Are Visits to Heaven for Real?

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Good for JMac

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Robert Byers's picture

I wish he had interacted with 2 Corinthians 12 as that seems to be most relevant passage to the topic he was discussing.

JohnBrian's picture

If you struggle believing what the Bible says, but learn to find security in the testimony of a toddler, well, I feel sorry for you. And I do not mean this in a condescending way. If God’s Word is not sufficient for you, if the testimony of his Spirit, given to believers, is not enough for you, you will not find any true hope in the unproven tales of a child. This hope may last for a moment, but it will not sustain you, it will not bless you, in those times when hope is waning and times are hard.

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dgszweda's picture

I am surprised he makes no mention of the  conjuring of Samuel by the witch of Endor, or Lazarus/Rich Man/Abraham in heaven.

Greg Long's picture

I just read Heaven Is for Real (it's a quick read), and it's just as bad as MacArthur and Challies say. It really is a sufficiency of Scripture issue, as well as a very man-centered view of heaven.

Some of the issues I noted as I read ("He," "him," and "his" refers to Colton, the 3-yr-old who supposedly went to heaven):

  • Angels sang to him when he was there (loc. 130, 141, p. 139).
  • One of the angels who sang to him was his Grandpa Dennis (loc. 143).
  • He tells his father that in heaven “Jesus told me I had to be nice” (p. 56).
  • Jesus has a rainbow-colored horse (p. 62).
  • Everybody in heaven (people included) has wings and has a light above their heads, like angels (p. 72).
  • The angel Gabriel sits at God’s left hand (p. 100).
  • The Holy Spirit is “kind of blue” (p. 102).
  • Jesus “shoots down power” to Daddy when he’s preaching—it’s the Holy Spirit (p. 125).
  • The angels carry swords so they can keep Satan out of heaven (p. 132).
  • “Jesus told me if you don’t go to heaven, you don’t get a new body” (p. 135).
  • Colton’s story is valuable because it strengthened the faith of his family when they faced a rough time. It also strengthens the faith of others, such as the family babysitter Ali (p. 130):

Ali had grown up in a Christian home but had entertained the same doubts as so many of us do: for example, how did we know any one religion is different from any other? But Colton’s story about his sister strengthened her Christian faith, Ali said. “Hearing him describe the girl’s face . . . it wasn’t something that a six-year-old boy could just make up,” she told us. “Now, whenever I am having doubts, I picture Colton’s face, tears running down his cheeks, as he told me how much he missed his sister.”

  • Another example: Colton's father Todd, who is a Wesleyan pastor, gives comfort to a woman who wonders if her unborn child is in heaven by referring to his son’s experience (p. 145-147). Now, because of what happened to Colton, Todd is able to answer “some monumental questions.”

After the service that evening in January 2007, a young mother came up to me, her eyes brimming with tears. “I lost a baby,” she said. “She was stillborn. Would your son know if my baby’s in heaven?” The woman’s voice trembled, and I saw that she was physically shaking. I thought, Oh, Lord, who am I to answer this question? Colton had said there were many, many children in heaven. But it wasn’t like I could go and ask him if he’d seen this woman’s particular child. Still, I didn’t want to just leave her hanging in her grief either. Just then, a little boy of about six or seven came and stood beside the woman, clinging to her skirt. And an answer came to me. “Ma’am, do you believe God loves me?” I said. She blinked away her tears. “Well . . . yes.” “Do you believe he loves you as much as he loves me?” “Yes. Yes, I do.” Then I nodded at her young son beside her. “Do you believe God loves your son here as much as he loves Colton?” She paused to process that question, then answered, “Yes, of course.” “Well, if you believe God loves you as much as he loves me, and you believe he loves your living son as much as he loves my living son, don’t you believe he loves your unborn child as much as he loves mine?” Suddenly, the woman stopped trembling and smiled. “I never thought about it that way.” I breathed a prayer of thanks to the Holy Spirit, who had clearly “shot down power,” giving me an answer for this grieving woman, because I can tell you right now, I’m not smart enough to have thought of it myself.

  • Colton saw Mary (p. 152-153):

A lot of our Catholic friends have asked whether Colton saw Mary, the mother of Jesus. The answer to that is also yes. He saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at other times, standing beside Jesus. “She still loves him like a mom,” Colton said.

Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Steve Picray's picture

I know the Bible isn't specific about this, but does anybody here really believe that when we get to heaven, all the people in heaven who died as children (such as stillbirths, miscarriages, aborted babies, and other young children who die) are going to appear as children?  "Colton had said there were many, many children in heaven."  How did he know they were children?

Just a thought.

Darrell Post's picture

"If God's Word is not sufficient for you"

This is the heart of the issue, and there are many ways in which this is manifested. For instance, someone in your church gets a flyer advertising amazing prophetic answers found! And the bullet points include "United States found in the Book of Daniel" and other such things. And then they notice its a local 7th Day Adventist conference. But they attend anyway, hoping to learn something new--something beyond what the Scriptures clearly teach.