End of life, salvation


In 1 Timothy 2:3, Paul states “God our Savior… wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (NIV). In keeping with God’s desire for the salvation of all, Christians should work towards that goal. From an evangelical Christian perspective, upon death, the status of one’s soul is fixed, bound either for heaven or hell.

This perspective should deeply influence our interactions with unbelievers, not only encouraging us to share the gospel, but also giving us an incentive to delay their physical death. Indeed, according to 2 Peter 3:9, the reason God is delaying the final consummation of all things is because “he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Similarly, Christians should desire to avoid taking away an individual’s chance at salvation. This argument can be a powerful (though not necessarily all-trumping) argument against killing, often used in the context of pacifist or anti-death penalty argumentation, but I contend this argument is also an important consideration for end-of-life ethics in a medical context.



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