Archive for the ‘1h. Proofs of Heaven’ Category.

Is Heaven Real The Reality of Being in God’s Presence

Is Heaven Real? The Reality of Being in God’s Presence

Lee Strobel interviews author Randy Alcorn, who explains the reality of being in God’s presence. Watch the following video to learn more…

In the video Randy Alcorn makes the following points:

Revelation 22 speaks about seeing God face to face. We will see Him in all of His greatness. People who say it will be boring in heaven don’t know God. They don’t know how fascinating God is. Everything we love and enjoy is derived from who He is.

3No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

We don’t become angels. We are people, and when we die, we remain people. However, we do not remain married. The only marriage in heaven is Christ to His bride, the Church. In Matthew 22:30 it says, “ At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” Either Jesus was wrong, lying, or He was right. Clearly the Christian faith is exclusive. No one comes to the Father except through the belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ.

Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Heaven is for Real

Heaven Is for Real

Watch this video about 4-year-old Colton Burpo’s near-death experience and visit to heaven.

As described in the book Heaven is for Real, four-year-old Colton Burpo required emergency surgery in 2003 for a misdiagnosed appendix that had ruptured three days earlier and was spreading infection. As they were taking him away, Colton kept saying, “Daddy don’t let them take me; Daddy don’t let them take me.” His father Todd, pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska, was angry with God and screamed, “Is this how you treat your pastors?”

After the operation, Colton told his dad that he had almost died. Four months later he began providing details. Colton said he visited Heaven. He described Jesus as wearing white robes with a purple sash. He described the “markers” Jesus had in the middle of His hands and feet, referring to the nail marks.

Later, Colton described meeting Todd’s grandfather, Pop, confirming that Todd was very close to Pop, who was killed in a car accident before Todd turned 7 years old. Colton told his mother that he had two sisters. He said. “You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” Sonja, asked, “Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” “She did, Mommy,” Colton replied. “She said she died in your tummy.” Colton said she came up to him in heaven and wouldn’t stop hugging him. Nobody had previously told Colton that his mother had a miscarriage before Colton was born.

Jesus told Colton that Colton needed to return and that Jesus was answering Todd’s prayer. Todd relates how humbled he was that God would answer his accusatory, bitter prayer. Today, Colton is a healthy boy.

Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Heaven One Minute After You Die

Heaven: One Minute After You Die

We all wonder what lies beyond death’s door. Is there another world, another place? See what Dr. Irwin Lutzer, Senior Pastor of The Moody Church, has to say.

How long is eternity? It’s not comprehensible. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8 NIV).

Some people think that heaven will be one long church service. But, the Bible teaches that heaven is a place of activity. Pastor Lutzer thinks that we will continue to learn in heaven and continue to do research.

A great American theologian, Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758) said, “In heaven we are going to continue to study God because the ideas of God go on for all of eternity.”

In heaven we will communicate with one another, providing the opportunity to speak with famous believers, such as Abraham, Jacob, and others. We can spend as much time as we like with them.

We will be given assignments and responsibility. We will rule with Christ, perhaps over areas as large as galaxies. In (Luke 19:11-27 NIV) it states, “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ (Luke 19:17)

Heaven will be an exciting place and not boring. So much so, that we will continually sing praises to God.

 

Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 10.00 out of 10)
Loading ... Loading ...

Three Proofs of Heaven

Three Proofs of Heaven

This week’s lesson is about the existence of heaven. To start out, go to the Three Reasons section, where I provide three short videos on the following topics:

  1. Jesus said there was a heaven and rose from the dead..
  2. The Old Testament said there was a heaven.
  3. People who had near-death experiences said there was a heaven.
Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

People Who Had Near-Death Experiences Say There Is a Heaven

Both Don Piper, a Baptist minister, and Colton Burpo, four-year-old son of a Wesleyan minister, visit heaven and return to tell about it. Read on to find out more.

Before I reveal more about the experiences of Don Piper and Colton Burpo, let me first address the subject of near-death experiences and their validity. Then, I will recount the accounts of the Piper and Burpo experiences in Heaven.

  • Validity of Near-Death Experiences
  • Don Piper Near-Death Experience
  • Colton Burpo Near-Death Experience

Validity of Near-Death Experiences

Some question the validity of near-death experiences, saying they are 1) the result of oxygen deprivation, 2) hallucinations caused by emergency room drugs, 3) lack of certain biochemicals during resuscitation, or 4) a psychological defense mechanism for coping during trauma. However James Garlow in his book Heaven and the Afterlife 1 says that researchers have found no correlation between physical factors and near-death experiences. First of all, not everybody revived from death reports a near-death experience. Plus, some accounts can only be explained supernaturally, as the following example will illustrate.

