Going to church doesn’t buy our way into Heaven

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, May 14, 2020

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: I do a lot of volunteer work. I don’t really have time to go to church, but I believe that God will smile on my help to others, however my friends tell me that it takes more than that to please God. Is that true? — V.W.
Dear V.W.: The Bible tells the story of a young man known as the Rich Young Ruler. He wanted to have assurance that he would go to Heaven someday and have eternal life, so he worked very hard to meet a spiritual criteria as he believed it. Many people today work hard to satisfy this self-inflicted expectation while forgetting the reason behind “doing good.”
There are many people who spend their lives doing good deeds, believing that they are serving God but they actually have little time for Him. They spend far more time watching television than reading the Bible. They spend far more time on social media than seeking wisdom from the Lord through prayer. There is no time for God and their hearts are a long way from Him.
The Bible says that the Lord searches the heart. Think of it. The great God of Heaven searches our hearts. “I, the Lord, search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10). He is in there probing. Scriptures tell us that God ponders the heart of every person. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord [ponders] the hearts (Proverbs 21:2, KJV).
People rationalize that the way they’re living is all right. Doing good and going to church doesn’t buy our way into Heaven. God doesn’t accept our evaluation of our lives. He weighs our spiritual lives. He also does a wonderful thing; He promises to give us a new heart if we will submit to Him and receive His salvation.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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