Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - BILLY GRA­HAM Write to Billy Gra­ham in care of Billy Gra­ham Evan­ge­lis­tic As­so­ci­a­tion, 1 Billy Gra­ham Park­way, Char­lotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the web­site at bil­ly­gra­ham.org

DEAR REV. GRA­HAM: How much do you have to be­lieve about God in or­der to get into Heaven? I’m get­ting older, and I don’t want God to slam Heaven’s door on me when I die.

— M.D.J. DEAR M.D.J.: Only one thing will keep us out of Heaven — and that is our sin. And only one thing will en­able us to en­ter Heaven — and that is to be cleansed of our sin.

Let me ex­plain. You may not think of your­self as a bad per­son — and com­pared with some peo­ple, you prob­a­bly aren’t. But God is ab­so­lutely holy and pure, and even one sin — just one — is enough to ban­ish us from His pres­ence. That may be hard for you to ac­cept at first, but when we sin, we are ac­tu­ally re­belling against God and turn­ing our backs on Him — and that is wrong. And we’re all guilty; as the Bible says, “There is no one right­eous, not even one” (Ro­mans 3:10).

How, then, can we be cleansed and made right­eous in God’s eyes? We can’t cleanse our­selves; no mat­ter how good we are, we can never erase sin’s stain on our hearts. But God can cleanse us — and that’s ex­actly what He made pos­si­ble when He sent Je­sus Christ into the world. Christ was with­out sin — but on the cross all our sins were trans­ferred to Him, and He took upon Him­self the judg­ment and Hell that we de­serve. He died in our place.

What do you need to do? Turn to Christ and con­fess your sins to Him. Then put your faith and trust in Him alone for your sal­va­tion, and ask Him to come into your life. God’s promise is true: “God has given us eter­nal life, and this life is in his Son. Who­ever has the Son has life” (1 John 5:11-12).

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