DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I’ve never thought much about what happens when we die, but my grandmother died a few months ago, and now it really worries me. Is there any way we can know? Or will we just have to wait to find out? — L.W.
DEAR L.W.: No, we don’t have to wait until we die to find out what happens after death — and I sincerely hope you won’t take that risk. And you don’t need to, because God has done everything possible to let us know what lies beyond the grave.
Think of it this way. How could we know — really know beyond all doubt — that death is not the end, but that there is life beyond the grave? The only possible way would be for someone to die and then come back from the grave and tell us. And that is exactly what happened with Jesus! Although He was innocent of any crime, He was executed on a cross, and the Roman soldiers who killed Him made certain He was dead and that His tomb was sealed.
But three days later, He was alive! At first, His disciples couldn’t believe it, but soon they were convinced as He repeatedly showed Himself to them. Altogether, the Bible says, hundreds saw Him after His resurrection. They knew He had come back from the grave, proving for all time that there is life after death. He declared, “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see” (Luke 24:39).
No, death is not the end. We will live on — either in the place of absolute despair the Bible calls hell, or in heaven with God forever. Don’t gamble with your salvation, but put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who alone offers us the gift of eternal life.
DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I grew up in a religious home, but after I got a job in another city I kind of forgot about God. Most of my friends here are the same way. Maybe we’ll get back to God when we get older, but we’re happy the way we are, and that’s what counts, isn’t it? — Z.K.
DEAR Z.K.: Are you convinced you’re on the right road in life? And are you sure it will bring you true and lasting happiness?
I don’t think you are sure; otherwise, why would you have written me? Even if you have only a small seed of doubt in your mind about the way you’re living, I pray it will sprout and grow and eventually bear fruit: the “fruit” of faith. Why do I say this? The reason is because the road you’re on will never bring you lasting happiness, nor will it end up in lasting peace. It’s hard not to follow the crowd. But God made us, and life’s greatest joy comes from knowing Him and following His plan for us every day of our lives. Only then will we know why we are here, and only then will we know the joy of His presence. This is why I challenge you to turn to Jesus Christ and give your life to Him.
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 go to www.billygraham.org.