I recently saw the movie, Heaven is For Real.
The curious thing to me is that the parents of Colton Burpo, who are Christian pastors, had such a hard time coming to terms with their personal belief in heaven as a real, actual place.
What convinced them? It wasn’t necessarily Colton’s vision of his dad yelling at God in another room while Colton was in surgery. It wasn’t even the description of a blue-eyed Jesus with those marks on his hands and feet. Neither was it the beautiful flowers and colors that are indescribable in human language. For Todd, the deciding proof for his belief lay more in Colton’s seeing Todd’s father, who had passed away years before. The most surprising element was that Colton saw a young adult version of his grandfather in heaven, not the elderly man he had become before his death. How could the four-year-old have recognized the wedding day picture of that young man, some fifty years ago, as the same man who had introduced himself to Colton in heaven?
Colton’s mother, Sonja, was even more disbelieving of the story, until Colton revealed that he had met his sister there. The little girl had no name, and she told Colton that she had died in her mother’s tummy. Perhaps other details of his eyewitness of heaven could be explained away, but it was impossible that Colton could have known these facts. Her disbelief dissolved in a pool of tears.
What do you think? Is heaven for real? Do we just accept these eyewitness accounts with blind faith? Although the Burpo family struggled to believe their son’s spiritual experience, my family has its own stories to tell.
My mother’s side of the family is a strong Christian clan who periodically has experienced the supernatural, especially at the time of death. My great-grandmother was a true saint during her lifetime, in which she spent ministering to her family, friends, and missionaries. She actually sat up and reached out her arms to the invisible right before she escaped from this life and entered eternity, pleading, Give me my crown! I want my crown!
What did she see? An angel that came to carry her away to heaven, showing her her waiting reward? Jesus Himself? We can only speculate, but I do believe that the curtain into the spiritual dimension was pulled back, allowing us to witness and to believe.
My grandfather also had a supernatural experience just hours before his departure into eternity. Lying in his hospital bed, he suddenly pointed and calmly said, “What was that–over in the corner? A star fell over there.”
I do know that this man, who had always been terrified of dying, was totally at peace and unafraid when it was his time to depart. Was that his angel who had come to escort him through the heavens and into God’s kingdom? He died shortly after seeing his falling star.
Are you convinced? Whose story would you have to hear to believe heaven is real? Listen to one from Jesus Christ.
Jesus comforted His disciples on the night of the Passover, before his arrest. After the meal was over and Judas had departed to betray Him, Jesus washed the feet of each disciple and spoke to them about what was going to happen. This was His story:
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. –John 14:1-3 NAS
Jesus also discussed heaven hours later at the crucifixion where He was crucified between two thieves. The one on His right begged Christ to remember him when He came into His kingdom.
And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” –Luke 23: 43 NAS
God’s Word assures us in these and many other scriptures that heaven is for real.
Do you believe it?