Q: I think people who talk about heaven all the time are just trying to escape from this life and its problems. I think religion ought to focus on life right now, not on some vague pie-in-the-sky idea about heaven. -- N.E.

A: Christians don't believe in heaven because they're trying to escape from their problems. In fact, the more seriously we take heaven, the more seriously we'll take our responsibilities right now.

After all, no one believed in heaven more deeply than Jesus -- and yet no one taught about our daily responsibilities more deeply than Jesus. He knew heaven gives meaning to our lives, because it reminds us that life is brief, and if we're ever going to live for God it must be now. Heaven also gives us hope, not only for the future, but also for every moment of the day. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

How do we know heaven is real? I could give many reasons, but the ultimate proof is that Jesus Christ died and then came back to life by the power of God. Just a few days ago, Christians all over the world celebrated Easter, the day on which Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Because of His resurrection, death's power has been defeated and we know Heaven is real. The Bible says, "This is what he promised us --eternal life" (1 John 2:25).

Don't turn your back on heaven, and most of all, don't turn your back on God. Someday, your life will be over, and you will stand before God to give an account of the way you've lived. Prepare now for that day, by committing your life to Jesus Christ.

(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 the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org.)

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