Gary Habermas and J.P. Moreland in their book Beyond Death Exploring the Evidence for Immortality 2 tell the story of a woman named Maria. Maria had just arrived in Seattle and was unfamiliar with the locality, when she had a heart attack. As she was rushed to Harborview Hospital, she floated from her body and saw a tennis shoe on the hospital roof ledge, which was around the corner of the building. The shoe was not visible from the ground or from her room. Afterwards when researchers went looking for it, they had difficulty finding it. When the researchers did find the shoe, they confirmed Maria’s description of the shoe: its color, size, material, a worn little toe, and the position of the lace, which was located under the heel. Maria’s description of the shoe could not be attributable to oxygen or chemical deprivation or to hallucinations.

Don Piper Near-Death Experience

On his way home from a church conference Don Piper, a Baptist minister, was “killed” at 11:45 AM January 18, 1989 after an 18 wheeler ran head-on into his Ford Escort on Texas Highway 19 as he crossed a bridge over the Trinity River, about 90 miles north of Houston. Four sets of paramedics soon reached the scene, did not find a pulse and declared that he died on impact. They were unable to extract him from his crushed vehicle and covered it with a tarp.

Piper did not travel through a tunnel or feel himself leaving his body. A brilliant light enveloped him, and he was standing in Heaven. He said that “Joy pulsated through me as I looked around, and at that moment I became aware of a large crowd of people. They stood in front of a brilliant ornate gate.”3

He saw a crowd of people rush toward him, people he had known and had died during his lifetime. Every person was smiling and praising God, and he was aware that they were his welcoming committee assembled outside Heaven’s Gate waiting for him. He recognized his grandfather and Barry Wilson, a classmate in high school, who had drowned in a lake. He recognized two teachers who had often talked about Jesus Christ to him. He realized that all the people had contributed to his becoming a Christian and had spiritually impacted him in some way.

Piper says, “I had never felt such powerful embraces or feasted my eyes on such beauty. Heaven’s light and texture defy earthly eyes or explanation. Warm, radiant light engulfed me. As I looked around, I could hardly grasp the vivid, dazzling colors. Every hue and tone surpassed anything I had ever seen.”4

They began moving toward the gate and an intense light. Piper says, “I expected to see some darkness behind the gate but as far ahead as I could see, there was absolutely nothing but intense, radiant light”5 Each step increased the intensity of the light, but it wasn’t blinding and could be viewed with ease.” Each step he took he had the sense that he was being ushered into the presence of God.

Piper says, “I was home; I was where I belonged. I wanted to be there more than I had ever wanted to be anywhere on earth. Time had slipped away, and I was simply present in Heaven. All worries, anxieties, and concerns vanished. I had no needs, and I felt perfect.”6

After about an hour, another Baptist preacher, Dick Onerecker, whom Don had met at the conference, saw the wreckage, stopped and asked if he could pray for anybody. The police officer said that the man in the red car was dead. However, Dick felt that God instructed him to pray for the dead victim. Over the officer’s objection, Dick crawled into the wrecked car and began to pray. He prayed for 20-30 minutes, and God brought Don back to the living. Since the release of his bestselling book, 90 Minutes in Heaven – a True Story of Death and Life, Don has traveled across the country and around the world sharing his amazing story. His message is simple … We can have a better life now and an eternal life someday through faith in Jesus Christ!

Colton Burpo Near-Death Experience

On March 3, 2003, four-year-old Colton Burpo had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix and an abscess. The appendix ruptured 3 days earlier but was misdiagnosed. After seemingly to recover, Colton had to undergo a second surgery on March 13 to drain three abscesses. Colton’s condition deteriorated, and on March 17 the medical staff informed the parents, Todd and Sonja, that nothing more could be done, implying they should prepare for Colton’s imminent death. Todd, who is a pastor at Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial Nebraska, asked for concentrated church prayer for Colton. The next morning, on March 18, Colton showed amazing signs of recovery, and on March 19, Colton returned home.

