Q: I want to go to heaven when I die, but in the meantime I intend to have a good time. Why shouldn’t I? After all, Jesus forgave one of the men who was crucified with him, although that man only had hours to live. Why won’t he do the same for me? — T.H.
A: What you say is partly true: even at the last minute God will forgive anyone who sincerely repents of his or her sin, and turns in faith to Jesus Christ for their salvation (Luke 23:39-43). The Bible says that God “is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
But how do you know if you’ll have that opportunity? Look around you: how many people die each day without any warning? A fatal accident … a massive heart attack … even a violent terrorist assault — these and a hundred other events can unexpectedly cut life short and usher us into eternity. Or think of those with impaired memories who are unable to realize what is happening to them. The Bible solemnly warns, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
But you also are about to build your life on a false foundation. You think a life of self-indulgence will bring you happiness, but are you sure? God made you, and he knows what is best for you. Furthermore, he loves you, and his way is always best, without exception.
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Don’t gamble with your soul. Instead, face honestly your need for Christ, and put your life into his hands today. You need him for today, and for eternity. Jesus’ promise is for you: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.