Heaven is For Real – This Story is Not

Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real – This Story is Definitely Not

Today I will give a review of “Heaven is for Real – A little boys astounding story of his trip to heaven and back”.  I went to a local Christian book store called CUM Books stores here in South Africa to find hundreds of copies of this book stacked under the ‘Best Selling’ section.  I picked one up and thought to myself, “Satan’s smart, he is now using little kids to sell his story.”

To give a brief summary of the story, little Colton aged 4, complains of stomach pains and runs a high fever.  His parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo take him to a hospital where the doctor fails to diagnose the problem. The little boy is now deteriorating to such an extent that they remove him out of the hospital and take him to another one where he is diagnosed for a burst appendix.  Rushed into surgery, little Colton while on the surgery table experiences something many people never do.  He apparently goes to Heaven and meets Jesus.  After he is home he starts to recount his story to his parents, as best as a 4 year old can, of his trip to Heaven and back.

There have been many books written by many people on their supposed trips of Heaven where they meet a ‘Jesus’ type person. One being Choo Thomas’ “Heaven is so Real” and then Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven”, who just happens to endorse Heaven is For Real.  In the front of the book on the ‘Praise for Heaven is For Real’ pages, there are praises from 12 different people telling you why you should by this book, all reasoning as to why Colton’s story is just as good as that of the bible, and why you should “allow a little child to lead you.— Don Piper, Speaker and Author, 90 Minutes in Heaven

Todd Burpo is a pastor at a Wesleyan church.  This helps to cement the trap.  First we the reader would surmise that a 4 year old child would never lie like (Alex Malarkey “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”), and to top things off the father of the child is a pastor – Satan would never go after a 4 year old child of a pastor, would he? Especially if the pastor is biblical sound in his doctrine, or is he?  Throughout the book Heaven is for Real Todd Burpo points to scripture to try and back up his sons ‘visions’ but with terrible inaccuracy.  For anyone not knowing scripture, they would agree with Todd, being non the wiser.  After all he is a pastor, he should not be telling untruths to his church, let alone the whole world.

Heaven is for Real and it’s problematic areas:

I am now going to take you through the book Heaven is for Real, looking at all the problematic areas.  We are going to deal with this book biblically which includes being logical.  God gave us a brain to use – let’s use it.

False visions from Colton:

1)  On page xix of Heaven is for Real,when Colton first tells his parents about his trip to Heaven he states that the angels sang to him. He says, “Dad, Jesus had the angels sing to me because I was so scared.  They made me feel better” ..at the time… “I was sitting on Jesus lap”.  Now Colton was scared because he was having surgery.  Immediately we have a problem with this statement.  If you are sitting on Jesus Christ’s lap, surely you will not be scared? But yet Colton is scared and this Jesus figure has to get the angels to sing to him in order to make him feel better.   The bible tells us:

John 14:27  “27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:7  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2)  Colton tells his father about Jesus’ horse, he says; “Hey dad, did you know Jesus has a horse?”….”Yeah a rainbow horse, I got to pet him.  There’s lots of colors”.  pg. 63

In Heaven is for Real, Jesus has a horse that resembles that of a My Little Pony? And we as Christians are supposed to believe this? Rainbows are also very significant in New Age teaching.–(This we will discuss in more detail later).  Todd tries to justify his son’s vision by telling us about scripture of “the rainbow colours described in the book of Revelationpg. 66

3) Colton also tells his father that this Jesus figure had a crown; “Yeah a crown, and it had this… this diamond thing in the middle of it and it was kind of pink…” pg.66

In Heaven is for Real, it would appear that the Jesus of Colton’s vision not only has a My Litte Pony but appears ‘plastic’ as well.  A pink like stone in his crown? Who are we kidding here! The Jesus that appeared to Colton certainly does not look anything Jesus Christ the Son of God as spoken about in the book of Revelation – visions given to John.  Now this vision we can believe because it’s in the bible:

Revelation 1:12-16  “I turned to see whose voice it was that was speaking to me and when I had turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among these lampstands I saw someone ‘like a Son of Man’. He was dressed in a long robe with a golden girdle around his breast; his head and his hair were white as snow-white wool, his eyes blazed like fire, and his feet shone as the finest bronze glows in the furnace. His voice had the sound of a great waterfall, and I saw that in his right hand he held seven stars. A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face was ablaze like the sun at its height.

The Purple Sash

4) Colton also says his Jesus wore white with a purple sash in his book Heaven is for Real he says, “Jesus was the only one in heaven who had purple on, Dad Did you know that? pg 65

Todd then tries to confuse the reader of Heaven is for Real by saying the following,  “In scripture, purple is the color of kings. A verse from the gospel of Mark flashed through my mind:  “His clothes became dassling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” pg 65.

If we look at this scripture what Todd is referring too, it says nothing of purple.  This is when Jesus was transfigured (Mark 9:3).  The only time Jesus had purple on was just before he was going to be crucified.  Note, he was being clothed as a human King – Jesus Christ is now King of all Kings.  He is not Colton’s description of a Jesus figure, which is more like a fairy-tale Jesus.

Mark 15:17  “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head”

Mark 15:20  “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.”

Later on in the article we will have a look at what Colton’s Jesus actually looks like – yes we have a picture.

5) Something that stuns Colton’s father into submission is the fact that Colton’s Jesus showed him his hands and feet and Colton says, “Jesus has markers” pg 65

Todd does not understand that this Jesus in Heaven is for Real is not the real Jesus Christ of the Bible;  a vision and the reality of Jesus Christ really returning to earth are completely two different things.  Yes when Jesus Christ returns we will see the marks of where he was nailed to the cross, but this vision of Colton’s is a vision and another Jesus.  Satan can mimic anything he wants too.

6) Todd asks Colton what everyone looks like in heaven and Colton replies, “Everybody’s got wings.” pg 72 informing his father that everyone sort of looks like angels.

This is absolutely incorrect. We know from scripture that we will most probably look the same as we did on earth, but we will be perfect in every sense of the word. We also know from scripture that the resurrection of believers’ physical bodies has yet to take place, anyone who dies and is destined for Heaven, their form now in Heaven must lack physical attributes.   Just to note:  Some people were raised from the dead and transformed at the time of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  Matthew 27:52 says that their “bodies…were raised.”  But do they have wings? No they do not.  Philippians 3:21 says that Jesus “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.”  Does Jesus have wings? No he does not.  We are made in the image of God according to Genesis 1:27, does God have wings? No He does not.  Is Colton’s Jesus pulling this child’s leg and everyone else who believes him?  Yes he is.

7) Another strange addition to our bodies in Heaven is for Real is that in heaven is a halo.  Colton tells his father that, “All people have a light above their head”.  pg 73 To try and persuade the reader that dear little Colton is telling the truth Todd goes on to tell us about angels in the bible and “when angels show up, they’re sometimes dazzlingly bright, blinding almost”. pg 73  He also tells us about Stephen who’s “face became as bright as an angel’s” pg 73  not long after he was stoned to death.

Hmm, and what has that got to do with people in heaven having “lights about their heads?” Nothing.  Again Todd’s examples from scripture to try prove his point are ridiculous to say the least. Interestingly enough Todd does say that he actually can’t “…remember angels having lights over their heads specifically-or halos, as some would call them.” pg 74  But never the less chooses to believe his sons story as being true and goes on to tell the rest of the world a lie.

