“Heaven is for real” by Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee: 2010.
This was not my first book I have read about a person going to heaven, and honestly, while I do not doubt that they had a spiritual experience, I am skeptical that what they saw was really heaven. The last book I read about heaven described Heaven almost identically to Washington State, in the United States, where the author happened to be from! So, actually, I wasn’t really interested in reading this book. After two different people gave me the same book, I decided I better read it. I was quite surprised. The book is not really focused on heaven, but more of the ordeal that the Burpo family went through over a period of a couple of years.
Colton, was the four-year old son of Todd Burpo. He had a ruptured appendix and nearly died. Clearly, he had a spiritual experience with Jesus and described very interesting things about heaven. Todd, being a pastor, did a good job of analyzing what Colton said and searching for scriptures which described heaven in the same way. He described everyone except Jesus having wings and could fly. Everyone was in a young body and he even saw his grandfather (who he never met) and another girl kept hugging him and introduced herself as his sister. (This to me was the most remarkable story he gave about his time in heaven. I won’t spoil it for those of you who want to read the book.)
Why read this book, “Heaven is for real”? It’s a cute story, a kind of testimony about how God sustained the Burpo family during a time of crisis. But mostly, I think the point of the book is that heaven is REAL. We should live our lives knowing that what the Bible says is true . . . heaven is a real place! Some will make it to heaven and others will not.
Colton saw people who were in heaven and he saw those who did not make it to heaven. While this may sound remarkable, I actually had a good friend who was raised from the dead in Myanmar. He shared with me that when he died he want to heaven and saw Jesus. He also saw people he knew, who had passed away, who did not make it into heaven. Many of them professed to be “Christians” and others were even “pastors”. He didn’t write a book. But I know him well and his character to know what he said to be true.
A book like this makes a person wonder about their life. I am sure Todd Bolton has got his share of positive feedback and negative personal attacking for daring to tell the story of what his son saw in heaven. For me, I think it is helpful just to remember that heaven is real, and not everyone gets there. I really want to go, so I better keep my eyes on Jesus!