God does not deny what is true. So, if someone at death is truly repentant, God will accept the fact that he or she has repented. But, does a deathbed repentance earn a heavenly reward?
Galatians 6:7,8 reads, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
This scripture teaches that a person's fate is not determined by a deathbed confession – but by his behaviors and resulting character which was developed throughout his lifetime. Repentance means “to change.” The reason someone at death would want to repent is because they recognize that their course in life has been sowing to the flesh and was out of harmony with the will of God. Such last-minute repentance does not allow that person enough time in this lifetime to sow to the spirit and reap life everlasting.
However, this does not mean that that person is condemned to a place of eternal flames and torment. After the first resurrection of those who have sown to the spirit, (Revelations 20:4-6) there shall be a general resurrection (Revelations 20:12) of all mankind. It is then that the truly repentant will have an opportunity to amend their ways and gain everlasting life on earth. “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed (Christ redeemed all of mankind) shall walk there: And the ransomed (all of humanity) of the LORD shall return (from death and dying condition), and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:8-10)