8) In Heaven is for Real, Colton meets his grandfather and his little sister in heaven.  It would appear that everyone goes to Heaven because his little sister tells Colton that she can’t wait to meet her parents (Todd and Sonja) one day in heaven.  What would happen if either Todd or Sonja were to reject the Gospel? Would the little sister’s hope be crushed?

Colton’s little long lost sister tells him that God (who is called Jesus’ dad) – adopts all babies that have died. Now this story of God adopting children will pull at the heartstrings of a billion mothers who have lost children through miscarriage and other tragedies.  The pain of losing a child is unlike anything a parent should face. But now we have the story Heaven is for Real by the Burpo’s, tapping into the heartache of millions of women (like it did with Sonja Burpo) and blinding them into believing that the vision Colton experienced was true; that he was indeed in Heaven and that the Jesus he met was indeed the true Biblical Jesus, when we know, based on all the evidence that Colton’s experience was demonic.

Who’s on the left side?

9) Colton explains to his father that Jesus sits on the right hand side of his ‘dad’.  Todd then asks who sits on the left side and Colton replies, “Oh, that’s easy, Dad, That’s where the angel Gabriel is, He is really nice”. pg 101  This is another lie. No where in the bible does it tell us who sits on the left side of God because there is no left side, only a right side.

“In (Ephesians 1:19-21) here we see God exalting Jesus above all others by seating Him at the right hand of the Father.”

“The term “God’s right hand” in prophecy also refers to the Messiah to whom is given the power and authority to subdue His enemies (Psalm 110:1; Psalm 118:16)”

The fact that Jesus Christ is at the “right hand of God” was a sign to the disciples that Jesus had indeed gone to heaven. In John 16:7-15, Jesus told the disciples that He had to go away and He would send the Holy Spirit. So the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was positive proof that Jesus was indeed in heaven seated at the right hand of God. This is confirmed in Romans 8:34 where the Apostle Paul writes that Christ is sitting at God’s right hand making intercession for us.

Therefore, what we can say that “God’s right hand” refers to the Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ and He is of equal position, honor, power and authority with God (John 1:1-5). The fact that Christ is “sitting” refers to the fact that His work of redemption is done and when the fullness of the gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25), Christ’s enemies will be made His footstool as the end of the age comes, all prophecy is completed, and time is no more.”  –http://www.gotquestions.org/right-hand-God.html

The Holy Spirit

10) But it get’s worse, Colton tells his father that he sat with the Holy Spirit and it was kinda hard to describe him, other than “he’s kinda blue”.  Colton was sitting by the Holy Spirit (in Heaven) praying for his father because as Colton said to his dad, “You needed the Holy Spirit, so I prayed for you”.  pg 102 This is a very telling statement.  The bible tells us that when you become a Christian the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you.

John 14:16-18  16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever,  17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you”

Romans 8:9-11 “9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17  16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:1919 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Todd is supposed to be a Pastor, and Todd is a professing Christian yet according to Colton’s Jesus, he does not have the Holy Spirit in him. This means that the following verses and many more applies to Todd Burpo:

Matthew 7:21-23  “21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied [preached] in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

11) To make matters even worse Colton says that the Holy Spirit shoots down power to his dad when he is preaching in church, “It’s the Holy Spirit, “I watched him, He showed me”… ” He shoots down power for you when you are talking in church.pg 126  This is totally unscriptural.  Because we have proved above that the Holy Spirit abides in born again believers here on earth.  The Holy Spirit does not give you power either.  This Holy Spirit that Colton speaks of is false, along with it’s Jesus.

John 16:7-15  “7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Rainbows in Heaven is for Real

12) Colton becomes obsessed with rainbows.  Even to the point that he prays for a rainbow and one supposedly appears in the sky the following day. Todd Burbo uses the one and only scripture of Revelation 4:3 to try and backup his sons visions. “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”

Because we know from everything else that we have read that there is something seriously demonic regarding Colton’s visions, therefore it’s only obvious to look at New Age teaching regarding Rainbows to see what they have to say.  I did an article here on the 7 Colours of the Rainbow and the 7 Chakras, please read.

This is what New Ager’s have to say about the Rainbow:

“The experience of seeing the colours of the rainbow, when the sun is shining and it has been raining, is one we all can share. The experience often has a magical quality to it as though it is stirring some deep inner response. Such is the wonder of the light that forms the colours of the rainbow.The heavenly principle is to GIVE AS WE RECEIVE. We are not intended to absorb the light of the rainbow, enlightenment, joy and happiness, rather we are intended to transmit it; and in doing so to unfold its meaning for others, and for ourselves too.”     http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/colours-of-the-rainbow.htm

“The rainbow represents the regenerate spiritual person – one who has lived out the path of enlightenment, whose potential has opened out like the lotus flower of the east, each stage represented by a new colour developing out of the one before.

The main seven colours symbolise wholeness or holiness. There are a variety of rainbows sometimes seen around those in the spiritual realms – the rainbow of the ‘aura’, as it is sometimes called, picturing the spiritual state of the person.

Yoga teaches that there are seven centers or chakras in the human body. These are spiritual centers – you will not find them described in a materialistic medical book.”    http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/colours-of-the-rainbow2.htm

Akiane and Colton Burpo’s Christ

13) In the book, Heaven is for Real, The Burpo’s were themselves totally obsessed with finding out what Colton’s Jesus looked like “…as pastor, I wound up spending a lot of time at hospitals, in Christian bookstores, and at other churches–all places where there are lots of drawings and paintings of Christ….When we came across a picture of Jesus we’d ask Colton, “What about this one? Is that what Jesus looks like?’ pg 93.  Finally Todd came across information of a girl by the the name of Akiane Kramarik who too had began having visions at the age of four.   And as it turns out her descriptions of Heaven appear to be the same as Colton’s – so they say.  Akiane is a Prodigy and paints the most beautiful paintings, “she states that God has given her the visions and abilities to create her artwork” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiane_Kramarik.  One of her paintings is that of the Christ of her visions, she calls him her ‘Prince of Peace’.  Colton, turned to his dad when he saw Akiane’s Jesus and said, “Dad, that one’s right.” pg 145.

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What does the bible tell us:

Exodus 20:4-5  4You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

That applies to images of Jesus too, be it statues, or any other religious paintings, even the movies. It leads to idolatry, breeds superstition and leads to occultism.  If Jesus wanted us to know what he looked like there would be a full description of Him in the bible, but He has not because we are to believe by FAITH.

Corinthians 5:7  “7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

1 Peter 1:8 “8 whom having not seenyou love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory”

John 20:29  “29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Therefore all and I mean all representations of Jesus are false and have no backing by scripture.

Akiane is now 16 years old, this is what she has to say about Jesus,

“Jesus shared with us: ‘I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to my Father, but through me.’ I feel that he invited us to participate in the divinity. Each of us is one of kind [ sic ] original path to the way of truth and light, and without our individual love and effort we cannot understand and reach God”  [Emphasis added]  http://akiane.com/blog/?tag=akiane.

She rejects Jesus as being the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God. She opposes what Jesus Christ taught in favor of Satan’s promise of divinity to Eve in Genesis:3:5. Akiane has clearly met another Jesus and if Colton’s Jesus looks the same as Akiane’s then we can be certain that Colton’s Jesus is anti-Christ too.

