Heaven Is For Real is a best-selling book that purports to tell the true story of a pastor's son who went to heaven and back during surgery. It was recently released as a movie and surprised many by how well it has done at the box office.
But what are we to make of stories like this?
John MacArthur addresses this question in a short, helpful article addressing what the Bible teaches about heaven. Here's an excerpt:
Stories like [Heaven Is For Real] are as dangerous as they are seductive. Readers not only get a twisted, unbiblical picture of heaven; they also imbibe a subjective, superstitious, shallow brand of spirituality. . .
We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven. . . .
Read the full article here.
For a full study on what the Bible says about heaven, and a more in-depth review of recent books on heaven, there's no better resource than The Glory of Heaven: