Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How Do We Know Heaven Is Real?

How do we know that heaven is real?

Not long ago, I wrote a review of the book Heaven is For Real. Since that time, that review has been one of the most frequently visited posts on my blog. In a way, that doesn’t surprise me, and yet there’s something disturbing about that. Heaven is For Real is about the near death experience of a young boy and the things he talked about afterward. As far as the doctors are concerned, his heart never stopped, so he never actually died, but in the weeks following his illness he talked about going to heaven. My assessment of the book is that he probably did talk about those things, but I didn’t see anything there that I wouldn’t have expected him to have seen or heard in Sunday school. But here’s what I find disturbing: People will turn to books like this and other accounts of near death experiences before they will accept what the Bible has to say.

How do we know that heaven is real? God told us it is real in his Word. Think about this: Which is more believable, a four-year-old boy or the God of the Universe? Which is more believable, a semiconscious person with drugs going into his veins or the all-knowing God? God is more believable, but people will listen to the four-year-old boy or the doped up person on the operating table. What that tells me is that these people aren’t sure that God exists. They aren’t willing to accept what the Bible says as true because they aren’t sure that God is real. If God doesn’t exist, the Bible can’t be his Word.

How do we know that heaven is real? Forty writers with the ability to foretell the future told us that it is real. Let’s forget about the question of God for a moment and consider the Holy Bible itself. It isn’t an ordinary book. Daniel, for example, foretold of the four major world empires, giving enough information that when we look at their rise and fall we can verify that he was not only right but deadly accurate. What was future for Daniel is now history for us. Several of the writers foretold of the coming Messiah. As we examine the life of Jesus, we see that he lived out the life they described. If these writers had been able to foretell when this man would be born, what town he would be born in, what tribe he would come from, when he would die, and the nature of his death, that would be amazing and more than any other book has been able to do. Think about that. How could anyone do that? I can’t tell you what I’m having for dinner tomorrow. I certainly couldn’t give you the outline of a man’s life that will live hundreds of years from now. But these writers were not only able to tell us all of that, they were able to give us 333 predictions concerning Jesus. If they could get, let’s say, 75% of them right, that would amazing. How many did they get right? All of them! 100% If they’re that accurate concerning Jesus, don’t you think we should believe them when they tell us about heaven?


Whitehawk said...

Hi Timothy, I'm a first-timer to your blog. I was searching for info on Westbow Press and ran across your entries in 2010. Good discussion!

Have you read Randy Alcorn's "Heaven"? It's definitely worth the read.

Timothy Fish said...


Thanks for commenting. No, I haven't read Randy Alcorn's "Heaven" but I've heard that it is good.

Anonymous said...

im only a pre-teen, but im already doubting what i know.
i hope heaven is real, i want it to be real. but it just seems so unlikely- i want to remain in my current religion (i belive in god, heaven and jesus but not hell) how can i prove to myself it is, in fact, real? please help me, i will be forever grateful..

Timothy Fish said...


Many people have doubts, especially at your age. The primary reason we know heaven is real is because Jesus told us it is real. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14: 2) But we also have the eyewitness accounts of John, Paul, Stephen, and Daniel. For heaven not to be real, the Bible would have to be a lie.

You might then question how we know the Bible is true. We know the Bible is true because of fulfilled prophecy. There are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled, exact in every detail. And no biblical prophecy has ever been show to be false. Imagine you are walking down the hall of your school. But before you do, you make a list of the next fifty people you will encounter. It would be impossible to do that accurately. Yet, the Bible is many times more accurate than that.

So how do we know heaven is real? Because the Bible tells us so.