14) Besides all the other unbiblical nonsense that Colton saw in his ‘trip to Heaven’ that was penned down in his book Heaven is for Real, the one that will bring fear into people the most is the one where he speaks of the coming war. “There’s going to be a war, and it’s going to destroy this world.  Jesus and the angels and the good people are going to fight against Satan and the monsters and the bad people. I saw it”.  pg 136  Colton tells his father that he saw his father fighting in the war too, fighting for Jesus who wins the war in the end.  The problem with this eschatological view (the study of the end times) is that it’s wrong.  The Body of Christ (Church) are ‘raptured’ to Heaven before the Tribulation starts. The ‘church’ that remains is but the false church of the antiChrist – the Roman Catholic church who have it as their mission to take over Jerusalem for themselves.  The time of the 7 year tribulation is for Israel – and everything will happen in Israel.  God turns back to Israel as he seals 144,000 Jewish witness to do the preaching instead of gentiles along with the 2 witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation.  Anyone who professes Jesus Christ as their saviour will be beheaded. The time of the Tribulation is for God’s Wrath upon the earth. God deals with mankind and the anti-Christ very severely – but will mankind repent? No.  If Todd Burpo is still going to be on earth during the Tribulation according to Colton’s vision he has then missed the ‘Blessed Hope’. (Titus 2:13)

See all these articles on the rapture here:  Rapture, Caught Up, The First Resurrection

Colton is the new Jesus. 

15) Colton’s babysitter, Ali, one night hears Colton’s story regarding his sister in heaven and that he missed her terribly. Ali, shocked at his story ends up crying her heart out.  She is deeply touched. Ali had grown up in a Christian home but had entertained doubts regarding her faith, for e.g., not knowing if all religions lead to the same God or not. “But Colton’s story about his sister strengthened her Christian faith” pg 130

So Colton’s story is more impressive than anything the Bible could offer.  Even though the Bible is TRUE and Colton’s story is not. Satan loves to use emotions to tug at the heartstrings of unsuspecting victims. And he is bargaining on you not going to the Bible to check to see if what he is telling you is true or not.  And the longer you refrain from testing these evil spirits, the deeper and deeper you are pulled into deception through more false teaching, until you are completely swallowed up with no where to go.

Paul’s Rapture, John’s Prophecies and Lazarus and the Rich Man:

16) On page 80 of Heaven is for Real, Todd tells us about the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 12 about a man he knew personally (obviously, Paul himself) who was caught up to Heaven. And Todd also tells us about the Apostle John who had an angel appear to him and he penned a number of prophecies and described Heaven in great detail.  Todd then quotes scripture from the Book of Revelation

Revelation 4:1-3  “1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was  like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

Basically Todd is trying to convince the reader that Colton’s vision is equal to that of Paul and John, but if Todd was a genuine Christian Pastor he would know the following:

“If I told you that I had recently visited there and only communicated what I knew was recorded in the Bible about it, you couldn’t object to what I said on the basis of my being biblically inaccurate. Accuracy, however, is not the only criterion for biblical discernment. There are many other instructions and examples that we must take into consideration. For example, the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12 of a “man in Christ” (no doubt Paul himself) who was caught up to Heaven. He didn’t know at the time whether it was an experience in which his spirit had left his body, or a vision while his spirit remained in his body. Nevertheless, he states that what he saw and heard in paradise was not lawful for a man to utter. Paul’s experience was followed by a humbling infirmity, which he states that God allowed him to suffer lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations… (2 Corinthians:12:6-7)

That isn’t always the case in Scripture. The Apostle John obviously was given permission to declare what he witnessed in Heaven in the Book of Revelation. This would seemingly apply as well to the writer of the Book of Job.

But can we be sure that the visions and personal experiences of these writers are true? Absolutely–because their words are found in the Scriptures . Of the Word of God, the psalmist writes, “Thy word is true from the beginning…,” and Jesus said, “Thy word is truth” (Psalm:119:160; John:17:17).  That is the ultimate verification that the experiences of those men of God indeed took place as they described. Furthermore, since the canon of Scripture was closed in the first century A.D., no one since that time can have his vision of-or his alleged visit to–Heaven  validated in the same way.

Jesus gave us another insight to help our discernment when He told of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man, who had died, was in a place where he was tormented and suffering remorse. Yet he begged Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers so that they would not end up with him in “this place of torment.” Abraham’s response was: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And again, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (Luke:16:19-31)  [Emphasis added] —  http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/search-the-scriptures-daily/read/articles/is-heaven-is-for-real-for-real-an-exercise-in-discernment-13365.html

Todd Burpo’s deceptive faith:

17) On page 62, Todd Burpo was still trying to come to terms with Colton’s story, he said, “If Colton really had a supernatural encounter, I certainly didn’t want to ask him leading questions. We had taught Colton about our faith all his life. But if he really had seen Jesus and the angels, I wanted to become the student, not the teacher!”

Todd himself would appear to be duped and does not approve in proper biblical testing as per 1 John 4:1-6.  He instead says that we must “be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard”. pg 75  So even though Colton’s story might be a bit hard to swallow, just believe it with childlike faith.

Todd also wanted to become a student of a 4 year old child instead of taking instruction from Jesus Christ (The Word of God).  Is a 4 year old child now more truthful than the Word of God?  The Bible  says:

2 Timothy 3:15-17  “17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”

Mark 13:31 “31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Proverbs 30:5 (Amp)  “5Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.”

18) On page 82 of Heaven is for Real, we are told that “Roman Catholics practice confession as a sacrament, sharing their sins and shortcomings with a priest.  Protestants practice confession too, though a little less formally, often confiding in God without an intermediary.”  When I started reading this book I kept my eyes peeled for the Roman Catholic connection and was not really surprised when it showed up.

1) Catholics practice confession, genuine Christians do no not practice confession.  Christians ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness of their sin. 2) Confession and asking for forgiveness (repenting) is two different things.  3) The statement by Todd that he confides to “God without an intermediary” is very concerning for the bible says,

1 Tim 2:5 “5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus

Todd prays to the Holy Spirit.

19) He says, “I breathed a ‘prayer of thanks’ to the Holy Spirit, who had clearly “shot down power,” giving me an answer for this grieving woman…” pg 146  Well we know that Todd lacks Jesus Christ as an intermediary, so he needs a new substitute; the holy spirit (lower case because it’s a false spirit)

No where in the bible are we told to pray to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always point you to Jesus Christ the Son of God.

John 14:26 “26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 16:14  “14 Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you

The bible does tell us the following about the Holy Spirit regarding prayer:

Romans 8:26  “26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Jude 1:20 “…build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”

Scripture suggests that we pray “in the Holy Spirit”, which means we permit the Holy Spirit to guide our prayers and give us the right words to say, and during times when we don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit automatically prays on our behalf with words that cannot be uttered, because He knows exactly what we need.  This new idea that we pray to the Holy Spirit is a New Age concept – The false New Age holy spirit represents the 6th Chakra or the Third Eye.

When we pray, we can pray to God our Heavenly Father – Psalm 5:2 “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray”.   To the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray as to the Father because they are equal.  Or you can pray to our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ – it does not matter, what ever makes you happy. Prayer to one member of the Trinity is prayer to all, because all three are One.  Stephen, when he was being martyred, prayed –  Acts 7:59 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” .  We are also to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul said, that we are always give –  Ephesians 5:20 “thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” .  There is no fixed rule, to add a rule on how to address God is wrong.

