I grew up in a church culture that spent a fair bit of time talking about 'The End Times.' People were always watching for signs, puzzling out the exact meaning of events written about in Revelations and talking about what comes next. I remember being nine or ten years old and going to a church movie night to watch a dramatic interpretation of the rapture and the events surrounding The Second Coming. It freaked the heck out of me.
Its for that reason that I have steered clear of conversations and teachings about Revelations. I believe in pre-tribulation rapture just because I don't want to be here for the messy bits but that's as far as my End Times and beyond theology goes. I figure that all that will be sorted out when I get to Heaven, after a long and full life, so there's no need to get wigged out about what may or may not happen when the end of the world comes. I'd much rather focus on what I am doing with my life here and now, what impression and impact I am leaving on those who know me, than worry about rewards and treasures in the after life.
When I started to hear chatter about a book written about a kid's visit to Heaven I internally rolled my eyes. Here we go again, people lining up to get all spooky spiritual on The Glory Train. I promised myself that I wouldn't even glance at this book in passing, never mind actually picking it up and giving it a read. That promise lasted about two weeks, until my contact at Manitoba Christian Online delivered a new stack of books for me to review. Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo was on the top of the stack.
I did my best to shove all my childhood biased aside and give the book an honest read. Turns out that was much easier than I thought. The book is far from the 'Be prepared, the end is nigh' warnings of my childhood. Its a gentle reminder that the life we lead here on Earth, the people we love and the way we spend our time and efforts, has eternal consequences; that Jesus is real and He really loves us and that the people we love remember us and are waiting for us. And for me, it was an affirmation that the Jesus I thought I knew is really the Jesus who is.
Click on the link to read my review and then go pick up a copy of Heaven is for Real for yourself ...
Heaven is for Real Book Review
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.