My midwives told me to be prepared for a fever, the aches and an emotional breakdown on Day #3 after I gave birth to my son, Jethro. Day #3 just so happened to be my birthday.
The day came and since I was mentally prepped, the emotional side wasn’t too bad. The fever, increased pulse/ BP and aches and that crazy blood clot definitely made the day quite memorable.
I told husband Jonathan that all I wanted for my birthday was to watch a movie. But which movie? We don’t watch a ton of TV or movies so we were at a loss as to what our options are .This is the part where we put the responsibility on the other and say, “You pick!” and the game goes back and forth until we end up doing something else instead.
But I recently saw someone post of FB about Heaven is for Real, the true story about a 4 year old Nebraskan boy, Colton Burpo and his Heaven experience. Backtrack to about two years ago, I was introduced to the book by my mother in law who RAVED about it for months and handed me a copy. I never got around to reading it until I got sick one day and read the entire book in one sitting, It totally caught me off guard. Fascinating.
The book was amazing. The Burpo family were going through a tremendously difficult period: Financial woes, major physical injuries and setbacks and a host of other problems had pastor Todd Burpo (Colton’s father) struggling with faith –“Where is God in all of this?” Then, 4 year old Colton ruptures his appendix while on a getaway vacation and heads to emergency surgery with death knocking on his door. The doctors said that it was a “miracle” he lived and over the next few months, Colton begins to talk of certain experiences of Heaven. Todd, startled, concerned and amazed begins to search the Scripture and finds these descriptions of Heaven are precisely spot on to what the Bible already reveals. How could this 4 year old know?
The book was so thought provoking and encouraging. The child-like faith and testimonies of Colton’s description of Heaven were so real, simple and yet awe-inspiring. It’s as if Heaven itself is right around the corner and not some lofty grandiose idea.
Fast forward and here we are, watching the Heaven is for Real movie just 3 days after I gave birth. And it was rough… Maybe it was the fact we were adjusting to a newborn and a toddler, an achy postpartum birthday girl or maybe the movie just took a turn for the worst.
Because I read the book, the movie was easier to follow. Overall, it seemed choppy and there wasn’t much character development, that part kinda drives me nuts about any film. But the message of the movie hardly followed the book! It was awful, (or awesome, depending on what side of the coin you are on.) Colton shared his stories, yes, but the overall theme was: “As long as you love others and know that God loves, then Heaven is real and everyone will get there eventually.” The movie depicted the pastor and his congregation as torn between confusing personal opinions that threatened to divide the church and yet failed to even consider the Scriptures for answers and he was a pastor?!. So. Disappointing.
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 2Tim 4:3
If you flip that coin over, there is NO confusion about what Scripture clearly states. Just a little searching and you can find the answers yourself. So after the movie was over, my pastor-husband jumps outta bed and goes on a rampage about how many people will watch this movie and believe they are in right standing with God. YES! GOD IS LOVE! He truly is! He obviously went out of His way to rescue us from ourselves. But He is also JUST and there are consequences for our selfishness and rebellion which means SEPARATION from a Holy God which is where REPENTANCE comes in. 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But if no repentance takes place, let me pose a very uncomfortable question: Is Hell for Real?
If God is Holy and Just can anyone stand before Him?
Romans 3:23 says, “for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
And let me ask a final question here, If Heaven is for Real, what is the Real way to Heaven?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one gets to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
I personally wouldn’t recommend this movie because it was so far removed from the ‘based on a true story’ events and ah, I love true stories! Plus the poor acting skills made me want to punch myself in the face. **I might need to see this movie again to get a less postpartum opinion!** BUT if you’d like excellent, awe-inspiring, child-like faith EnCOuRaGmEnT that can open your eyes to what is yet to come for many people, check out Heaven is for Real, the BoOk. It truly made me want to draw closer to the LoRd, thank Him for all He’s done for me and anxiously await the day when I meet Him face to face.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world but to save the world through Him. John 3:16
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Who has a good movie, a true story that follows a book?
Ok, end rant.