Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not Gonna Feel Guilty Anymore-Heaven IS For Real

I am writing today, not to stir up controversy, to argue with you if it is really true or not, but more as a comfort to those, who like me, may be feeling a little hidden guilt and shame. I write because I read a blog that encouraged me not to feel guilty and so if I can do that for someone else, I count it as a blessing.

I have friends who are very excited and I am watching my Facebook and other social media feeds that show great excitement about the new movie "Heaven is For Real."  I have been encouraged to read the book and I have been encouraged to watch the movie. I sometimes express a little pessimism, which is quickly corrected by friends who hold to the fact that this story is true and this boy truly ascended into heaven and descended back to earth. So then, I shrink back and say "ok" feeling ashamed for doubting this precious little boy. Or I simply ignore all the talking and scroll past the advertisements in my social media feed.

Either way, I do both of these things because at the root of it, I feel guilty for not believing the story. Does that make me a non-believer, a doubting Thomas, a cynic and a pessimist against Christianity? NO, It does not!

We are all entitled to our opinions (as evidenced so clearly in America) and at the end of the day what I believe about this is just that, my opinion, but I pray that it's an opinion based on the truth of God's Word and my seeking to understand. So with that I just want to extend a little comfort for others like me who are struggling with doubting this child who shows such child-like faith and declares the joy of Jesus. I also want to encourage you who are struggling like me, to please open the Bible and then look, seek, pray and discern for yourselves above anything that I have to say.

Please know, I have not read the book, "Heaven is For Real"...none of it. I don't plan to see the movie, so my opinion may very well be unfounded. The most I have done is listened to a radio interview with the boy the other day on local radio, seen a few snippets of the trailer and that's about it. So, please keep that in mind.

In my journey to understand the fascination of this story, there are two pieces that have been most helpful to me. I'm only putting out two of the many I have read. I  want to keep it short and also encourage you to seek for yourself.

First is from Tim Challis and his Book Review of "Heaven is for Real" where I found great comfort in his closing words "So reject this book. Do not read it. Do not believe it. And do not feel guilty doing so."

The second is a snippet from David Platt author of "Radical" where he is discussing "Heaven Is For Real"

And most powerfully are a couple verses from the Bible which everything else flows out of.

Proverbs 30:4-6
"Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar."

John 3:13
"No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."

Now, I don't claim to be some amazing Bible scholar, all I have is the Word of God and I seek to be discerning. I miss the mark on many things. What I do know is that God does not want me to operate in guilt, so I will say the hard things and comfort others that may be struggling as I did.

Yes, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL! No doubt about that, but not gonna feel guilty anymore for not seeing the movie, reading the book or questioning the story. 

The Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ saves!

John 3:16 
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Heaven is for Real, Heaven Is For Real, Heaven Is For Real and so is HELL.


Just as a tag.....after I posted this, I got a comment from a women I greatly respect. I really don't know her views on the movie, the book or any of it, which is great, because it's irrelevant. I like what she said, so I want to share it.

"The Bible says to guard our heart because out of it spring the issues of life. No one, Christian or not, should ever be criticized for guarding their heart in the manner they are taught or lead to do so. I think whether you agree or don't agree with the author and his work is not the point here, at all. The point is your (our) freedom to express our thoughts and feelings, which is a precious gift from God. And so are you -- a precious gift from God!" ~Kathy H. K.

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