The real test of your theology is what you cling to on your death-bed. Shepherdites, Federal Visionists, New Perspectivists, Lordship Salvationists, Roman Catholics and all other moralists would do well to consider this question. What will be the source of your confidence as you lie dying, preparing to face your Maker? I doubt it will be one's "attainments" in the area of sanctification, for even though they are wrought in us by the power of the Spirit, they are imperfect and cannot withstand the scrutiny of the divine judgment. No, our only confidence and hope will be nothing less than the blood and righteousness of Christ.
Robert Traill (1642-1716), a Scottish Presbyterian minister who was imprisoned on the infamous Bass Rock during the Killing Times, put it well:
How reluctant men would be to plead that cause on a deathbed which they so stoutly stand up for with tongue and pen when at ease, and the evil day far away! They seem to be jealous lest God's grace and Christ's righteousness have too much room, and men's works too little, in the business of justification. But was there ever a sensible dying person exercised with this jealousy as to himself? ... Consider how it is with the most holy and eminent saints when dying. Did you ever see or hear any boasting of their works and performances? They may and do own, to the praise of his grace, what they have been made to be, what they have been helped to do or suffer for Christ's sake. But when they draw near to the awful tribunal, what else is in their eye and heart but only free grace, ransoming blood, and a well-ordered covenant in Christ the surety? They cannot bear to hear any make mention to them of their holiness, their own grace and attainments. In a word, the doctrine of conditions, qualifications and rectoral government, and the distribution of rewards and punishments according to the new law of grace, will make but an uneasy bed to a dying man's conscience ... Why should men contend for that in their life that they know they must renounce at their death? Or neglect that truth now that they must betake themselves to then? Why should a man build a house which he must leave in a storm, or be buried in its ruins?
Justification Vindicated (Puritan Paperbacks; Banner of Truth, 2002), pp. 31-33.
Or in the words of the great Calvinist hymn writer, Augustus Toplady ...
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyelids close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.