What better gift could you receive than salvation?
by Billy Graham
February 21, 2014 11:52 PM | 1491 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I think I’ve heard you say that salvation is a free gift, but how can that be? Doesn’t God expect us to try to get our lives in order before He’ll let us into heaven? — Mrs. J.J.G.

A: The Bible is clear: God offers us our eternal salvation as a free gift -- and this is a wonderful truth that I hope you’ll come to understand.

Let me explain it this way. Not too many weeks ago, we celebrated Christmas, and if you’re like most people you probably received a number of gifts. How much did you pay for them? I suspect you’re smiling at my question -- because you know you didn’t pay anything for them, no matter how costly they were. Someone else paid for them, and they gave them to you freely and without charge.

The same is true with our salvation. We couldn’t pay for it; the cost is too high. In addition, God’s standard is nothing less than perfection, and no matter how good we try to be, we can never be good enough. But someone has already paid for it -- and that “someone” is Jesus Christ! He did for us what we could never do for ourselves, by taking upon Himself the judgment that we deserve.

But what did you do with your Christmas gifts? Did you simply admire them and leave them under the tree? No, of course not. You reached out and received them, and that’s what we must do with Jesus. Don’t trust your own good works or doubt what He has done for you, but reach out and by faith receive Him into your life today. 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).

Q: Will we be perfect when we get to heaven? I can’t imagine being instantly free of all the things I know aren’t right in my life. Maybe we’ll just slowly get better and better in heaven, because we’ll have more time to become good. Could my theory be right? — Mrs. Y. McM.

A: No, your theory isn’t right, and the reason is because in heaven we will be in God’s presence forever -- and no sin can exist in His presence. God is absolutely holy and pure; as the Bible says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Yes, we will be perfect and without sin in heaven. I can barely imagine this, but it’s true, and this should encourage us every day. Think of it: Not only will all wrongdoing be banished, but everything that happens now because of sin’s grip on this world will be gone forever. Illness and death will be destroyed; sorrow and disappointment will be no more; the faults in our characters will be transformed.

All of this is possible because Jesus Christ took all our sins away when He died on the cross for us. He not only came to forgive us; He also came to cleanse us of our sins and make us fit for heaven. Is your faith and trust in Him?

Heaven is our hope, but in the meantime, God wants us to live for Him right now. Is this your goal? Make certain of your commitment to Christ, and then rejoice that someday you will go to be with Him forever in heaven -- fully cleansed of every sin, and perfect in His sight. In that day, the Bible says, “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

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 www.billygraham.org.

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