Is Heaven Real?
Heaven is a Wonderful Dream
There are many questions which have been asked repeatedly throughout the ages and this is one of them: "Is Heaven Real?"
It's a good question - a valid question - and to find the answer, all one needs is to exercise faith in God. I have faith in God and, because I do, I believe Heaven is real. In fact, I often daydream, wondering what Heaven is like. Even so, I know my imagination cannot come close to the real thing.
You may believe differently - that Heaven is not real - and that's both your privilege and choice. Perhaps you believe in Heaven but in a different context than I do. Once again, that is entirely up to you. I'm not here to coerce you into believing that Heaven is real just because I do. I'm here because I would like to share my thoughts of Heaven with you and hear your thoughts in return.
Photo credit: Angel Rays
Do you believe Heaven is real?
Glimpse of Heaven
Have you ever, at any point in your life, caught a glimpse of Heaven? Do you believe you've seen Jesus Christ or even an angel?
Have you ever (personally) seen anything which convinces you that Heaven is real?
Yes, and let me tell you what happened:
Meet Colton Burpo
Co-author of "Heaven is for Real"
Colton Burpo was approaching 4 years of age when he had to undergo emergency surgery, in hopes of saving his life. Looking on, his pastor-father, Todd Burpo, saw the shadow of death and feared the worst - wondered if he would ever get to see and hold his son again. His mother, Sonja, wasn't fairing too well either; she was so afraid she might lose her son - her faithful companion throughout many of her daily activities.
As it turned out, God had another plan; He showed Colton a glimpse of Heaven and allowed him to meet others who had gone on before. As a result, Colton's experience was able to put some minds at rest - namely that of his mother who continued to mourn her unborn child whom she had miscarried a couple months into the pregnancy - a child who would have been born before Colton - a child of whom he knew nothing, yet whom he says he met in Heaven.
I noticed the title of the book and figured I couldn't go wrong, especially since I was also able to have it delivered through WhisperNet to my Amazon Kindle. I finished reading this book on March 23, 2011. I can honestly say that it was the first I had heard about this occurrence.
I read the book before going to bed, during lunch breaks at work and whenever I had a few spare moments when I knew I'd be able to concentrate with minimal distractions.
There are going to be skeptics, for sure, the same as there will always be those who dive in headfirst and believe everything they hear and see. I'm not trying to persuade you to throw caution to the wind; in fact, even Todd Burpo did not do this. When his son first began speaking of Heaven, Todd hid the words in his heart but wondered about their validity. Granted there were some things Colton could not have known.
However, as time went on and Todd tried to trick his son (for lack of a better phrase) into admitting that there was darkness in Heaven, for example, just as it is on Earth, Colton remained true to his premise - that there was no darkness in Heaven. In fact, regardless of what came up in conversation over the years as Colton revealed more of what he had witnessed in Heaven, everything was in alignment with the Scriptures from the Holy Bible.
Photo credit: What's on Sanya?
This book is powerful; the events Colton witnesses - the things he sees - are astounding and can confound those who look for complexity. Essentially, it's so simple. According to Jesus, He had to die on the cross so that people could get the chance to see His Dad (God.) It can't get much simpler than this and the words ring true, indeed.
If there is one book you buy today, it should be this one. It will bless your soul and touch your life, as it has mine. Even if you can't come to terms with everything written inside, it will stir your soul and will create a thirst within you to see Heaven for yourself someday.
Prince of Peace: Resurrection ~ Akiane Artistry
The Face of Jesus
Pictured to the immediate right is a photograph of Akiane, the artist who created the above painting titled, Prince of Peace: The Resurrection.
Akiane, too, has said she has seen glimpses of Heaven through visions. Akiane had been growing up in a home where no one believed that God was real. Even so, God found a way to reach this child because He had a plan for her and no amount of unbelief on the part of her parents would stand in His way. The paintings which have been created as a result of the visions she had experienced has contributed to her ever-growing international reputation as one of the most accomplished visual artists in the world.
According to Colton Burpo, Akiane's painting - featured above - is the closest thing to the real face of Jesus. Of all the paintings and pictures (of Jesus) which he has seen since visiting Heaven, he had complained in every case that something wasn't right - though he was not always able to convey clearly what was wrong.
However, when his dad saw this painting online and called Colton to come and see it - and asked the question which had become a game, "What's wrong with this one," Colton was speechless. He just stared and it seemed as though he was looking into the eyes of Jesus once again.
If you would like to learn more about the inspiration and story behind this painting, please visit Akiane at Gathering of Believers.
Photo credit ~ Akiane: God's Breath
What is Heaven Like?
It's a very good question but, unfortunately, I cannot tell you all the answers. In one sense, I wish I could but, from another perspective, I'm glad I'm left with my imagination. Why? Because if I had to experience such joy and light in Heaven - even to see Jesus face-to-face - I would never want to leave. If I had to return to Earth, it would be a painful situation because, as much as I would love my family, I know I would prefer to live in Heaven.
However, I will tell you a few things about Heaven - a few general things intended to get your imagination running - about Heaven as I understand it:
- We'll live forever with Jesus. Imagine never having to deal with temptation and sin anymore - no more fights and arguments but, instead, living in perfect peace and harmony because of the supreme sacrifice Jesus paid for our sins.
- There's no darkness. The moon and stars won't be needed anymore because there is no darkness for us to be lead through. Jesus is the only Light we require in Heaven.
- There will be no pain or sickness. No one will grow old and die. No one will have to deal with imperfect eyesight or go around in wheelchairs. In other words, it would be the ideal environment for what we know as humanity - though we won't be human anymore, then. Our bodies will become immortal.
- The Bible speaks about Heaven in terms of the walls built around it. It refers to a mansion and in it, there are many rooms. It speaks of the different gems/jewels used to create it and goes on to give dimensions which I won't go into here, at this time. Suffice it to say that Heaven will be appealing because it will surround us with the most wondrous colors and richness beyond anything which can be imagined on Earth, even by the richest folk.
- Yes, it bears repeating: the most wonderful thing about Heaven is knowing that Jesus will be there. We will live with Him forever. What a glorious hope!
I will be upfront: you can strongly disagree and state your point politely and I will feature it. However, I will not tolerate name-calling, profanity and destructive comments; any comments of this nature will not be posted and will be a waste of your time and mine.