We live in a culture that is obsessed with the idea of heaven.
We live in a culture that is always wanting to know about the after life.
We live in a culture that has big questions about what happens when our hearts stop beating.
Instead of looking to the Bible for the answers we are looking elsewhere for answers to the tough questions.
Last week, a movie came out called Heaven Is For Real. It sounds really, REALLY exciting, and full of hope.
The basic idea is that a young boy has a near death experience and then tells his parents he went to Heaven where he saw family member’s, received a halo and wings (but gave them back because they did not fit.) He also claims to have seen the Holy Spirit who was described as being sort of blue.
Stories like this pull on our hearts strings, and we might even get a little teary eyed about the idea of it. But the problem with all of this is that it’s UN-BIBLICAL.
In 2 Corinthians 12: 1-4 it explains further: “I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 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. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.“
Did you catch that? ‘…and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.’
That’s right, God does not allow people to go to heaven then come back and talk about it.
In fact God was so serious about this topic he gave Paul a ‘Thorn in the flesh’ to keep him from talking and boasting about what he saw.
Because man is sinful and can make it all about themselves (which this book and movie do) and not about JESUS!!
Read the text: 2 Corinthians 12: 5-7 “I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”
This is troubling enough, but what is really concerning is that the producer of the movie is saying some very troubling things.
He was on a national radio program the other day and said he got a phone call and was told that 40 people gave their hearts to Jesus as a result of watching this film. MAN, THAT SOUNDS AMAZING!! Right?
Well once again…the issue is that his statement goes against the grain and fabric of the scriptures. There is NOTHING in the film that show a man, woman, boy, or girl that they need a savior, or that they need to be rescued from sin. It’s simply a story about a boy having a near death experience.
He also went on to say, ‘This film is not a preachy film whatsoever.’
Romans says something about how people are saved.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Rom. 10:14
That’s right in order to be saved you’ve got to be preached to. The WORD must sown in your heart.
We must be made aware of our sins. How is that done? Through the preaching of the law.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. -Romans 3:20
You might say well Caleb, I was not preached to; some guy or gal walked up to me and started TALKING to me about Jesus…OK I’m going to place that in the category of preaching. If someone walks up to you and tells you what the Bible has to say about the topic of sin and salvation that’s preaching.
A movie about how a boy who thought he went to heaven is not a tool to be used to bring someone to Christ. Not a primary tool anyways.
I have already been told that I’m judgmental on this topic and that I’m limiting God in this whole idea.
To which I respond it’s not me that is limiting God, God has placed restrictions on himself as to how he moves and works. He chooses to use the preaching and teaching of his WORD to draw people to himself.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me” (John 6:44-45).
So am I saying not to go see the movie? NO! I’m simply saying that if you are going to go see the film don’t check your brain at the door. Think while you watch this film. Don’t get sucked into the anti-Biblical rhetoric of this movie. Simply go and watch this through the lens of fictional movies like Thor or Captain America.
I am simply saying that if you want to know what heaven is like READ THE BIBLE!
If you want to know about God, dive into the Word of God.
Don’t place your hope in a man’s ideas of what Heaven is or is not.
Go to the written Word for your foundation for your eternity.
You’ll sleep better that way.