DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve always assumed I’d go to heaven when I died, but I had some serious heart problems recently, and now I’m wondering if I’m right. I’ve always gone to church and tried to be a good person, but now I’m not sure if I’ve been good enough. How can I know? — P.L.
DEAR P.L.: I know my answer may shock you, but you’ll never be good enough to go to heaven on your own. If we depend on our goodness to get us to heaven, then we’re doomed because we can never be good enough.
Let me explain. One of my favorite definitions of heaven is that it’s the place where God is. In other words, in heaven we’ll be in God’s presence forever, free from all worries, fears, illness and evil. The problem, however, is that God is absolutely holy and perfect, and even one sin would be enough to keep us from his presence.
The Bible says of God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13). Even the best person who has ever lived won’t be able to stand before God because his standard is perfection.
But there is one exception, and that is Jesus Christ. He alone was without sin, for he was fully God (as well as fully man). But on the cross all our sins were transferred to him, and he took upon himself the judgment we deserve. Now he offers us salvation as a free gift — because he has already paid for it.
By a simple act of faith, turn to Jesus and trust him alone for your salvation. Don’t trust yourself; trust Christ! Then thank God every day that you now belong to him and someday you’ll go to be with him forever.
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