When I wrote last week’s post , I noted how troubling it was how people were taking in the book and movie Heaven is for Real hook, line and sinker, I did not realize how serious the problem was. Upon further research, I have discovered that two of the Christian bestselling books were children’s trips to and from heaven.
The Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. We have no need of any other extra-biblical revelation. Some may argue then that the Bible contains people who had trips to heaven, which is true. However, if you examine them, you find they are entirely different from the fanciful tales told in modern books. Let’s look at some characteristics of glimpses into heaven.
They are rare.
Only four authors of the Bible went to and recorded trips to heaven. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul and John are those four. There are two more who got glimpses of heaven but none of what they saw was recorded. In the thousands of years that it took to write the Bible, God only gives us four accounts of heaven and they are brief.
They were prophetic visions, not near-death experiences
Nearly every modern book of someone’s trip to heaven; it is a near-death experience. But when it comes to the Bible, all the recorded accounts are prophetic visions. As a matter of fact, forget near-death experience how about a post-death experience? Several were raised from the dead in the Bible and none of them give any description of what they saw after they died.
They were awestruck
fairy-tales books that tell of heaven are casual. The Biblical authors were awestruck. They were not floored by how beautiful heaven was but how glorious God is. Getting a glimpse of the Almighty made these men fall down as dead. Paul did not even admit that it was him who went into heaven because it was so glorious.
They were brief
All the Biblical authors who saw heaven gave very few details. The did not tell us much about what it looked like. Paul’s account in Second Corinthians 12 is only about 3 verses long. Yet, these modern tales give many, many details. Enough to fill several hundred pages in a published work.
Though brief, all of the accounts given by Biblical authors agree with each other. Pretty amazing considering how far apart Isaiah and Paul lived or John and Ezekiel. Yet they all agree perfectly. No contradictions. The same cannot be said for the dozen or so books we have in the last decade. So writers who live in the same time period cannot give the same details yet Authors who were separated by hundreds of years can? Interesting.