Heaven Is For Real (movie & book)

imageMy wife and I recently watched the movie, Heaven Is For Real, which was released back in April 2014, and is currently out in DVD.

This film is based on the book with the same title and written by Todd Burpo.

It is a true story about a four year old boy, Colton, who claims that, as he was undergoing emergency surgery, went to heaven and back. The boy’s father, a pastor, (author of the book), believes the boy and decides to tell his congregation about it from the pulpit. The congregation displays mixed reactions to the announcement. I will let you readers find out why and watch the movie if you have yet to see the film.

It has an interesting plot. Some humor. Very heart-warming scenes.

The movie is not just about heaven but about whether there are spirit beings, loved ones, who have passed away and are there. But, after watching the movie (I did not read the book), I am still not convinced that heaven can be proven based on the boy’s account. One reason is because when the pastor preached about heaven to the members, he quoted a well-known Bible verse out of context.

To me, that pastor may have an inaccurate picture on how heaven presently relates to us on earth. This is just my opinion and how I understood his sermon. I will let it go at that and let you Bible students and preachers ponder it for yourselves if you review it.

With that in mind, I believe a film with a topic such as this one should provide more Biblical evidence rather than heavily depend on individuals’ accounts of their extraordinary experiences.

Because of that, there are questions I must ask that are related to the subject of this movie:

1) How reliable are the conclusions of those who have had near death experiences?

2) Was the boy, Colton, having a dream or was he actually in heaven while on the operating table?

3) Was the boy having a vision while on the operating table?

4) Do visions describe literal or figurative events?

5) When King Saul consulted a medium at Endor (which God and His Word forbids) and the medium apparently got a hold of Samuel, did Samuel come down from heaven and talk with King Saul (1 Samuel 28:3-28)?

6) At the Transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9, Peter, James and John witnessed Moses, Abraham and Elijah. What they saw, was it for real or was it a vision?

7) What Stephen, the deacon, saw while looking at the skies while being thrown rocks, a literal sight or was it a vision (Acts 7:54-60)?

8) Were the apostle John’s visions described in the Book of a Revelation, based on literal or figurative observances or both?

9) Three children of Fatima, Portugal in 1917, apparently saw and fellowshipped with Mary, the mother of Jesus, for several days. Were these sightings visions or actual events?

10) Can a charismatic, yet false, religious leader proclaim to have gone to heaven and seen Christ and mislead many people?

These questions  are not meant to take away from what the boy saw. Neither am I am discounting or belittling what he witnessed.  In fairness to him, if a much older person, an adult, experienced what Colton did, most people would never believe him. Why? Because a four year old normally has no guile – especially when his parents are strong followers of Christ.  What do you think?

YouTube videos are below:

The movie trailer:

Family Burpo interview with Matt Lauer on The Today Show:

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