I've always been worried about what happens to us when we die. Do we go to heaven or to some other place for a time so our sins can be punished? I'm concerned about this, because I know I'm not good enough to go to heaven. — M.M.
The Bible doesn't answer all our questions about life after death—but it does tell us very clearly that that when we die we go immediately into the presence of the Lord if we know Christ. Paul's great hope was "to be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).
How is this possible? It's possible for one reason: Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for our sins. You see, when He died on the cross, all of our sins—not some of them, but all of them—were transferred to Him. He was sinless, but He willingly took the punishment you and I deserve. The Bible puts it this way: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Let me illustrate it this way. Suppose you went to the bank and borrowed a large sum of money to buy a house. As long as you owed that debt, the house wouldn't really be yours, and you'd have to keep on paying. But then suppose someone came along and paid off your debt. Would you keep on making payments to the bank? No, of course not—because the debt had already been cancelled.
In a far greater way, we are all guilty before God, and our sins have created a debt to Him we can never repay—never. But listen: Jesus Christ has already paid it—completely and fully! The debt has been cancelled! Why fear death any longer? Instead, put your faith and trust in Christ today.