Thursday, April 17, 2014

Heaven Is A Future Reality For All Believers For Real

Burpo claims that "heaven is for real." I have to disagree with wee Burpo. Heaven is not for real. Rather, heaven is a future reality for all believers. I know it sounds like we are saying the same thing. The problem, as I see it, is that if I agree with his conclusion and use his language I am implicitly agreeing with the context of his statement, which includes all of the premises of his argument.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, I would have to agree that he actually saw a relative of his in heaven. I cannot say whether he did or not, but I cannot just have faith in a child's anecdote. This is a foolhardy idea every other day of the week. Why not now? Another implicit agreement I would be making is that of the kind of heaven. The kind of heaven that Burpo says "is for real" is not the same as that which is described in God's revelation (scripture).

So, for at least two reasons, I don't think it is a good idea to support or agree with Burpo or join with him in saying, "heaven is for real."
1) We have a far more reliable witness than a young child. Scripture speaks reliably about the reality and surety of the physical resurrection of Jesus and therefore the resurrection of those who remain in him and he in them. Hundreds of people saw Jesus walking, talking, eating and drinking after a three day stay in the grave. We need no witness of a little boy. 2) Heaven is not yet as it will be after the resurrection of the dead. Does heaven exist now? Yes! That is where the Almighty reigns on his throne. After the resurrection of the saints there will be a new heaven and a new earth--a physical heaven. This is not what the young lad saw. The heaven the boy saw is not for real.

The fact that the  movie is coming out so close to Easter should be rather concerning. Easter is a day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul says that, as Christians, our hope is to be found in the historical fact of that resurrection. If we are putting our hope in the reliability of a boy then we are relegating scripture to the same (or lower) level of authority as a child's story. For these reasons I do not think we should support this movie. Stay at home and study the reliability of the historical account of the resurrection and why our hope lies within.