By Billy Graham • September 9, 2005
No, God won’t turn you away from heaven just because you stop going to church–but I hope you won’t use this as an excuse to quit. God wants you to have fellowship with other believers, and you will be weakened spiritually if you don’t have active contact with His people. Let me explain.
Your letter actually touches on an important question God wants you to understand. It is this: How are we saved? Is it by doing things that please God (including going to church), so He’ll reward us for our good behavior and let us into heaven? The Bible says “no”–and the reason is because God demands nothing less than perfection. The Bible says, “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law” (Romans 3:20).
This is why we need Christ, for He came to do something we could never do for ourselves. He alone was perfect and without sin–but when He died on the cross, all our sins were placed on Him, and He died in our place. Now God offers us salvation as a free gift–a gift that becomes ours when we trust Christ alone for our salvation and commit our lives to Him. 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).
Make sure of your commitment to Christ–and then ask Him to strengthen your faith as you hear His Word preached and as you have fellowship with other Christians. If this isn’t possible in your present church, then ask God to lead you to one where it is.