Testing every spirit – Heaven is for Real


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Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

2 Corinthians 11:2-3

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Colossians 2:18

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind

1 Timothy 6:10

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

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I read Heaven is for Real last year – a friend who is a mature Christian loaned it to me. Before and after reading it, other Christians praised it to me. Our church is thinking about showing the movie during a fellowship time, and last night it was shown on movie night to the residents of our apartment complex. The following analysis of Colton Burpo’s experiences may seem harsh, and much of what I have to say has been said already, but we obviously need to continue to warn people.  

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Colton Burpo’s experiences can’t be confirmed by anyone, even his family. There is no way to know that what he said happened “for real,” happened anywhere except in his mind. But even if his experiences could be proved, there are problems with them. They shouldn’t be seen as heavenly, but as mystical, completely subjective, and dangerous.

You may know this. If so, keep praying for the church – it is being troubled from within. For residing right inside it, and living off the sheep, are teachers and so-called prophets who are false. None of this is new – Gnosticism, subjectivism, mysticism have been with the church since the time of the apostles. Colton’s experience is simply what deception can look like in our day – warm, fuzzy, and perilously inspiring.

Heaven exists.

Of course it exists and so does Hell. But do we need this book or movie to tell us that? Why should we trust people, who lie all the time, to tell us about Heaven, when God, Who cannot lie, has already told us about Heaven and its King, the Lord Jesus Christ? In other words, God’s Book is the only book we can trust,

The Bible.

The Lord never said, “Heaven is for real,” but He did say, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:3-5)

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Problems with Colton’s reported experiences

Colton described what he saw and heard in Heaven, and yet the apostle Paul refrained from repeating the words he heard in Paradise because this was forbidden: 

2 Corinthians 12:1-5

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

Colton said that he spoke with people in Heaven, that is, with people who were deceased at the time he spoke with them. Heaven is for Real states that he learned things from these encounters that he could not possibly have known. The problem is that the Bible forbids the practice of attempting to contact the dead. (This is a kind of witchcraft called necromancy Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Unknowingly, in ignorance, Colton did something that the Lord has forbidden. 

Colton’s “Jesus” must be “another jesus.”

He identified the “Jesus” he saw and spoke with as the “Jesus” in the painting “Prince Of Peace” by Akiane Kramarik, a seventeen-year-old visionary artist who has been promoted by Oprah Winfrey, and who declared on her website that, “Everything is One.”   

The “Jesus” described in the book Heaven Is For Real is nothing like the Glorified Son of God described by John in Revelation 1.

The promotion of Heaven is for Real flies in the face of Jesus’ testimony about such things – so what is the point of publishing it?

Luke 16:29-31

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’

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Big business 

Publishing is an industry. Most publishers aren’t interested in truth, but in whatever version of ‘truth’ will make money. This is not only the way things are with most secular publishers but most “Christian” publishers. A reminder here: businesses cannot be “Christian”, only people can be Christian. The next time you see an ad for a blockbuster from a “Christian” publisher or filmmaker, pray that the Lord will open the eyes of His children to see

A HUGE RED FLAG.

And Hollywood, who made a movie from the book, is also an industry, a huge money-maker that slanders Christians, hates God’s truth, uses His name in vain, promotes violence and every kind of sin, and makes people into idols only to destroy them.

So why read this book or watch this movie? That is, unless you plan to help someone see why it can’t be trusted. 

Colton and his family may be innocent of deliberate deception – I can’t say. But whether this deception is deliberate or unwitting, it is wrong. Also

there are probably people who are promoting

Heaven is for Real in order to

increase the confusion in the church

over what we should trust.

I believe that Heaven is for Real is meant to entice us into placing our trust within ourselves, that is, in our own subjective experiences and those of others. It is leading us away from simplicity of devotion to Christ and trust in His Word alone. There is a term for departure from the Lord and His Word,  

APOSTASY.

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Ca-ching!

Hear the cash registers ring!

Every time a coin into them springs,

someone’s faith is damaged,

another soul is injured or killed!

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For further study

To learn something about Pastor Todd Burpo, Colton’s father and the author of the book Heaven is for Real, visit Crosswords Wesleyan Church, and Heaven is for Real Ministries. This is only just, because this is from a perspective he would endorse.

Is “Heaven Is for Real” for Real?: An Exercise In Discernment by T. A. McMahon

Bible Believer’s Journal

Does Colton Burpo’s Book “Heaven Is For Real” Contradict The Bible? by William Shifflett

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14 thoughts on “Testing every spirit – Heaven is for Real

    • It is nonsense, Levi, but it is appealing to unstable or untaught people. All we like sheep… It is so sad to know that people are harming others. Those that are injured by them are often clueless. At one time, we all were clueless. Even now we can still be clueless at times.
      Thank you for forgiving me… It was an encouragement to have you read this. Lord bless you!
      Maria

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  1. Maria,
    Not a book I want to read or movie I want to see. Our christian bookstores are heavily promoting this, but I am trying to ignore this at the moment.

    A comprehensive list of reasons not to engage in this piece of tempting mysticism. We all want to know what its’ like, but what is more important is preparing ourselves here on earth for entering in. May God open our eyes to our own worldliness and help us to avoid the snares which so easily trap us.

    Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The church that i left two years ago has been doing a 10 week series on this book and teaching on Heaven and Hell. I frequently go to the website to see what he is teaching because my wife still attends the church. He will not teach one ounce of Prophecy. He refuses. But he will teach 10 weeks on Heaven and Hell and his teachings are not exactly accurate according to Scripture. by the way he completely leaves out the millennium teaching. He teaches alot of the false teachings that you described. Thank you for your very informative post. YHVH bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May YHVH bless you too! It is a serious concern for you to have your wife in a place where teaching is poor. I’m sorry this man is using a book instead of the Bible to study the Bible doctrines of Heaven and Hell. It is a great thing to study these when you dig into God’s Word. To use a book like this one is wrong. But also, you’re right, the whole counsel of God should be taught – all the last things, the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Millennium – everything. No one should ever refuse to teach prophecy.
      I know a man who neglected to teach these truths. Years ago we heard an old-time preacher at a Christian Missionary Alliance Church speak about his time on the mission field. He had gotten very sick there, and he said he knew that this was because he wasn’t teaching about the Lord’s Return. We can’t neglect these things. It’s very serious. My husband came to the Lord by hearing Biblical teaching about the End of the Age. It probably wasn’t the best teaching around, but it gave us the basics, and it interested my husband so much that he started to go to church and then at last believed on Jesus.
      Perhaps, we will be moving into a time soon when home churches will be the meeting place for true believers. My concern with leaving the church assemblies now is that I can’t see that the Lord has said to do that in His Word (think of the stinker churches that were sent messages in Revelation, and the Lord didn’t tell the believers there to leave). Yes, he said to depart from Mystery Babylon, but not a church, unless that church is a daughter of Mystery Babylon. Does that make sense to you?
      Prayers for you and your family!
      Maria

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  3. You may notice I do not follow any pastor, nor do I use commentaries. I study deeply and strive to make His thoughts my own. How is that possible? Read with a pen. Ask questions and maybe even outline what is there–nothing more. Don’t add words or even surmise about what is being said. Just look to the words and glean their message.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth, you are a careful student of the Bible.
    About commentaries – they can help us make connections to other places in God’s Word that we have missed, and too, hearing the thoughts of others can be helpful – we need each other.
    That being said, as you know, the Bible interprets itself, which is a wonderful comfort! And also, as I John tells us – we have no need that anyone should teach us, but the anointing we have from God teaches us.
    Maria

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