That in itself, was remarkable, but the account to follow is even more remarkable. About three months later, Colton began to tell his account of visiting Heaven. He described where his parents were during his operation, “I went up out of my body and I was looking down and I could see the doctor working on my body. And I saw you and Mommy. You were in a little room by yourself, praying, and Mommy was in a different room, and she was praying and talking on the phone.”7

Colton said he met Jesus and “his cousin” (John the Baptist).8 He said “he [Jesus] has brown hair and he has hair on his face,” not knowing the word for “beard.”9  He described the “markers” Jesus had in the middle of His hands and feet, referring to the nail marks. Colton’s father, Todd, said that no one had previously described the crucifixion to Colton because of his tender age. Weeks later, Colton described meeting Todd’s grandfather, Pop, confirming that Todd was very close to Pop.

However, Colton revealed the most remarkable account weeks later. He informed his mother, Sonja, that he had two sisters. Confused, Sonja, thought that he was referring to his older sister Cassie and a cousin. Colton was adamant, “No. I have two sisters,” he said. “You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” Sonja, asked, “Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?”10   “She did, Mommy,” Colton replied. “She said she died in your tummy.”

A year before Colton was born, Sonja miscarried her two-month-old baby. They had never told Colton and did not even know that the baby was a girl. Colton told his mother, “She looked a lot like Cassie. She is just a little bit smaller, and she had dark hair.” He continued, “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me.”11  He also said she didn’t have a name, confirming that neither Todd or Sonja had named her.

Colton’s account to his mother provided her with healing for a heart seared with grief. His account and Don Piper’s account can confirm to us the Biblical reality of Heaven.  In the book about Colton’s journey, Heaven is for Real, Colton also reveals that the way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. 

To Read More

James L. Garlow and Keith Wall, Heaven and the Afterlife (Minneapolis-Bethany House Publishers, 2009)

G. R. Habermas and J. P Moreland, Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality (Wheaton-Crossway Books, 1998)

Don Piper and Cecil Murphey, 90 Minutes in Heaven, A True Story of Death and Life (Grand Rapids-Revel, 2004)

Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Nashville-Thomas Nelson, 2010)

References

  1. James L. Garlow and Keith Wall, Heaven and the Afterlife (Minneapolis-Bethany House Publishers, 2009)
  2. G. R. Habermas and J. P Moreland, Beyond Death: Exploring the Evidence for Immortality (Wheaton-Crossway Books, 1998)
  3. Don Piper and Cecil Murphey, 90 Minutes in Heaven, A True Story of Death and Life (Grand Rapids-Revel, 2004), 21-22.
  4. Ibid, 25.
  5. Ibid, 28.
  6. Ibid, 33.
  7. Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back (Nashville-Thomas Nelson, 2010), 61
  8. Ibid, 63.
  9. Ibid, 65.
  10. Ibid, 94.
  11. Ibid, 96.
Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

What Does the Bible Say About Heaven

What Does the Bible Say About Heaven

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, eighty-one percent of Americans believe in heaven 1. Why? Let’s see what the Bible says, and later in the week we will see what people who have had near-death experiences say.

The Bible addresses heaven in both the Old and New Testament.

Old Testament References to Heaven

In Kings and Psalms heaven is mentioned by name:

  • 1 Kings 8:30

    Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

  • Daniel 12:2

    Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

In Psalms everlasting life is also mentioned:

  • Psalm 73:25

    Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

New Testament References to Heaven

In the New Testament, heaven is referenced even more than the Old Testament, particularly by Jesus. In the following three passages, Jesus himself speaks about, 1) eternal life, 2) angels carrying a believer to “Abraham’s side”, and 3) preparing a place for believers in God’s house, where Jesus will take us to be where He is.

  • Matthew 25:46

    “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. ”

  • Luke 16:19-23

    19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

  • John 14:1-4

    1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Plus the Apostle Paul knew a man who had a near death experience and witnessed heaven

  • 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

    2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell

This man may have even been Paul himself after having been stoned outside of Lystra ( Acts 14:19). Paul discusses heaven in the following three verses, expressing 1) the desire to be with Christ, 2) the wonders of what God has in store for us.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:8

    We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

  • Philippians 1:23

    I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9

    However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

The Bible is full of hope for everlasting life spent in heaven for believers in Jesus Christ. We should not fear death but anticipate meeting Jesus. We should live our lives to avoid shame when that meeting occurs.

References

  1. Frank Newport, Americans More Likely to Believe in God Than the Devil, Heaven More Than Hell (Gallup, June 13, 2007), Available at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/27877/americans-more-likely-believe-god-than-devil-heaven-more-than-hell.aspx (June 5, 2012)
Rate this article or post:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...