A: Let me ask you a question: If we are more enlightened today, then why have more people died in concentration camps and wars in the last 100 years than in all the previous centuries combined? I will never forget visiting the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz and being almost overwhelmed by the horror of what took place there.
Do you honestly believe that such evil will never be judged? Do you honestly believe that injustice and violence will never be punished? Even if I didn't believe what the Bible says about hell (which I do), I'd still conclude that hell must exist, because if it doesn't, we live in a cruel, unjust universe.
But the Bible says otherwise. It tells us that God is absolutely just and righteous, and some day all those who practice evil will be punished. The Bible says, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Don't take lightly what God has told us in His Word about hell. No one spoke more about it than Jesus; He called it a place of "darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:30). But don't take lightly either what God has told us about heaven, for it too is real, and God has provided the way for us to go there. That way is Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us. Don't gamble with your soul, but put your faith and trust in Him today.
Q: My husband is working on our income taxes for last year. Since he got paid in cash for some of the jobs he did, he's not going to include this income on his tax form. He claims the government would just waste the money anyway. He says everyone else cheats on their taxes, so why shouldn't we? Is he wrong? — Mrs. N.K.
A: Yes, your husband is wrong, and I hope he'll reconsider what he plans to do. If he gets caught the penalties could be severe, but even if he doesn't, he still is failing to fulfill his obligations as a citizen.
But he isn't just wrong in the eyes of the law; he's also wrong in God's eyes. The Bible is clear: We have an obligation to pay our taxes, fully and completely. The Bible says, "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor" (Romans 13:7). Remember: The first Christians lived in the Roman Empire, which was far from perfect (and even persecuted them at times). But God still called them to be honest and good citizens, and so should we.
The real issue is this, however: What place does Jesus Christ have in your lives? Is He someone you think about once a week, or just when you get into trouble? Or is He the Lord and Ruler of your lives? Face this question honestly, and then put your lives — including your money — into His hands. The Bible says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5).
In addition, thank God for the resources He's given you; others in these hard economic times aren't as fortunate. The Bible says, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others" (1 Peter 4:10).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.