Jesus Christ’s crucifixion

20) On page 149 in Heaven is for Real, Todd makes the most unbelievable statement regarding Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, he says, “The scripture says that as Jesus gave up his spirit, as he sagged there, lifeless on that Roman cross, God the Father turn his back. I am convinced that he did that because if he had kept on watching, he couldn’t have gone through with it”   This kind of thinking is very similar to a man by the name of John Dominic Crossan’s (Jesus Seminar), who has had a great influence the Emergent church:

“If we are to believe that God deliberately sent his only son into the world to be brutally tortured and crucified, then I take that to be transcendental child abuse, and I will not have it.”  — John Dominic Crossan, Speech at Duke University Conference on “Jesus in Context: Who Was He?”, February 19-21, 1998

For the undiscerning reader reading this book and does not understand the crucifixion, let me please explain so that you may know the truth and nothing but the truth, because you are not going to get it from Todd Burpo.

Isaiah 53:10  “10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. “

“And about the ninth hour Jesus “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. This cry is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1.

Isaiah 53:4-5 tells us that  Jesus “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; that by his stripes we are healed” and Galatians 3:13 tells us “He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”.

In those awful moments on the cross, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him.   2 Corinthians 5:21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” and  1 John 2:2 “2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” – and because of that God had to “turn away” from Jesus.   As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing separation from God for the only time in all of eternity.  Jesus became sin for us, so He felt the loneliness and abandonment that sin always produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours.

But then Jesus cried out from the cross,  when Jesus uttered those words, John 19:30 “It is Finished”  He was declaring the debt by mankind (the debt of sin) owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever.

The Catholic connection.

21)  One of the biggest warning signs today for a genuine Christian is to note any Roman Catholic connection.  Todd says on page 152 in Heaven is for Real, “A lot of our Catholic friends have asked whether Colton saw Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The answer to that is also yes. He saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at times, standing besides Jesus. “She still loves him like a mom”.    The Roman Catholic Church is spoken off in the book of Revelation as:

Revelation 17:4-6  “4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:   MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.   6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”

The Catholic Mary (Queen of Heaven) is non other than a demonic goddess posing as Jesus’ mother.  “The Queen of Heaven in the bible is a Babylonian goddess whom people worshiped.  She has been incarnated to Roman Catholicism under the name ‘Mary’, Mary-Queen of Heaven.  Many Catholics would deny that Mary worship is part of Catholicism but unfortunately this is not true as she holds a special place in the hearts of many.” — Please read more on Mary Queen of Heaven – Whore of Babylon

Jeremiah 7:18 (Amp)   “18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger!

Conclusion:

As you can see from the heaps of evidence above that was taken directly from Heaven is for Real that the ‘altered states of consciousness’ that Colton experienced was not genuine.  Why? Is is due to his fathers sin of following after false doctrines. Have the Burpo’s delved into things, i.e, contemplative spirituality, that they should have not been delving into.  Is this story even a lie?  What ever it is, one thing is very clear, the story is not true, and if you choose to follow after this false Jesus with a pink stone in his crown and a pink pony, you will be following after a New Age Jesus.  The bible says:

2 Timothy 4:1-5  “1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Armin Völckers

Dear Deborah, Great analysis, thank you! Just one observation, hope no one mentioned it before, re: the people with bodies whom Colton says he saw in Heaven. When Jesus met Mary Magdalene near the garden tomb He told her not to touch Him, and some believe it was because of His highpriestly office in this moment (that would also explain a different dress, thus her not recognizing Him). It was the feast of first-fruits at that time, and we might conclude that Jesus had taken with Him at least some of those who died saved before the crucifixion (this is also suggested by Paul). Some of those were seen alive in the streets of Jerusalem right after the crucifixion. Also, Moses, Elijah and Henoch should possibly be in Heaven in bodily form, as Peter, John and James saw them confer with Jesus while He was transfigured. Moses’ body might by now be claimed by Michael (s. Jude), Enoch and Elijah were bodily transferred into Heaven. So what I’m trying to say is, there might not be a majority of saints with bodies in Heaven, but possibly those who died as believers prior to Jesus’ death. Also, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in hell/Abraham’s bosom Jesus suggests that they had actual bodies, otherwise it would not make sense for the rich man to mention Lazarus’ finger and his own tongue. All best, blessings from Berlin! Hope you can understand my English, Armin

Armin Völckers

PS I’ve done a bit of research on Akiane Kramarik, a friend of mine knows her dad. I’m pretty sure she’s a fraud. If you’re interested I can give you my thoughts.

Randomperson

Hi Thomas

Firstly I would like to say thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, it is greatly appreciated.

You mentioned about intuitive discernment in some unbelievers. I’ve recently not become a big fan of my “intuitive discernment”. One example was when I was called a “bigot” by a colleague because I was defending a work colleague who got into a heated discussion about gay marriage. I just politely told that it was unacceptable for this colleague to FORCE us to agree with her views that gay marriage is OK. She tells us that if we don’t agree with her beliefs we are bigots, intolerant etc. As a result I got a lot of crap and it was not a pleasant experience. I did believe I did the right thing to stand up for others’ beliefs but sometimes I did wished that I could just stay quiet.

In my opinion, I believe that one is being “judgemental” is one who has nothing nice to say, someone who forms opinions without any logical/rationale; they live in their little “bubble”, they only like what please them, and think that the world revolves around them. They only hear what pleases them and if they don’t like it they will unleash their wrath upon others. Sorry I should have clarified this I should have known that we may not share the same view. I would say that the colleague who called me names in the example I just mentioned would be a “judgemental” person. Did I just judge someone? :O

At the end of your response, you said that I should turn to Jesus for salvation. Thanks for being frank about this.

I have attended church to learn about God. I learn about the Bible. I believe that there is a spiritual world and there is something very powerful out there (God). I think you can agree that nowadays that “good has become evil, and evil is good”. We can never be the perfect “good” human being. We need someone to help us and save us from the evil that grows in this world.

Despite knowing all of this I still cannot turn to Jesus for salvation (not yet for now). I’m thinking you may say something like “But Randomperson, you have the choice to believe that Jesus is the Son of God” The problem is the more I know about God the more questions I have about being a follower of Christ. I do not think that being a follower of Christ will mean that your life will always be good (I heard this from a Christian talk); your life will always good without challenges and opposition. I think it may something like a warzone where you are constantly fighting the enemy no matter where you go. The worst thing is that the enemy outnumbers your army and that the enemy is everyone around you, including loved ones that you cherish. I have seen enough that my “intuitive discernment” has resulted me being a person who is very “different”. I should stand up for what I believe but it has come to a point where I am questioning myself “Why am I making myself suffer for doing the right thing?”

I also want to ask about Heaven. I have been told by Christians via media/pastors that one of the purposes of following Jesus Christ is to go to Heaven once we die. I don’t know how you first came to know about Christianity and Heaven, but I find this very offputting. Let me explain what I mean. It seems that Jesus Christ is the only way to go to Heaven; if we believe in him, our “golden pass” to Heaven is secured. I feel like this is an excuse by some people to get that golden pass to Heaven by using the names of God and Jesus as an excuse for their self-interest. I ask what is the Bible’s view on this about going to Heaven when we die.

The other thing what I was told is that being a follower of Christ means that I should “stop being worldly and by more Christ like”. Basically, stop watching mainstream media, compulsory attendance at church, don’t mix with the gays/criminals/people who have affairs because they are sinful according to the ten commandments(??), only listen to Christian related media, compulsory Bible class, volunteer with a Christian charity/church, compulsory 10% tithes to church every year, compulsory attendance at prayer meetings, lift your hands up during worship, only donate to Christian organisations, and tell the unbelievers, the gays, the criminals, the atheists are evil people because we didn’t believe in God and Jesus. The list goes on. The best thing is that some Christians I know don’t even know why they actually do things like going to church other than reasons like “I’m making God happy by being there”, “Securing my ticket to heaven”, “Because the Bible says so”.

