Tim offers a biblical perspective on whether people get a "second chance" to accept Christ after death.
Why does God's offer of forgiveness end when we die?
This is a good question, and the answer is, "I don't know." I don't know why God has
set death as the deadline for accepting His offer of forgiveness.
However, I do know that God is the one who sets the terms. Salvation is on His
terms, not ours.
He declares the conditions of salvation. While the idea of a second chance for
salvation is appealing to many of us, especially those who have lost someone
who died apart from Christ, the Bible just does not seem to indicate that
that's an option.
The author of Hebrews says that it's appointed for men to die once and then comes
the judgment. So as long as you're alive you're able to accept Christ and be
However, after the point of death, well then comes the judgment, and the judgment
is final and irreversible. Consider the story that Jesus tells about the rich
man and Lazarus. First, there's a giant chasm that separates these two
individuals. In fact, it's fixed, and the rich man cannot go from the place of
torment to the place of blessedness where Lazarus is. And so what he does is
he tells Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his brothers, his
five brothers, to repent.
This seems to be a clear indication that there is no second chances after death.
Let me add one more thing. This question assumes that after death,
a person may want to repent and ask for forgiveness. But from the story of the
rich man and Lazarus, it seems clear that the rich man doesn't ask for forgiveness.
He doesn't repent. He wants to stay in his sin. At death, believers in Christ
will spend eternity
with Him. However, unbelievers who reject the offer of forgiveness and
salvation in this life will not have the opportunity to repent after death. And
that's why Paul, to the church at Corinth, says, "now is the day of salvation."