A: Sometimes a person who has no faith can be very stubborn and resistant toward God, even if they claim to be open-minded. The Bible reminds us that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
But sometimes people who have no faith aren’t as resistant to God as they seem. Your friend, for example, may be realizing just how hopeless his life is without God, and may even be wondering if he’s headed down the wrong road (which he is). Either way, ask God to work in his heart and mind, and to make you a faithful witness for Christ. The Bible says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
What sets us apart from every other living creature? It’s this: We don’t only have a body and a mind, but we also have a soul or spirit. In other words, God has implanted something of Himself within us — and because of that, we can know God and have a personal relationship with Him. And God did this because He loves us and wants us to know Him.
Don’t get sidetracked, however, into issues that may be important but aren’t at the center of our faith. Instead, urge your friend to look at Jesus Christ with an open heart and mind, because through Him we come to know God.
Q: Will we live in actual mansions or palaces in heaven? I think the Bible says that somewhere, but I’m not sure what it means. — Mrs. E.B.
A: You’re probably thinking of Jesus’ promise to His disciples shortly before His death, telling them that soon He will be going to heaven to prepare a place for them. This is a wonderful promise, and it must have been very reassuring to them — as it should be to us.
Jesus then added, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2, KJV). Newer translations of the Bible use “dwelling places” or “rooms” to describe our heavenly home (which is what the old word “mansions” once meant in English). But either way, Jesus is assuring us that heaven is our final home — and it will be glorious beyond description. More than that, there will be enough room for everyone who should be there.
I have often said that everything the Bible says about heaven should make us want to go there — just as everything it says about hell should make us not want to go there. And we can know that heaven is our final home, by giving our lives to Jesus Christ and trusting Him alone for our salvation.
Is heaven your destiny? Do you know — really know — that if you were to die tonight, you would go to be with God forever in heaven? Don’t live in doubt any longer, but open your heart to Christ and ask Him to take away your sins and save you. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
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.