Because of my experience with the Christian church I feel disappointed that I can’t distinguish the REAL message of the Gospel is. I hear very watered downed messages from the church especially in youth groups (I’ve been to a few). I’ve stopped watching many famous preachers messages because found them dodgy (Ie: money money). I stopped volunteering at my church because I realised that the people were volunteering only for their self interests and to “tick the boxes”.

I would like to hear your views on this. I have not accuse you of anything that is “wrong”. I did not fully agree with what the Bible says but you have the right to share what you believe is the truth of life, for this I thank you for your honesty. I know that there is a real, living person behind the computer screen and being very disrespectful on the internet serves no benefit to me.

And yes, procrastination is never a good thing! :O

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Radndomperson,

Thanks again for your courteous and very frank comment. I like it when people are candid in their approach to religion. Once again, I must admit that I am not quite ready to answer you – not that I am too busy at the moment but because I would first like to thoroughly think through what you have said and then hopefully come up with something that may be of help. So, once again I must ask you to give me some time before I venture to answer you.

Tom

Randomperson

Hi Deborah (And Tom)

You said that in your response that “We will always be sinners”. Where does this sin come from? Do we sin by our actions (Ie: Stealing, being rude etc.) or we already have sin when we were born? Or has sin “transferable” from generation to generation, such as our ancestors?

“Ahh but here is the difference between someone who wants a ticket to heaven vs someone that LOVES JESUS CHRIST. It’s not about getting to heaven that should be the deciding factor that makes people want to put up their hands in an sinners prayer call. No, the deciding factor is the fact that you feel utterly shameful about the way you live (the sin in your life) and that fact that you Love Jesus Christ, and the fact that in order to please God you need to repent and ask Jesus into your heart(spirit) because you love Him and for no other reason.”

In many other religions they believe that there is heaven and hell. I think in some religions says we are all going to hell, unless we believe in a God and we follow his teachings/beliefs. No one wants to go to hell because it’s the worst place to be in the afterlife. Would this be an incentive for non-believers to follow Jesus, although it may not be the main reason to do so?

“Oi, you really are stuck in a false Christian church aren’t you :)”

Well, you could recommend me to a perfect Christian church if there is one :) I think the church I go to is a good church. The pastor is very nice, he doesn’t want people to donate/tithe for the sake of “ticking the boxes”. He has also told me that he preaches what he believes the Holy Spirit tells him, but does advice me to refer to the Bible on what he preaches. He also speaks a lot of things which you have mentioned. So I guess it’s good. Some of the attendees are probably people I might (or should) avoid cause they tell me odd things which make no rational sense. I don’t expect any church attendees to be perfect and nice people anyway; maybe that’s why they’re at church? :O

“You don’t need to go to prayer meetings and you certainly do not let anyone lay hands on you (please this is important! – demonic spirits are transferred this way) If the minister is false and he lays hands on you and you willingly accept whatever he is doing to you, you can land yourself in a bit of trouble.”

I haven’t gone to any prayer meetings but during church service the pastor usually calls for the congregation to pray for people who may be sick (or just needs prayer). Sometimes I am very sick and I am very desperate so I stand up for prayer so I get people who sit near me to pray for me (for healing of my sickness). Would it be a wiser thing to ask the pastor to pray for me instead of random people at the church?

“Well lets see what Jesus did. Jesus sat with the taxman and the prostitutes and ate with them while He preached to them the wonderful message of salvation. Jesus came to save the lost, the lost are those who are living a sinful, evil life.”

My understanding from this is that Jesus still sat with the taxman and prostitutes and ate with them, despite these people are frowned upon and hated/rejected(?) within society. Am I correct in saying that these people had no one to turn to (Ie: friend, family etc.) in their lives and found that Jesus was very different, because he did not care for what they have done (Actions) but instead was willing to listen, talk and ate with them just like a loving, compassionate and sensible person would have done? (Logic lol)

I feel that in today’s world it is more difficult to do what Jesus has done. Times have changed since then and in many first world countries people have more “rights” and the media (and internet) have a very big influence (sadly, for the worse) in our society. I work with children and young people (young person here!) and I am astounded that their lives evolves around many things (Ie: social media, want to be rich, want to marry a rich person etc.) in which I personally find it worthless (Not that I don’t want to be rich but there’s too many people who fall in love with money and nothing good comes out from it).

“The fact that you even notice that the sermons are watered down tells me that the Holy Spirit is calling you and showing you things already. How did you even notice that many ‘famous’ preachers are dodgy, it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to you! It’s not you who is figuring this stuff out, it’s impossible, you are being called Randomperson.”

First of all I had to come up with a name and I was being cheeky so I thought Randomperson was a good name for me lol. It’s got nothing to do with what I’m asking or saying :O

I can’t say yes or no to this response because I don’t know. I did mention in my previous post that my mind really messes with me. Sometimes when I read a piece of information (Let’s say an opinion piece) and initially I would say “Yes, yes yes! I agree!!” and then my mind will tell me: “Now hold on a minute! Think carefully what the author is really saying!” When I first attended a youth church I had a good time. However, as I kept on attending different youth churches, I noticed a few things:
– It was all about fun and games. I’m doing things with with my friends but just add God as the tagline. I go to church to learn about God not to play games tailored for little kids!
– The sermon(s) was too positive (Everything is good good good good good!) and I get extremely skeptical because it is a problem when everything sounds to good to be true. Let me elaborate on this. The message that I got from various sermons was that “if you follow Christ your life will be good. there will be no challenges. Ask God what you desire and it will be given to you. Just follow his teachings as you follow the ten commandments. It’s okay to sin because as long as you repent God will forgive you.” Actually, I get skeptical about everything I listen/read nowadays that I have to conduct a thorough investigation to get to the nitty gritty bits of whatever it is!
– I don’t know why but my view of the young people in youth church (in my experience) is that they seem… somewhat immature. Maybe its just the group of people there. I’m very fussy with hanging out with people who will be a good influence to me.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Randomperson wrote:

You said that in your response that “We will always be sinners”. Where does this sin come from? Do we sin by our actions (Ie: Stealing, being rude etc.) or we already have sin when we were born? Or has sin “transferable” from generation to generation, such as our ancestors?

Sin came into the world when our original parents – Adam and Eve – disobeyed God.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

You may ask “But why must I be blamed for something someone else did?”

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23

There is one thing I would like to make clear. People are not cast into hell because they have sinned. They are cast into hell because of one thing only – UNBELIEF.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me. (John 16:8-9)

You wrote:

“Ahh but here is the difference between someone who wants a ticket to heaven vs someone that LOVES JESUS CHRIST. It’s not about getting to heaven that should be the deciding factor that makes people want to put up their hands in an sinners prayer call. No, the deciding factor is the fact that you feel utterly shameful about the way you live (the sin in your life) and that fact that you Love Jesus Christ, and the fact that in order to please God you need to repent and ask Jesus into your heart(spirit) because you love Him and for no other reason.”

I fully agree with you. Gliding ever so gently into heaven without loving, obeying and following Jesus Christ is not kosher. However, I must remind you that it is Jesus Christ’s desire that everyone should be in heaven with Him.

For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezekiel 18:32).

He said to his disciples.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3).

So there’s nothing wrong in wanting to go to heaven.

