The headline above make shock a lot of readers familiar with Christopher Hitchen’s atheism, his polemic book God is Not Great and his unabashed hatred for, among others, Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has an excellent article here about God’s amazing grace that reaches even to death’s door. To be sure, deathbed conversions are rare (in my own ministry, it happened only once that I know of, when I led a man in a nursing home to Jesus several days before he died).
Nonetheless, Moore draws on the most famous deathbed conversion, the thief on the cross, speculating how many believers in that man’s family may have concluded he was in hell—not hearing his cry of repentance, or Jesus’ assurance that he would be with our Lord in paradise that day!
A Methodist minister friend once told me that we’ll be surprised by those who make it to heaven, and those who don’t. That seemed to echo the sentiment of Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, the “Voice of the Martyrs,” who said in an article about Russian Communism founder Vladimir Lenin reportedly being saved on his deathbed, “Heaven holds many surprises.” Christopher Hitchens could well be one of those surprises.