October 3, 2018
From the writings of the
Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I enjoy making money and doing things that please me. My mother tells me about the stories in the Bible about how riches can corrupt. Is her interpretation correct?
A: Luke 16 is the famous passage about a rich man whose disobedience to God led him to reject the very thing he longed for—eternal life. God does not condemn people because they are rich, nor does He justify others because they are poor. Poverty is not a virtue, nor are riches themselves sin.
But Jesus did say, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25). People who attain great riches often trust in them more than trusting in God. This was the problem with the young man in Scripture. He sought Jesus. He came to Jesus. He even bowed before Him desperately wanting to know how to gain eternal life in Heaven. When Jesus told him to forsake all, he walked away. He did not want to give up his vast wealth in order to follow Christ to Heaven. His riches were a distraction to obeying Jesus.
The altar of God is where kings and paupers meet. There are no rich or poor in God’s Kingdom. The rich man must put his riches upon the altar and the poor man must put his greed upon the altar and with one voice cry out to God, “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.”
Some of the finest Christians are people of means, but their bank accounts, like their lives, are consecrated wholly to God. Money with all of its advantages cannot buy everything, but Christ gave His all to save us. Receive His salvation today.
Q: Most people I know say they will go to Heaven when they die but they cannot tell me why. Are they deceived?
A: Most people want to believe they will go to Heaven upon death because they don’t want to consider the alternative. But they must face the truth. Heaven will be filled with those who belong to Jesus Christ, for those who follow Him, obey Him and love Him, and Heaven is the place that Jesus is preparing for them. He said, “I go and prepare a place for you … that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). This is a marvelous promise.
Those who believe they will end up in Heaven without belonging to Christ should make their peace with God today. There are actually some people that declare they have no desire to go to Heaven because they believe it will be boring. Some truly think that Hell will be a big party. Others simply believe that Heaven will be a place where harps are played upon the lofty clouds.
Heaven is not so much about the streets of gold and the gates of pearls, though God has prepared the most beautiful place for our eternal home, but Heaven for the believer is to be in the very presence of Christ the Savior. The Bible says, “We shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Heaven is God’s home. Heaven is a permanent home filled with His peace. For all those who follow Jesus to Heaven, they will find a happy home where we will glorify the Lord forever.
Do not turn away from Jesus Christ who died to give you eternal life with Him in His beautiful home.