My Answer: Never Good Enough to Enter Heaven

Q: The doctor says I only have six months to live. I've always been a moral person and all that, but why shouldn't I live it up now that my time is running out? God will forgive me anyway, won't He? — B.F.

A: If your doctor is right, someday soon you will stand before God — and you should not take this truth lightly. The Bible warns, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

Nor should you take God's forgiveness lightly, or assume that it doesn't really matter how you live because God is going to forgive you anyway. Nothing could be further from the truth — and the reason is because we can only be forgiven if we are truly sorry for our sins and repent of them. But from what you say, you have no hesitancy to plunge into a life of sin — and that's the opposite of repentance. The central message of Jesus' sermons was "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17).

But in spite of your moral life so far, you still aren't ready to meet God. The reason is because no matter how good we've been, we can never be good enough to enter heaven. God's standard is perfection. That is why we need Christ, for only He can cleanse us of our sins and make us fit for heaven. He did this by taking all our sins upon Himself when He died for us on the cross.

Satan is trying to convince you to follow his path and ignore God. But Satan's way is the way of death and hell, and I pray you won't go down that road. Instead, by faith open your heart to Christ, for only He can give us the joy of eternal life in heaven.

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Affectionately known as the "World's Preacher" for more than 60 years, the Rev. Billy Graham is one of the most influential and respected spiritual leaders of the 20th century. He has been a friend and spiritual advisor to ten American presidents and has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history — nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories — through various meetings. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts. Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.

©2007 Billy Graham. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.