God is not reluctant to take us to heaven

01/19/2014 4:00 PM

01/19/2014 6:30 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: What happens when we die? Do we go immediately to heaven, or do we have to wait until the end of time (or something like that) before God finally lets us go there? — S.P.


God isn’t reluctant to take us to heaven, and my own study of the Bible has convinced me that when we die we will enter immediately into his presence. The Apostle Paul declared, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

At the same time, God still has something more for us, even after we die. That “something” is the resurrection, when we will be given new bodies at the end of time as we know it. In other words, God’s plan isn’t for us to be disembodied spirits floating aimlessly around in heaven; instead he is going to give us new bodies, like the one Jesus had after his resurrection. I can barely imagine this, but we will be forever free from sickness and weariness and even death itself. In that day, the Bible says, “the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The most important fact about heaven, however, is that we will be safely in God’s presence forever. We will behold him in all of his glory, and we'll fully understand what Jesus Christ did for us through his death and resurrection.

The real question about heaven, however, is this: Are you going there? Only one thing will keep you out of heaven, and that is your sin. But Jesus Christ took all our sins upon himself, and now he offers us salvation as a free gift. Why not receive him into your life today?

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