As Christians we ought to be willing to confess our faith to others. However, one of the clearest proofs that confession is not part of salvation is John 12:42. “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue”. Here were people who genuinely came to Christ but were afraid to confess him.
Furthermore, examine the story of the thief on the cross who in his final moments of life recognized Christ was the one He said He was. Jesus declared to him in Luke 23:43, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” There was no way he could confess Christ publicly as he died upon that cross – yet Christ welcomed him into His paradise.