DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My aunt never has had much to do with religion, but I always hoped she’d begin thinking about God as she grew older. That hasn’t happened, although she doesn’t have long to live. Shouldn’t she be worrying about what will happen to her when she dies? — V.M.
DEAR V.M.: Yes, of course she should be thinking about what will happen when she dies, because someday soon she will enter eternity, and then it will be too late. The Bible solemnly warns, “People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Why do some people refuse to face this? Sometimes it’s because they steadfastly refuse to believe in God or in Christ; even if they think they might be wrong, their pride keeps them from admitting it.
Sometimes, I’ve found, it’s because they hope that somehow they’ve been good enough to get into heaven, although they’ve never faced the truth of their own sin. And sometimes it’s simply because a person is determined to cling to their sin, whatever the cost.
But whatever the reason, only the Holy Spirit can overcome their resistance and open their eyes to their need for God’s forgiveness. That’s why the most important thing you can do is to pray for your aunt. The Bible says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
In addition, ask God to give you an opportunity to confront her, lovingly but clearly, about her spiritual condition. Tell her of Christ’s love for her — a love so great he was willing to die on the cross for her. Whatever her reasons for leaving God out of her life, Christ loves her so much that he wants her to be with him forever in heaven, and so do you.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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