Some time ago I wrote about the many books concerning people who allegedly died, went to heaven and came back to tell us about it. I voiced my concern … and disbelief (sadly, due to me forgetting to tag and categorize my blogs diligently I can’t find the blog I’m referring to)
However, a few weeks ago someone asked me about it and today I read an article that about sums up what I believe about these books … only more eloquently written.
Here are some excerpts …
“In recent years, Christian booksellers have inundated the evangelical world with testimonies from people who say they visited heaven in near-death experiences. Their stories are full of specific details about what heaven is like, who is there, and what is happening in the celestial realm. But when we compare their claims with Scripture, it becomes clear that they are merely figments of the human imagination, not true visions of heaven as it is described in God’s Word. …”
That’s one of my main concerns with these books. They are full of details (and let’s face it, we all want to know how it is “on the other side”) but God is not really into details when it comes to heaven in the Bible. Revelations offers some insight but not enough to allow for whole books like the above mentioned.
“We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven …”
I can’t help but agree. Not one book I’ve read about this focused on the glory of God … it was all about the writer. And strangely enough, the writers couldn’t agree on what they experienced in heaven either. Every account is different … as if everyone has his own heaven. Which of course tells me it’s all in their imagination.
“Far too much of the present interest in heaven, angels, and the afterlife stems from carnal curiosity. It is not a trend biblical Christians should encourage or celebrate. Any pursuit that diminishes people’s reliance on the Bible is fraught with grave spiritual dangers—especially if it is something that leads gullible souls into superstition, gnosticism, occultism, New Age philosophies, or any kind of spiritual confusion. Those are undeniably the roads most traveled by people who feed a morbid craving for detailed information about the afterlife, devouring stories of people who claim to have gone to the realm of the dead and returned. Scripture never indulges that desire …”
Well, I guess that is the time we live in. But as Christians we should be more careful about what we read and “believe”. Not everything that sounds nice is nice.
“We need to accept the boundaries God Himself has put on what He has revealed. It is sheer folly to speculate where Scripture is silent. It is sinfully wrong to try to investigate spiritual mysteries using occult means. And it is seriously dangerous to listen to anyone who claims to know more about God, heaven, angels, or the afterlife than God Himself has revealed to us in Scripture …”
Well, that sums it up, as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Those books are dangerous and mess with everything God has revealed about heaven in His Word.
These people, adults and children, who claim to have been in heaven and came back to tell us are seriously misguided. Books, films, documentaries about them are a lie. In my view they are a sure way to get a lot of money because people, in their fear of death, try to get hold of anything to feel more safe and “at peace”.
But it is a lie. Only the Bible, the true Word of God, tells us the real story about heaven. And honestly, there is not much in detail. But what we know is enough … God’s glory fills the heavens, we will meet with our Saviour, Jesus Christ and we will be filled with His peace and joy and all sorrow and pain will be gone and we will live with Him forever. Sounds great to me!
For full article, “Are Visits to Heaven for Real? – John MacArthur