Why Do I Believe Heaven is for Real?

Why Do I Believe Heaven is for Real?

People have a unique sense of eternity that draws them to stories likeHeaven is for Real.

But people have a unique sense of eternity that draws them to stories like Heaven is for Real. Our obsession with information, coupled with the need for reassurance, results in a fascination with all things heaven and hell.

If you’ve not read the book, this real life story follows the unlikely events of a pastor and his family in rural Nebraska.  Little four-year-old Colton Burpo was undergoing emergency surgery, when he was granted a visit to heaven.

During this vision or near death experience, he witnessed and gained knowledge that would otherwise be impossible in the normal course of his life.

  • He met an unborn sister who died in her mother’s womb – even though he had no prior awareness of her existence.
  • He spent time with his great-grandfather, and was able to recognize him in a photo that his dad showed him.
  • And he even witnessed the whereabouts of his mom and dad when they were praying for him during his surgery!

In our skeptical and perhaps even jaded culture, we would be tempted to write this story off as an hallucination or the product of previously placed images in Colton’s consciousness.  In fact, those factors may even provide a plausible explanation for much of what Colton claims.

But it doesn’t and couldn’t account for all of what happened that day…

The power of this story, to me, lies in that reminder that there is much more to this life than we could even begin to imagine – and at the end of our short time on earth, there is a specific and definite reality into which we enter for eternity.

My conviction about this truth, however, is not founded in a best-selling book or heart-wrenching movie.  While stories like Heaven is For Real add dimension to the veracity of the afterlife, I place my trust in the man who was given the same experience and wrote about it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows.  Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

The Apostle Paul was granted the incredible opportunity to visit heaven, either in a vision or in the body, and it was so astonishingly mind-blowing that he couldn’t even put his experience into human language!  It may even be that if he was allowed to describe his round trip vacation to heaven, it would cause permanent dissatisfaction with this life for everyone who heard.

If heaven is real for you, share this truth with others!

Why?  Not because of blooming flowers or reunions with loved ones, but because of a Person.  Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there – and He is the reason we anxiously anticipate the day we look into the eyes of our Savior.

Here’s the way Pastor John Piper puts it:

If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?
― John Piper
God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself

Yes, heaven is for real – and it is heaven, indeed, because we have the hope and assurance of meeting Jesus face-to-face.  In the meantime, let’s not just read books and watch movies about the reality of heaven – let’s tell as many people as we can, as often as we can, about the place that will be greater than we can possible imagine.  If heaven is real for you, share this truth with others! It’s news too good to keep to yourself.


Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

Heaven is For Real opens the doors for sharing the gospel with our friends and making disciples who make disciples.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to tell people about the greatest place and the greatest Person in the universe!


Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Jesus, thank You for creating heaven and giving us the hope of being with You face-to-face for eternity.  Bless our efforts to let people know about heaven and the reality of salvation.

Read: 1 Corinthians 2:9.

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”

Get:  Then What? Need help launching into a spiritual conversation with your friends who need Jesus? Use this short, free YouTube video that raises the question “What happens after we die?” (Youth leaders, this clip is part of Dare 2 Share’s new, five week youth group resource, Salt…Creating Thirst, which focuses in on a different conversation starting video clip each week.)


Jon Acuff – The Prayer Prank I fell for!

Stuff Christians Like Satire Book

The Prayer Prank I fell for!

By Jon on May 05, 2014 04:00 am
Last week I was at the Orange Conference. It was an amazingly fun experience and I spent most of the week making this face:

I don’t know what I was saying at that moment, probably “Yay Jesus!” or “Look at me, I’m wearing a sports coat! (Why do we call them sports coats by the way? Those are the absolutely worst thing to do sports in. If your friend runs half marathons in sports coats, your friend is an idiot. I digress.)

After the conference was over, I was hanging out with two other speakers in the volunteer room. A group of volunteers came up to me and asked if I would participate in a prayer circle. They said it was a tradition and that we all needed to hold hands. The other two speakers I was hanging out with immediately abandoned me to the awkwardness of what was surely going to follow and stopped talking to me as if I was invisible.

I looked back at them with a “save yourselves, it’s too late for me” look, but they had already moved on. Public speaking is apparently not the Marines, they will leave a man behind.

Now right now you’re probably thinking I’m a horrible person for not wanting to initially participate in the prayer circle. Pump the brakes there eye plank. I’m an introvert. Maybe at the end of a four day event, holding hands with a group of complete strangers, for an undetermined amount of time, as you try to run out the door to drive two hours to your next event does not sound like an awkward experience to you. You are clearly a better Christian than me. But if you felt smug at all while reading this last paragraph you struggle with pride and are probably a lousy Christian too. Turns out we both need Christ.

I circled up with the volunteers. They said they’d all make prayer requests and then I could close the prayer.

The woman next to me said, “My prayer request is unspoken.” I thought that was a little odd, to start a prayer circle and then immediately bust out an “unspoken,” but whatever.

Then the second person made their prayer request and said, “My prayer request is unspoken.”

At this point, I did what you do whenever you’re told to keep your eyes closed while people raise their hands after a salvation decision, I opened my eyes. The woman across from me was shaking as she tried to hold her laughter in.

I yelled out, “Is this a prank?” And everyone in the circle burst into laughter.

The whole thing was a set up.

They planned the entire thing because I once wrote a post about how if you make an “unspoken” prayer request, everyone assumes you are talking about porn. We never assume you said unspoken because, “They must help too many orphans and homeless people and don’t want to brag about it.”

It was a well planned, brilliantly executed prank. And it was also the first time I’ve ever been “prayer pranked.”

The funny thing is that now, the next time someone asks me to pray, I’m probably going to say, “Like pray pray or is this a prank?” Then they’ll tell me, “Prayers are never pranks. What is wrong with you?” And then I’ll blunder some explanation about porn and unspoken requests, which will only make the whole situation worse at which point they’ll start crying a little. Softly.

That’s how I imagine it going in my head anyway.

What’s the best church prank someone has ever played on you or you played on someone else?


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