Q: I’ve never thought about God very much, but the other day my aunt died and it kind of got me to thinking. I’ve always assumed that when we die that’s the end, but she was very religious and always said she looked forward to going to heaven. Was this just wishful thinking on her part? — P. McL.
A: No, this wasn’t just wishful thinking on her part, not at all. Your aunt had a strong conviction that death is not the end but the beginning — the beginning of an eternity of joy and peace in God’s presence forever.
Where did this conviction of hers come from? As you mention elsewhere in your email, it came from her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord. You see, you and I were not meant for this world alone; we were meant to live with God in heaven forever. Our souls or spirits were created in God’s likeness, and just as God will never cease to exist, neither will we. As the Bible says, God “has also set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
But something terrible happened to the human race, and that “something” was sin. We have rebelled against God and chosen to live without him, and as a result we are cut off from him, both in this world and the next. Is there any hope? Yes, because Jesus Christ came down from heaven to bring us back to God through his death on the cross.
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Your aunt knew all this, and by faith she had committed her life to Jesus Christ and trusted him alone for her salvation. And if she could somehow speak to you today, she’d urge you to do the same. Don’t continue to turn your back on Christ, but open your heart and life to him.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.