DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I have a friend who says she knows she’s going to heaven when she dies, but how can she be so sure? I hope I make it, but it would be arrogant of me to say I’m such a good person that God will have to let me in. Is she just deceiving herself? — V.M
DEAR V.M.: I hope she’s not deceiving herself, although it’s certainly possible for this to happen. For example, some people are so convinced of their goodness that they think God must surely let them into heaven. But they’re only deceiving themselves. Their pride has blinded them to their sin.
But I suspect your friend is convinced she’s going to heaven for a far different reason: She has given her life to Jesus Christ, and she knows she now belongs to him. We can never make it to heaven on our own, because God’s standard is nothing less than perfection, and who can claim to be perfect? The Bible warns, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
But Jesus Christ came into the world for one reason: to make our salvation possible. On the cross he purchased our salvation by becoming the complete and final sacrifice for our sins, and now he offers us eternal life as a free gift. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
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But like any other gift, salvation isn’t ours until we reach out and accept it. And that’s what I invite you to do right now. By a simple prayer of faith, tell God you know you’re a sinner and then ask Christ to come into your life.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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