A: The answer to your question may shock you: God expects nothing less than perfection. God is absolutely perfect and pure, and sin of any kind is an offense to Him.
In other words, even one sin — just one — would be enough to keep you and me out of heaven. This is hard for us to understand; after all, we tolerate imperfect people all the time, and we think God ought to do the same. But God’s standard is different from ours, and His standard is perfection. The Bible says, “For whoever keeps the whole law (of God) and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
Does this mean we have no hope of ever getting into heaven? Yes, it does, as long as we are depending on ourselves and our goodness. The reason is because no matter how good we are, we still fall short of God’s perfect standard.
But listen: God has opened up another way — a way for us to be forgiven of all our sins and clothed in perfect righteousness. That way is Jesus Christ. He was without sin, but on the cross all our sins were transferred to Him, and He died in our place. Now by faith in Him we can be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, and made ready for heaven. Don’t trust in your own goodness any longer, but by faith put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.
Q: I don’t mean to be irreverent, but heaven sounds kind of boring to me, and I’m not sure I even want to go there when I die. And anyway, I suspect most of my friends will be in the other place and having a good time, just like they do now. — S.H.
A: I’m sorry if you’ve gotten the impression that heaven will be boring, because the opposite is the case! Heaven instead will be far more fascinating than anything we’ll ever experience on this earth.
For one thing, God will have work for us to do. Unlike our work on earth, however, it will never be monotonous or dull, nor will we grow tired or weary. The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what will be involved, but whatever it is, we’ll take delight in it and find it completely fulfilling. The Bible says, “No longer will there be any curse.... and his servants will serve him” (Revelation 22:3).
In addition, we’ll have all eternity to explore the riches of God’s creation, including the unimaginable glory of heaven. We also will be reunited with all those who’ve gone to heaven before us, and we’ll understand, as well, all the things we find confusing right now. As the Apostle Paul said, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Don’t be deceived into thinking hell will be a place of fun and excitement; nothing could be farther from the truth. Not one word in the Bible about hell would ever make you want to go there. Instead, put your life into Christ’s hands, and make Him the foundation of your life -- and your hope for eternity. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him” (Romans 15:13).
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.