DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve been a member of my church for almost 50 years, but recently I’ve been thinking about death and heaven, and I wonder if I’ve been good enough. Is it too late to make up for lost time so I’ll have a better chance of getting into heaven? — D.O.
DEAR D.O.: I’m thankful for your faithfulness to your church; undoubtedly, your example has meant much to your family and others over the years. The Bible says, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).
The most important thing I can tell you, however, is this: salvation is not a reward for our goodness. In other words, no matter how good we are, no matter how active we’ve been in church, no matter how much we’ve tried to help others, we can never make it to heaven on our own. The reason is because God is absolutely holy and pure, and God’s standard is nothing less than perfection. But as the Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
Does this mean we can never get to heaven? No, not at all, and the reason is because God has provided the way for us to be saved. That way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin (for he was God in human flesh), but on the cross all our sins were transferred to him, and he died in our place. And by his resurrection he opened heaven’s door to all who put their faith and trust in him.
This is good news. Don’t trust yourself or your good works, for they can never save you. Instead, put your faith and trust in Jesus. His promise is for you: “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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