance to God.