Is God’s forgiveness really important to get to Heaven and why would He pay our penalty of sin?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is God’s forgiveness really important to get to Heaven and why would He pay our penalty of sin? – H.B.
A: Imagine for a minute that you committed a crime, were arrested, and were sent to jail. The day has now come for you to appear in court. As you stand before the judge, there is absolutely no doubt: you are guilty of the charges against you. According to the law, you must pay for this crime, and in this case the penalty is a year in jail. The judge issues his verdict and pronounces your sentence. At once the bailiff comes over to lead you away to prison.
But then something almost beyond belief happens. The judge steps down from the bench, stops the bailiff, and takes your place. He is innocent – but he goes to prison and pays the penalty for the crime you committed. You, on the other hand, are free!
This is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us. We are guilty before God and deserve nothing less than death. But the Judge – Jesus Christ – took our place. By His death on the cross, He took the penalty we deserve, and we are free. Sin’s penalty has been fully paid. But you must accept it! Believe it! Act on it! Know beyond a shadow of doubt that you belong to Him. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (Psalm 32:1).
Forgiveness is a healing balm for the troubled soul. God loves us enough to offer His forgiveness that opens the pathway to a relationship with the Savior of the world. When we are not willing to repent of sin against Him and humble ourselves, we are really rebelling against God and rejecting all that He has done for us by sending His Son to bring healing to our sin-weary souls. Not only will Christ forgive us, He also promises the hope of Heaven to all who receive Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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