You wrote:

In many other religions they believe that there is heaven and hell. I think in some religions says we are all going to hell, unless we believe in a God and we follow his teachings/beliefs. No one wants to go to hell because it’s the worst place to be in the afterlife. Would this be an incentive for non-believers to follow Jesus, although it may not be the main reason to do so?

The incentive to follow Jesus should not be the fear of hell but love for Christ. Let me give you an example.

Paul love Jesus Christ and his Gospel so much that he was prepared to go to and suffer in hell in behalf of his brethren – the Jews – if it had been possible to save them. Of course, it is impossible, and yet he was still prepared to be cast into hell for their salvation’s sake.

For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (Romans 9:3)

You wrote:

“Oi, you really are stuck in a false Christian church aren’t you :)”
Well, you could recommend me to a perfect Christian church if there is one :) I think the church I go to is a good church. The pastor is very nice, he doesn’t want people to donate/tithe for the sake of “ticking the boxes”. He has also told me that he preaches what he believes the Holy Spirit tells him, but does advice me to refer to the Bible on what he preaches. He also speaks a lot of things which you have mentioned. So I guess it’s good. Some of the attendees are probably people I might (or should) avoid cause they tell me odd things which make no rational sense. I don’t expect any church attendees to be perfect and nice people anyway; maybe that’s why they’re at church? :O

The issue is not whether you are in the right or wrong church. The issue is whether you are in Christ, and you have already admitted that you are not saved. So, what I would suggest is that you first get saved and then we can talk about what church is right or wrong.

You wrote:

“You don’t need to go to prayer meetings and you certainly do not let anyone lay hands on you (please this is important! – demonic spirits are transferred this way) If the minister is false and he lays hands on you and you willingly accept whatever he is doing to you, you can land yourself in a bit of trouble.”
I haven’t gone to any prayer meetings but during church service the pastor usually calls for the congregation to pray for people who may be sick (or just needs prayer). Sometimes I am very sick and I am very desperate so I stand up for prayer so I get people who sit near me to pray for me (for healing of my sickness). Would it be a wiser thing to ask the pastor to pray for me instead of random people at the church?

I sincerely hope you are not asking these questions because you want to tempt us.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, (Matthew 22:35)

If that is your purpose then I can’t answer you because I don’t have time to waste. Why would you want people to pray for you in the Name of Jesus when you have no desire to be saved and to follow Him? I am sure your random questions (excuse the pun) is a ploy of the evil one to keep you from being saved. Please decide once and for all whether you are interested in being saved. Your questions such as “Would it be a wiser thing to ask the pastor to pray for me instead of random people at the church?” is beside the point and serves no purpose.

I can answer all your questions until doomsday and then it would be too late for you.

Randomperson

Hi Tom and Deborah

Tom, you said in your response:
“I sincerely hope you are not asking these questions because you want to tempt us.”

I am not sure why you have come to this conclusion. When do u mean “tempt”, do you mean that I may be testing your faith? NEVER have the thought of testing your faith has crossed my mind, nor thoughts to shame you, nor doing anything that may make you doubt your own faith. I don’t want to hurt anyone. :(

You also mentioned this in your response:
“If that is your purpose then I can’t answer you because I don’t have time to waste. Why would you want people to pray for you in the Name of Jesus when you have no desire to be saved and to follow Him?”

The answer is that I believe in God and I desire to be saved and to follow Him. BUT! *See below*

Your final response:
“I am sure your random questions (excuse the pun) is a ploy of the evil one to keep you from being saved.”
As much as I hate to admit… I have to agree with you. I will be frank on this: for some reason when I saw this, I felt very offended. I know this is not me because I am easily not offended and I do not see any reason why I should be offended by your comment. I do NOT expect an apology, because it is MYSELF who has an issue. Please do not feel pressured to apologise. You have done no wrong.

But as I have mentioned before, the more I discover about God, the more doubts/questions I have. In the end, this is a decision (To follow Christ) is mine alone and no one else.

I will stop posting as this topic (Heaven is For real etc.) is going off topic. So I thank you Tom and Deborah for your courteous responses. I do not agree with everything that you have said, however I do NOT bear any hate, nor grudges, nor any ill will towards you and Deborah. (Again there is no reason why I should hate someone just because of differences). I will continue to seek God and ask for my doubts to be cleared (and any factors that is stopping me from truly believing).

I wish the both of you well in all things that you do in your life.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Hi Randomperson,

Asking questions is fine, but I know from experience that the enemy of your soul (Satan) will always bring you off track when the topic of how to be saved comes to the fore. This is what I meant by tempting. It only sidetracks one. The one question I would have liked you to ask, is “What must I do to be saved?”

Indeed, no one can force you to be saved and follow Jesus; you yourself must decide whether you want to be saved and follow Him (Deut 30:19). Yes! and a thousands times yes – God is long-suffering (very patient) and is still postponing the return of his Son for the sake of those who are not yet saved (2 Peter 3:9). However, He also says “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us (the believers), what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

You wrote:

But as I have mentioned before, the more I discover about God, the more doubts/questions I have.

From your own comments, it seems that your pastor is solid on preaching the Gospel. Have you asked him to help you find answers to the questions you have? The reason why I ask, is because you seem to be hearing things that are driving you away from God in stead of drawing you to Him. You are not supposed to be driven away from Him but drawn to him.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)

I’m sorry to hear that you were offended by what I said. However, the Gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ is an offence.

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Peter 2:7-8)

Believe me, I wouldn’t sit here at 04:00 and even sometimes at 02:00 in the mornings to answer your and others comments and questions if I did not love you.

What I would like to suggest to you is this. Find a quiet spot like your own room, go to Jesus Christ in prayer and be brutally honest with Him. Tell Him exactly what’s in your heart and what you think of Him and his Gospel. Tell Him what you told me – that the more you discover about Him, the more doubts and questions you have. That’s just fine; He loves it when people are brutally honest with Him. He hates hypocrisy. Wrestling with God in prayer, no holds barred, is something He expects you to do. (He says: Come let us reason together – Isaiah 1:18). So, once again, I would like to suggest that you take up your issues directly with Him. I am not being facetious. I am dead serious.

I wouldn’t like to see you leave us.

God bless
Tom

Avid Reader

Thomas and Deborah,

After reading both the original article and all the available comments, I can safely tell you that both the theology you espouse and the tactless and ham-fisted way you present it has turned me away from seeking ANY further information about Christianity. As you state that your intention is to set people “on the path to the Gospel”, I can only assume that your hate filled diatribes and constant aggressive stance are aspects prescribed by your all-encompassing theology. I cannot imagine how absolutely desolate you must be to ascribe to a doctrine that creates such base viciousness in you both. I sincerely hope you reconsider your manner and example, although I will say, it has informed me greatly. I will not be a part of hate.

-Permenantly Walking Away.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Avid Reader,

The fact that you are not a Christian and supposedly are seeking ANY further information about Christianity and have decided to Permanently Walk Away, proves that you are not in the vewry least interested in finding the Truth. If you were sincerely interested in seeking ANY further information about Christianity, you would have purchased a Bible and read and studied it, in stead of the book “Heaven is for Real.” How on earth can you assess what we have written in the article and in our comments when you know zilch about Christianity?

You are not permanently Walking Away from us or this site. You are Permanently Walking Away from Jesus Christ, the fountain of the Living Water. But that’s your choice and prerogative. However, what I fail to understand is that someone can be so stupid to Permanently Walk Away from eternal life and instead choose to go to hell. Can you explain that to me?

