Today is January 17, 2019

Verse of the Day — Psalm 119:105

Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

You must know God’s Word to light your way from God’s perspective.


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

Whenever it gets dark, we turn on a light. God’s Word works the same way in that whenever we need direction, we should turn to the Bible for guidance. That way we are investing in the long-term, Christ-centered solutions – where we want to be “established:”

Establish my footsteps in Thy Word . . . —Psalm 119:133

It is also worth noting that God assumes motion on our part. We move, He guides us. Like a ship, we can’t be steered unless we’re moving! So, regardless of the project, choose a scriptural path and pray for God’s direction.


QUESTION FOR THE DAY

What is your opinion on the book Heaven Is for Real?


ANSWER:

Heaven Is For Real, a New York Times best-seller, is written by pastor Todd Burpo and tells the story of his son Colton, who says he visited heaven at age four. His visit came while he was on the operating table after suffering a burst appendix.

He told his parents his story several months later, and his parents had a professional sensationalist write the story in dramatic fashion seven years later.

Because the accounts and descriptions mostly (but not all) line up with scripture, many believe the story to be authentic. However, we are skeptical and think the book is an example of what is wrong in most churches today. People crave an “experience” because the Bible is not enough to satisfy them. Jesus warned:

. . . This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign . . . —Luke 11:29

Another problem with the book is that God says all we need to know about heaven is already written in our God-breathed scripture.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Bible says not to add or take away from the written Word. Writing a fictionalized account is one thing, but to claim these are Jesus’ trustworthy words is unscriptural.

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book —Revelation 22:18

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind —Colossians 2:18

The Bible says that heaven is indescribable–beyond what we can see, hear and even IMAGINE! Yet this book reduces heaven to mere earth-like descriptions located in the sky.

. . . Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him. — 1 Corinthians 2:9

The Apostle Paul DID go to heaven, but he wouldn’t elaborate, saying only that the words he heard there were “inexpressible” . . . and he was forbidden to repeat them.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows–such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows–was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. —2 Corinthians 12:2-4

This book says that even though Paul couldn’t talk about going to heaven, this four year old can!

Could God use this kid? Maybe. God can do anything He wants. But He has given us a standard by which to compare a prophet’s words: Their words must be 100% accurate. And this kid’s words are NOT 100% accurate!

The four year old talked about the wounds in Jesus’ hands, but we know Jesus would have been crucified with nails through His wrists, as all Roman crucifixions were done.

He also said people in heaven had wings on their backs. But in heaven only angels have wings. Jesus said the body that the disciples saw and touched after He rose from the dead is the same body we’ll have in heaven. And Jesus didn’t have, or need, wings!!

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. —Philippians 3:20-21

Finally, the exact quotes of what a four-year-old kid said, recorded seven years later, are dubious at best. Four year olds simply don’t talk like that. It is possible that his evangelical pastor dad “remembered” more and/or differently than the original account.

The bottom line is that we can’t add anything this kid says as fact to what we already know about heaven through scripture. Don’t waste your money on a feel-good book written by what we would describe as sensationalists capitalizing on a child’s imagination. We’re left to wonder if another one-word summary might be “exploitation.”

Rather, believers can rest on the sufficiency of Scripture!

. . . Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed. —John 20:29

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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

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