Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why Would You Trust a Four Year Old Over God Anyway?

The book Heaven is for Real came out a few years ago. Now, there is a movie based on the book. I won’t be watching it. If you read the review of Heaven is for Real, you’ll see why. In brief, I saw nothing in the book that I couldn’t attribute to the imagination of a four year old, and too much that was inconsistent with what God said about heaven. I’ve seen the trailer for the movie, and even if I’d liked the book, I don’t think I could stand sitting through the movie.

But a lot of people have purchased the book and it is likely that a lot of people will watch the movie. In this age when so-called scientists are promoting the religion of evolution as proof that heaven isn’t real, people are looking for evidence of its existence. People are looking for the smoking gun that they can point to and say, “Look, we have proof that heaven exists.” That is why they turn to stories about people who have visited heaven and came back.

Haven’t you ever asked, “what if?” What if we could look up into heaven and see what’s there? What if someone who died could come back and tell us about it? What if we had something that could only come from God, so we could show it to people as proof of heaven?

I’ve heard people say things along the lines of “with spiritual things, God expects us to believe without proof.” That may sound spiritual, but the Bible doesn’t say that.

Suppose you heard the voice of God. Suppose you saw people who had gone to heaven and came back. Do you suppose that would be enough evidence for heaven? I think so. Other people might doubt that you had seen what you saw and heard, but it would likely settle it for you.

Peter had that experience. Look at 2 Peter 1:16-21. What is he saying here? Peter heard God speak. You recall that God spoke when Jesus was baptized. He also spoke on the mount of transfiguration. Peter was so excited about what he saw on the mount of transfiguration that he was ready to build tabernacles for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. It was a significant experience in Peter’s life. But look at 2 Peter 1:19. “we also have a more sure word of prophecy.”

What could possibly be more sure than the experience Peter had on the mount of transfiguration? In 2 Peter 1:20, we see that it is the Scripture. That Bible that you carry to church with you and maybe pull out a few times during the week, under the inspiration of God, Peter is telling us that it is more sure than the experience he had on the holy mount.

We don’t have to talk to people who have returned from the dead. We don’t have to be able to look into heaven. We don’t have to hear the voice of God in our ear. We already have proof that is better than that. Though many people have tried to discredit it, the Bible is evidence of God and heaven. It is easy enough to make up a story about going to heaven and seeing stuff, as we see with Heaven is for Real, but that story can’t be verified without going to heaven. The Bible, on the other hand, is so astonishingly accurate in every detail that when we compare it to historical facts, scientific facts, and observations of about the human condition, we find no evidence that it is wrong in any area that we can confirm. If a book has never been proven wrong on any detail, then it is wise to pay attention when the author tells us about things we have no ability to verify.

To put it very simply, why would we trust the stories of a four year old over what God said in Scripture?