Do people really get 90 minutes in heaven?

Preface: I want to talk about something that may be touchy subject. It’s not an attack on a man, an author, or even a book, but an idea. I’ve added a question mark to the cover of a popular book from the past few years, but this is not a critique of that book so much as it is a critique of the overarching idea of the book.

If you are a regular viewer of a show like Oprah you’ll inevitably see it. If you go to a Christian bookstore, or go to a mainstream bookstore and browse the religious and inspirational section you’ll no doubt see it. It doesn’t take a fine tooth comb to find books or television shows or what have you in which an author or someone is telling you about their experience in heaven.

It is not uncommon in modern evangelical churches to at least hear a story about someone who died but then came back to life telling about an experience they had in heaven. One of the most popular books within the realm of Christianity and faith in the past ten years is written by a Baptist pastor who says he died and went to heaven.

Such stories capture the imagination. Understandably so. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has set eternity in the heart of man. It is part of the image of God, which man was created in, to desire and long after eternal life, because God is eternal, and long after heaven, because that is where God dwells. It is easy to be taken in by such stories. We want them to be real. The people who tell the stories have often been through something undeniably traumatic and they seem so very sincere. We live in a fallen world and we want to be inspired. We want something better than what we have. There are many, therefore, who are quick to believe such accounts and abandon any measure of discernment.

The Christian, however, must measure everything, even that which seems supernatural, against the revealed will of God found in His word, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. On every matter in life and death we must be as the Bereans were in Acts 17. Paul preached the gospel to them and they searched the Scriptures to see if the things he was preaching were true. Continue reading “Do people really get 90 minutes in heaven?”