Wondering whether you’ll go to heaven? Worried your sin will keep you out? These questions weigh heavily on people, even without the added stress of a pandemic and civil unrest.
The Bible says you can know for sure that you’ll be with God after you die. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Billy Graham, an evangelist who spent his life sharing the hope of Christ with people of all religions said this: “Your salvation depends on what [Christ] has done for you, not on what you do for Him. It isn’t your hold on God that saves you; it’s His hold on you.
“Salvation is free!” Graham said. “God puts no price tag on the Gift of gifts.” But like any other gift, he wrote, “salvation isn’t ours until we reach out and accept it.” But what does that mean, especially for people whose faith traditions teach that attaining eternity is based on a person’s merits?
For one thing, salvation cannot be earned. Ephesians 2:8–9 states: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
God’s gift was sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our sins. God’s grace covers our sin. You can be a loving person, a good person and even volunteer of the year, but it’ll never be good enough; we were all born with a sinful nature. That’s why Jesus’ sacrifice was the only solution to wipe our sins away so we can be in heaven with a holy God.
This doesn’t mean we never need to ask for God’s forgiveness—quite the contrary. We need to, and can go directly to Jesus Christ in prayer.
“Asking God to forgive you at the end of each day is both commendable and wise (and it’s a practice I’ve always tried to follow in my own life),” wrote Billy Graham.
Can you live guilt-free after asking for forgiveness? Absolutely, if you have a personal relationship with Christ.
He is freedom.
“It is not the cleansing of the conscience that saves you; it is faith in Christ that saves,” Graham explained. “A cleansed conscience is the result of having come into the right relationship with God.”
How does that happen? It means asking God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to come and live in your heart. “You must individually receive Christ as your Lord and your Savior,” said Billy Graham. “You and you alone, in the quiet arena of your heart will have to make that decision.”
If you’re searching for forgiveness and for peace with God, you can walk through these steps and use the prayer below as a guide:
- Admit you are a sinner.
- Repent (turn away from sin and let go of past sin).
- Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you.
- Ask Jesus Christ into your heart and life.
How You Can Pray:
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer, please let us know. Call the BGEA Prayer Line at 888-388-2683 so we can send you some free materials about your spiritual decision.
Still not sure about where you stand with God? Find answers in these writings from Billy Graham:
“Don’t let another day go by without Christ. By faith turn to Him, telling Him you’re sorry for your sins and that you trust Him alone for your salvation. Then ask Him to help you forgive yourself, just as He has forgiven you, fully and completely. The Bible says, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us’ (Psalm 103:12).” —Billy Graham