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Avid Reader,

How can you possibly asses the article and our comments when you know nothing, zilch, nada about Christianity? If you really want to seek ANY further information about Christianity, you would have made an effort to purchase a Bible and read and study it in stead of a heretic book like “Heaven is for Real.”

Please explain to me this mystery. You are not Permanently Waling Away from us and this site. You are Permanently walking Away from Jesus Christ, the fountain of the Living Water. How can anyone be so stupid to Permanently Walk Away from an eternity in heaven and rather choose to spend it in hell? But that’s your prerogative and choice. So, enjoy it to the hilt.

Tommy Catholic

Aaron wrote:

I have 2 points that I would like to make clear.
1: Catholics do NOT worship Mary. We never have and never will. We honor her as the Mother of God. Is not Jesus our Brother? is not then Mary our (spiritual) Mother? What is the 4th Commandment? Honor thy Father and thy Mother. Jesus Honored his Parents and so should we. How is having a special place in your heart for the Mother of our Redeemer a bad thing? Do you not have a special place and love for your mom or dad? What about your siblings or spouse? Or your son or daughter? We can and should love and have special places in our hearts for our dear ones. Why then can’t we show love and respect for Jesus’ Mother? Please do not try and tell others what the Catholic Church (the One True Church established by Jesus Christ Himself) believes and teaches regarding Mary if you don’t really know or understand what it teaches.
2. How dare you call the Mother of God the Whore of Babylon!!! Do you think that is pleasing to Almighty God? Mary is the New Eve. She has done what all of us have failed to do. She is the only creature to have said Yes to God in all things!!! She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth!! To quote from Sacred Scriptures – “For behold from hence forth all generations shall call me blessed” – Luke Ch 1 Vr 48
We don’t worship her. We Love and Honor her as does Jesus Christ and we look to her as the perfect model of how to live for Christ and love Him.
May the Holy Spirit, the Spouse of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary open your minds and hearts so that all may come to the fullness of the Truth.
Peace and God Bless

AARON! I LOVE YOU! I can see Jesus smiling upon you now. He will never forget this act of defending his beloved mother against a pack of ravenous wolves calling her names and telling lies about her character. Jesus loves his mother, and so do you. Thank you for this. God love you. Your mother loves you too. God bless you.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tommy Catholic,

You don’t know the doctrines of your own church and that’s dangerous – dangerous for your soul. This is how I annswered Aaron.

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Aaron wrote:

I have 2 points that I would like to make clear.

1: Catholics do NOT worship Mary. We never have and never will. We honor her as the Mother of God. Is not Jesus our Brother? is not then Mary our (spiritual) Mother? What is the 4th Commandment? Honor thy Father and thy Mother. Jesus Honored his Parents and so should we. How is having a special place in your heart for the Mother of our Redeemer a bad thing? Do you not have a special place and love for your mom or dad? What about your siblings or spouse? Or your son or daughter? We can and should love and have special places in our hearts for our dear ones. Why then can’t we show love and respect for Jesus’ Mother? Please do not try and tell others what the Catholic Church (the One True Church established by Jesus Christ Himself) believes and teaches regarding Mary if you don’t really know or understand what it teaches.

Show me a single verse in Scripture where we are told to pray to Mary. Neither Jesus nor his apostles and Paul advised anyone to pray to Mary. I am quite surprised to see that you call Jesus your Brother. Listen to what Jesus Himself said:

And it was told him [Jesus]. .. Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the Word of God and do it. -Luke 8:20, 21

You are definitely NOT doing the will of the Father when you pray to Mary. So, you cannot call Jesus your Brother.

Why would you deliberately capitalize “Father” and “Mother” in those verses that tell us to “Honour thy father and mother?” You are deliberately twisting Scripture to fit your agenda. Honouring your earthly father and mother does not mean that you ought to pray TO them. Yes, you must pray FOR them but never TO them.

Yes Jesus honoured his earthly parents (there you go again, capitalizing “Parents”), but He never prayed to them. In fact, He once said:

And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luk 2:49)

Note that He spoke these words to Mary and Joseph and that He did not say “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s and Mother’s house?

No one said that you should not have a special place in you heart for your own blood family. Do you pray TO them?

Do you know what your own church teaches with regard to Mary? Here are some things your own church fathers said and some of the prayers the Catholic Church teaches you to pray to Mary.

There is no one, 0 most holy Mary. .. who can be saved or redeemed but through thee…. (St. Germanus)

As we have access to the Eternal Father only through Jesus Christ, so have we access to Jesus Christ only through Mary. By thee we have access to the Son, 0 blessed finder of grace, bearer of life, and mother of salvation….(St. Bernard)

In thy hands I place my eternal salvation, and to thee do I entrust my soul…. For, if thou protect me, dear Mother, I fear nothing; not from my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me the pardon of them; nor from the devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell together; nor even from Jesus, my Judge himself, because by one prayer from thee, he will be appeased. But one thing I fear; that, in the hour of temptation, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me, then, the pardon of my sins…. (One of many prayers in the popular booklet Devotions in Honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help)

Have you placed your eternal salvation in Mary’s hands and have you entrusted your soul to her? If you had, you can’t be saved because the Bible says there is only One Saviour.

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Act 4:12)

You wrote:

2. How dare you call the Mother of God the Whore of Babylon!!! Do you think that is pleasing to Almighty God? Mary is the New Eve. She has done what all of us have failed to do. She is the only creature to have said Yes to God in all things!!! She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth!! To quote from Sacred Scriptures – “For behold from hence forth all generations shall call me blessed” – Luke Ch 1 Vr 48

We don’t worship her. We Love and Honor her as does Jesus Christ and we look to her as the perfect model of how to live for Christ and love Him.

If you don’t worship her, why then do you call her your Advocate?

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

This is pure blasphemy because Jesus Christ alone is our Advocate. Mary does not sit on God’s right hand as our Advocate.

Mary is not the only one who is called the blessed of God. All true believers are called his blessed people. Read Matthew 5. So what’s your point?

You look to Mary as your perfect (sinless) model? Really? Isn’t Jesus supposed to be our perfect (sinless) model?

God Himself calls the Mary of Catholicism a harlot.

Israel was severely punished and sent into captivity when they worshiped the so-called Queen of heaven.

But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?” (Jer 44:18-19)

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Rev 17:1-5)

I really think you should repent and start to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You have been deceived by your church.
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To Tommy Catholic

The Mary of the Catholics is not the Mary of the Bible. The Mary of the Catholics is a demon posing as the Mary of the Bible.

Indeed, Jesus loveshis mother. That’s why He said:

Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Mat 12:47-50).

You are nor doing the will of God for you are worshipiong an idol called Mary.

Rista
Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Thanx Rista.

A Growing Catholic

“Heaven is for Real” did not lead me away from Jesus. It brought me amazingly closer to him. I believe that Jesus watches out for all of his children. I do not think that a demonic book would bring me closer to Jesus. Logic carries a lot of negativity with it. Just trust in God who is infinitely powerful. Read the Bible like a child. Christianity has many branches and each teaches things differently. We are not perfect, however we can unite under God and grow together. Attacking someone is something God would not support. No matter what bad happens, have peace. The world is under God’s plan. Trust and have faith in him. If he wanted to, he could have overflowed the world with holiness so that the world is perfect, but he chose not to and for a reason. Let us support each other,who are all given an infinite amount of divine love.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

A Growing Catholic

How do you know that the Jesus to whom you claim the book brought you closer is the Jesus of the Bible? It can’t be because Catholics do not worship the Jesus of the Bible. It is another Jesus. (2 Corinthians 11:4). You seem to like it when people deceive and mislead others. The fact that you believe God overflowed the world with unholiness shows that you do not know Him or His Word.

