Q: I think it’s arrogant for people to say they know they’re going to go to heaven when they die. How do they know? I’m just as good as some of them are, even if I’m not very religious. — H.B.
A: The greatest mistake anyone can ever make is to assume that they are good enough to go to heaven. And yet countless people make this mistake every day, thinking their good deeds will somehow outweigh their bad deeds and make them eligible for heaven.
Why do I say this is a mistake? The reason, the Bible says, is because God’s standard is nothing less than perfection. God is absolutely holy and perfect, and even one sin — just one — would be enough to banish us from his presence. In school you might miss several answers on the final exam and the teacher might still give you a passing grade, but that’s not true with God. The Bible says of him, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13).
Does this mean no one will ever get to heaven? No, it doesn’t, and the reason is because God has provided another way for us to be saved. That way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin (he was God in human flesh), but on the cross all our sins were placed on him, and he took upon himself the judgment and hell that we deserve. He died in our place!
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Don’t trust in yourself or your own goodness for your salvation. Instead, commit your life to Jesus Christ and put your faith and trust in him. Then you will know that someday you will go to be with him in heaven forever, not because of your goodness, but because of his.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.