Heaven Is For Real

Friday, January 24, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Happy Land"1 (Lyrics)

I have been reading a wonderful little book called Heaven is for Real. It is the story of a little boy, Colton, who, when extremely ill in hospital with a burst appendix, had experiences of being in heaven.

His father, Todd Burpo, writes the book. Colton was three years and ten months of age when he was so ill.

During weeks, months, and even years after his hospitalization, Colton kept astounding his parents, Todd and Sonja, by continuing to reveal a number of amazing experiences he had had. Todd wrote:

    … Colton said that he "went up out of" his body, that he had spoken with angels, and had sat on Jesus' lap. And the way we knew he wasn't making it up was that he was able to tell us what we were doing in another part of the hospital: "You were in a little room by yourself praying, and Mommy was in a different room and she was praying and talking on the phone." (Heaven is For Real, Todd Burpo with Lynne Vincent; 2010 Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved, page 61)

The experiences Colton revealed fit with what the Bible states. The apostle Paul writes, "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body, I do not know — God knows" (2 Corinthians 12:2 NIV). We cannot know to what extent Colton was "up out of his body," or out of his body and in his body at the same time. God knows. Colton's doctor did not report that Colton was clinically dead at any time.

Yet, for us, even a small sampling of Colton's Scripture-paralleling experiences contributes to our faith.

Colton indicated that Jesus was on the right hand of God in heaven (page 100-101). We read at Hebrews 1:3b that "After [Jesus] had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

Colton was intent on telling people of experiencing, in heaven, that "Jesus really really loves children" (page 106). The Bible records Jesus saying, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mark 10:14b).

Colton said that people, except Jesus, had wings in heaven, but that Colton's own were very little. And Colton said Jesus didn't have wings; "Jesus just went up and down like an elevator" (page 70). The Bible says of Jesus' ascension, "While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven" (Luke 24:51).

Colton said to his father, "It doesn't get dark in heaven" (page 104). Regarding heaven, the Bible book of Revelation reads, "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp" (Revelation 21:23).

Todd asked Colton about God's throne in heaven and Colton said," … really, really big, because God is the biggest one there is. And he really really loves us, Dad. You can't belieeeeve how much he loves us" (page 100). The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

Prayer: "I do believe; Lord, help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24b NKJV). Thank You for giving us an abundance of experiences that contribute to our faith. Please cause us to recognize that these are from You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Isabel Allison
Roland, Manitoba, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    I’ve seen the movie trailer but don’t know when the movie actually comes out.

    Aah, beautiful. I needed that today.
    I read that book too. It’s truly inspiring, as well as, faith building.
    Thank you, for a lovely message, Isabel.

    Thank you Isabel, for sharing Colton’s story, the condensed form which I read when it first came out, and an experience which so many of us have also had in one degree or another at some time in our lives.

    Dear Isabel,
    lovely thought. I have downloaded the book onto Kindle and, if you are interested, there is the Youtube link to see them in person.

    Dear Isabel,
    Please take a look at this book review by Tim Challies, a well known Christian book reviewer and pastor.
    Note especially the last few paragraphs.

    Allison, thank you for sharing this with all of us today. It is so uplifting to hear about this small boy’s experience and I for one will be looking for the book to share with my family. From the “mouths of babes” can work wanders for teenagers and young and old adults alike. Bless you.

    Dear Isabel,
    I also enjoyed reading the book, “Heaven is for Real.” It was quite interesting. Thank you for sharing Colton’s story. I’m sure it will be an encouragement, especially to those who have recently lost loved ones.

    That was an interesting book Isabel.The child was so young it seems unlikely he could make it up.
    The wings part doesn’t seem to be Biblical, but we cannot really know since there are several parts backed by scripture.
    I wonder how it will affect those who read it?

    Love that book Colton was on 100 Huntley st about a year ago so he will be 14 this year and he was still insisting to his story. I think the only part I thought was creepy was him saying about when the Mom had a miscarriage at two months and he kept going on that they had not named his sister. We have four kids plus I had a miscarriage and none of them did we have a name for at full term we needed to see the baby before we named the baby. I remember a friend sort of had a name but when they looked at the new baby and said you are not (whatever name they were thinking) you are Mary and that is what she was named.
    The rest of the book is amazing we used it for a six week study got a lot of people out to that study and they appreciated it.
    You did a good summary.

    In many accounts from both testaments, God included specific details of conversation and action. Why didn’t he inspire such important information as to where the deceased had gone when they died?

    Isabel, I have read that book. When started, I couldn’t put it down!!! Believe I, myself, was in heaven or such AWE!! I certainly enjoyed your Devotional on it!
    Never miss one of my Daily Devotionals!
    May God continue to bless you,

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