Saddened by some views

I was looking for some information and came across this forum
It really saddens me that people who obviously don’t know anything about Catholics make false comments about them.
Have any of you ready anything on Pope Francis?
Have you even spoken to a true Catholic follower of Jesus Christ?
I am Catholic and I firmly believe that the Church teaches us Gods Word, because I ready my Bible daily and I encourage my children to do the same. Their youth leaders are such amazing people who reflect the light of Jesus in how they live their daily lives. There is som uch to tell you guys about the Catholic Church, but it would take too long to go through everything.
I do want to comment on the confession though – Please see below
During his life, Christ forgave sins, as in the case of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1–11) and the woman who anointed his feet (Luke 7:48). He exercised this power in his human capacity as the Messiah or Son of man, telling us, “the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Matt. 9:6), which is why the Gospel writer himself explains that God “had given such authority to men” (Matt. 9:8).

Since he would not always be with the Church visibly, Christ gave this power to other men so the Church, which is the continuation of his presence throughout time (Matt. 28:20), would be able to offer forgiveness to future generations. He gave his power to the apostles, and it was a power that could be passed on to their successors and agents, since the apostles wouldn’t always be on earth either, but people would still be sinning.

God had sent Jesus to forgive sins, but after his resurrection Jesus told the apostles, “‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21–23). (This is one of only two times we are told that God breathed on man, the other being in Genesis 2:7, when he made man a living soul. It emphasizes how important the establishment of the sacrament of penance was.)

Please please speak to a Catholic priest or a Catholic who actually practices their faith before making comments that ware way off the mark.
I don’t know anything about the book, but I believe that it obviously brought someone to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, so it cannot be demonic. Why would Satan want people in relationship with Jesus?

God bless you all.
Yours in Christ

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Saddened by some views

I am very saddened by the fact that you know so very little about your own faith – Catholicism. Indeed, Jesus, although He is no longer on earth and is now seated at the right hand of God, is the only Person who can forgive sins. The power, you say, He had given to the apostles to forgive sins does not mean that their ability to forgive sins opened/opens the door to heaven for sinners. It simply means that the apostles could assure repentant sinners of God’s forgiveness on the basis that they had received Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Similarly, they could retain the sins of unrepentant sinners by assuring them that God has not forgiven them on the basis of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. It does not mean they had power to forgive sins to the extent that it opens heavens door to sinners because Jesus had passed on his power to them.

Who had the power to forgive sins in the Old Testament when Jesus was also not yet on the earth? How did Adam and Eve receive forgiveness for their sins – through someone else who had been given the power to forgive sins because Jesus was not on the earth yet?

The Psalmist says:

A Song of degrees. Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psalm 130:1-4)

He did not go to a priest who had been given the power to absolve his sins. He prayed directly to God for the forgiveness of his sins and was immediately forgiven despite the fact that Jesus was not on earth yet.

In any case your church anathematizes anyone who believes Jesus forgives sins by simply putting their trust in Him.

If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema – The Council of Trent.

This is a denial of the efficacy of Jesus Christ’s vicarious death on the cross.

Please read this.

Anathema, by the way, means excommunication. In other words, those who do not believe what the Church teaches on this are condemned to hell.

What most Catholics don’t realize is that they must believe all that the pope and the Magisterium—that is, the infallible teaching office of the Church—declare as teachers of the faith.

The Christian [read Roman Catholic] faithful…are bound by Christian obedience to follow what the sacred pastors…declare as teachers of the faith or determine as leaders of the Church. (Code of Canon Law – Canon 212-1)

This loyal submission of the will and intellect must be given, in a special way, to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra in such wise, indeed, that his supreme teaching authority be acknowledged with respect, and that one sincerely adhere to decisions made by him…. (Vatican II Lumen Gentium 25)

[The Bishops when] assembled in an ecumenical council, they are, for the universal Church, teachers of and judges in matters of faith and morals, whose decisions must be adhered to with the loyal and obedient assent of faith….[When] the Roman Pontiff, or the body of bishops together with him, define a doctrine, they make the definition in conformity with revelation itself, to which all are bound to adhere and to which they are obliged to submit…. (Vatican II Lumen Gentium 25C2)

Refusal to submit is a mortal sin.

Any so called Christian religion or denomination sporting a hierarchy that demands total obedience to their teaching and commands their members not to question their doctrines is a cult. Roman Catholicism is a cult and indeed one of the most dangerous cults on the planet.

Read “Signs of a Cult.”

Also read this.

Joshua

may the hound of heaven bind u with your own tounge

James Verner

starlight wrote: Hi! “A few exceptions though…” I am glad you could admit that some of this can be true. I want to compare it all with scripture too. Yet both you and I are denominational in our outlook and, without realizing it, we will make our own sweeping statements to show ourselves as the true “theologian,” and Todd as the heretic. Who do we think we are to declare them wrong? If the boy had an encounter with Jesus then you and I need to be careful not to call unclean what God has cleansed. The same goes in Akiane’case. James

Thanks Deborah. I have read the same account on The Berean call. Thanks for reminding us to use our brains/common sense. People are mostly told to disengage their brains when it comes to the Supernatural – not true. The Word tells us we have sound minds and we must reason together. It astounds me to read and hear how many people are having these experiences lately and it is accepted as truth in our churches today. It was unheard of when we grew up – in fact it was rejected, now it is common and very common among the Americans. They seem to have overly active imaginations on just about everything. They are NOT authorities on anything, least on Theology, so don’t be fooled. Everything about them is exaggerated and hyped. We watch them on TBN, Daystar, GOD TV, u name it, shocking most of the times to hear what is being preached as truth. There are a FEW exceptions though, only but a FEW. This also links to the “little gods” doctrine – humanising Jesus and deifying man.

TLM

Joshua wrote:

http://www.inquisitr.com/1763420/heaven-is-for-real-under-attack-colton-burpo-talks-about-the-truth/

Joshua,

I’ve met a lot of people like the self-righteously angry legalistic folks I’ve read comments from on this site. I live in Colorado Springs, a supposed ‘mecca’ of Christianity. I never cried from loneliness in a church parking lot until I came to Colorado Springs. These folks are so heavenly minded, they are no earthly good. I call them hypoChristian because they go around professing things in a verbal manner (written, spoken = verbal) but don’t really DO anything about helping people in love.

So what if the book is fake? In my mind ANYTHING that draws people to Christ and therefore to the Bible is a good thing. Otherwise? They’re still out there swinging in the wind, not checking out church communities and not getting to know what is written in the Bible.

Who is she or any of her followers to say whether the book it is right or wrong? I was always taught, “judge not lest you be judged”. I would think that the energy I see expended on this site is FAR better off being expended inviting strangers out for a cup of coffee or a meal. I have NEVER been asked out to a meal by any of the hypoChristians of Colorado Springs. I have a theory that if Christ showed up in any of the mega Churches of Colorado Springs, they’d throw him out for being ‘disruptive’.

So, Deborah and Deborah followers? Turn off your browsers, turn off you computer, give your fingers and wrists a rest and go meet some REAL people in REAL life. And if you have to take the time to rebut what I’ve said here? You’ve just made my point for me. Thank you.

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