They’re Wildly Popular!
If it’s your goal to write a popular book, you might want to consider making “heaven” your subject matter. Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes In Heaven, was so wildly popular—with more than 7 million copies sold in 50 languages—that they made it into a movie, Heaven Is For Real. It’s about a 4-year old boy’s near death experience. Another popular book, Miracles From Heaven, is about a sick girl’s near death experience; and, it also was made into a movie.
What Does Scripture Say?
So, what are we to make of these near death experiences? What light, if any, does Scripture shed on the subject? What we must affirm is that these experiences are subjective to the individual claiming to have experienced it; and, can not be held up as revelatory or inspired on an equal plane as the Word of God. If someone claims a near death experience that is contrary to Scripture we must choose Scripture and reject the experience.
Confused About Heaven?
There’s a lot of confusion, in the church, about heaven! I’ve talked with believers who assume it’ll be “boring”—sitting in the clouds & strumming a harp for all eternity! Where have we come up with all these fanciful notions about heaven? It’s not as if the Bible is silent about heaven! There’s enough revealed in Scripture that should convince every believer that heaven is too good for anyone to miss; and, that the alternative is too horrific to wish on anyone.
Keep It Gospel-Centered!
Our conversations with people need to be centered on & saturated in the Gospel, not heaven! Heaven might be the starting point because of all the books and movies out there that have captured people’s attention; but, we need the Spirit’s help to steer the conversation toward the gospel! We’re commissioned by Jesus to make disciples; not spend time hypothesizing what heaven might be like. So, the next time you find yourself in a gab session, about heaven, direct them to Revelation 21. Tell them it’s the most detailed information we have about what God & His Word says about heaven!
God Will “Pitch His Tent” Among Us!
God’s dwelling will be “with humanity, and He will live with them” according to Revelation 21:3. That word “dwelling”, in the text, means “tabernacle” or “tent.” The Apostle John is saying that God will pitch a tent and live with us in the new, heavenly Jerusalem. Try to grasp the beauty of what that means! Our struggles, in the flesh, to know God; to walk with Him; to know His heart, His will & His mind; will be ended! No longer will God be far off, distant, transcendent above His creation. We will see Him face to face; and, we will know Him!