I have been part of conversations about these books about people who claim they visited heaven. They apparently were pronounced dead after some horrible accident and then became alive again. And during the time that they are clinically dead they had taken a trip to heaven. And in heaven they had witnessed heaven, I guess. They met dead relatives, met Jesus and any other host of people.
The people I have been involved in these conversations want to believe the story. They want to believe that this pastor, or this young boy or woman or whoever went on a short visit to heaven. I don’t believe it and won’t believe it because I certain that that is not how God functions. I just have a really difficult time reconciling what I hear about the supposed facts in these fantastical stories and what the bible teaches about heaven.
What are the facts? The heaven that we, as believers in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, will inhabit with our glorious Lord has not been finished yet. As far as I can determine from the book of John is that a new heaven is being prepared. And then in the book of Revelation, at the end of all judgments and those sentenced to hell have been locked away, the big reveal happens. All the saints are gathered together as we watch the Father destroy what was old and reveal to us the new heaven and the new earth with the new Jerusalem.
I don’t believe God is carrying people up to heaven so that He can send them out to tell people about it. The question is are they really getting converts from telling this story or just giving people false hope. By false hope I mean to say are people not believing that they are sinners in need of a Savior because without one they are hopeless, but they are believing that all will go to heaven without the need of the sacrifice of Christ. I cannot accept that any hope anyone receives is any more real than the story of the visit to heaven.
I feel like I am alone sometimes because I refuse to accept a perceived experience on equal standing of the bible. I believe that humans are desperate for a cure for their sin that does not involve surrendering the God who created them and will latch on to any fairy tale that tells them that living a good life is good enough. God loves us all and that will be all that is necessary.
The God I believe in is a holy God, and His holiness demands a satisfaction for those who violate his holy standard, and we are the violators. Heaven is for real, I know it is, and I do not need someone to tell me he or she went there to bolster that belief.