Q: How much do I have to clean up my life before God will accept me? I want to believe in Jesus and follow him like some of my friends do, but I know I need to get my life together first. — Z.S.
A: If you were going to be received by the president or the queen of England or any other important person, you’d probably do everything you could to be as groomed and well-dressed as possible. You’d do it not only out of respect, but because you wouldn’t want to be embarrassed — or even refused entry.
But listen: God isn’t like that! God welcomes us just as we are! All that he requires of us is a repentant heart and a sincere faith — faith not in ourselves and our goodness, but faith in Jesus Christ and what he has already done for us. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
You see, no matter how good we are, we can never be good enough to come into God’s presence. God is absolutely perfect and pure, and even one sin — just one — would be enough to banish us from his presence. That’s why we can never be saved by our good deeds, because we can never be good enough.
But all our sins were placed on Jesus Christ, and on the cross he took upon himself the judgment for sin that we deserve. And now God welcomes us just as we are! Don’t let another day go by without Christ, but by a simple prayer of faith ask him to come into your life and cleanse you of all your sins, and he will.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.