The book Heaven is for Real came out in 2010. I remember my dad bought it at the time and just loved it. I mean loved it. The experiences this young man had, they are just amazing, and I'm so glad they made this into a movie - we need more movies like this.
It makes you think. Because if heaven is for real, then how do we get there?
Sean Hannity interviewed the real Colton Burpo, the boy at the center of this story and his dad, on Hannity last week and it was remarkable. Sean essentially asked Colton if everyone went to heaven, to which Colton replied they did not, but rather everyone who was in heaven loved Jesus. Needless to say, that is a pretty Biblical response.
And that's the thing with Colton's account, it aligns with what the Bible tells us about heaven. Personally, I believe he gives us just a glimpse, a tiny peek, at what heaven will be like. I don't think - and mind you, if you read other accounts of those who have died and come back or had similar experiences, they are almost all the same - but I don't think our human minds can begin to comprehend heaven. The Bible says eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him.
Colton also told Hannity that Jesus is like us in heaven, you can walk with him and talk with him - but God, God he couldn't describe. He was just too big for words. That's awesome. That's incredible. How awesome is God? You may not believe in Jesus or heaven, but how exciting for those of us who do! The thought of eternal life in a perfect world that's bigger and better than anything I can imagine - where everyone is at their prime and all my friends who love Jesus are - that sounds great to me!
You see, heaven isn't about sitting on a cloud and playing a harp! Randy Alcorn had a great book a few years back called Heaven which deals with the subject of what we'll do for eternity, and it is just fascinating. Worth the read. Anyway... Heaven IS for real... but you don't get there by banning soda.
Michael Bloomburg, however, would disagree. The former New York mayor has big plans to invest a whole lot of money to combat ads run by the NRA, and attempt to bring gun control to more American cities while destroying more of your second amendment rights. In order to push his grand scheme, he gave an interview to the New York Times. The last two paragraphs are particularly intriguing. Jeremy Peters writes:
"Mr. Bloomberg was introspective as he spoke, and seemed both restless and wistful. When he sat down for the interview, it was a few days before his 50th college reunion. His mortality has started dawning on him, at 72. And he admitted he was a bit taken aback by how many of his former classmates had been appearing in the 'in memoriam' pages of his school newsletter.
But if he senses that he may not have as much time left as he would like, he has little doubt about what would await him at a Judgment Day. Pointing to his work on gun safety, obesity and smoking cessation, he said with a grin: 'I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.'"
Setting aside the obvious theological ramifications of what he's implying for a minute... the arrogance of this statement is mind-boggling! If there is a God, and if He is there, I'm not talking to him, I'm strolling right in, because I've earned it. Taking people guns away from them, not letting salt be on restaurant tables, banning big gulps - Mayor Bloomberg apparently believes these things have EARNED HIM a place in heaven. Does the man know nothing of how the afterlife works?
The Bible says all have sinned and it's not by works of righteousness which we can do, but according to God's grace, by faith, He saves us. So, even if we could consider banning sugar and gun control righteous works - which I would argue they're not - but even if they were, they wouldn't be enough.
belief in Him and confession that we're saved and given the gift of eternal life.
I hate to have to break it to the Mayor, but if he's comparing his banning sugar with Jesus dying for the world, well then, yes. It's not even close. Your stuff, your actions, your life - anything you may think are good deeds, they're never close. And if that's all you've got, the bad news is, you're definitely not headed straight in.
But the good news is, you can know for sure you're going to heaven!