Michael Spencer writes about the confusion of many evangelicals when they are asked to answer the question "what happens to a person when they die with unconfessed sin?" Many [most?] seem to think that "works, merit, synergism, cooperation with God, credit for good intentions, God waving the standards, points for sincerity and so on," are necessary for salvation. [read it all] He suggests some of the reasons for the error and then reminds us:
.... You could never say enough. You could never be sorry enough. You could never confess sincerely enough or completely enough. At the end of your confession, God would say “All your righteousness is filthy rags in comparison to my law's demands.” Not the labor of my hands - or my best attempt at confession - can fulfill the law’s demands. Christ’s perfect confession for us is “It is finished.” From there, “there is no condemnation,” deathbed or otherwise.
What wondrous love is this, O my soul?