John 3:13 - "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven."
Okay. There is this book that has been popular and a movie that is coming out based on it. It is called Heaven is for Real, written by Todd Burpo, Colton Burpo's father. It's based on the accounts of this 3 year old's claims to have gone to heaven (during an emergency appendectomy). He saw Jesus; he saw a sister who died in the womb, whom his parents had not yet told him about; he saw his great grandfather, whom he'd never met, and sported huge wings, among other things. At four when he began to retell his story in more detail, he had an amazing vocabulary and wisdom.
His father is a pastor and was skeptical of what his son was saying until some of the things he pointed out could not have been made up. When he talked to his son he was careful not to put words into his mouth, that this boy would speak only what he saw.
I have to admit I read this book when it first came out and I was enamored by it. We so all want to know what heaven is like. We want to believe certain things. Yet I'm so sure God does not reveal all things for a reason...maybe to keep us trusting only in Him, without all the answers. What better way to believe in Him than without all the answers? Pure trust.
Other stories abound on near death experiences; I'm sure they believe what happened. And who knows why or how they saw what they saw. How do I know it couldn't happen to me?
So, I read the above scripture this morning and it spoke volumes to me. No one has ascended to heaven but He... If we are to believe that the Word of God is true then we must believe this statement that no one has ascended to heaven. Again, I have to admit I still want to believe this little boy saw heaven. I really do. But there is also a catch in my spirit.
I read this scripture and then another one popped into my head: Satan comes as an angel of light (2Corinthians 11:4). And another, ...do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God (1John 4:1).
The boy claims to have seen the face of Jesus. His father showed him many pictures over the subsequent years until one was what he claim He looked like. We don't know what Jesus looks like. We have man's image planted firmly in Bibles, books, in stained glass and in statues and idols. We just don't know...
We live in a world where powers and principalities rule. Our enemy so wants to take God's Word and twist it that we might suck it in and believe it as if it were God's literal Word. Satan is the father of lies. He is subtle. And aren't we all capable of being deceived? When in doubt, search the Scriptures.
I so want to believe this boy. I really do, but we are also told that even the elect can be deceived in the last days. And why not just this one time by an innocent little boy? As just the beginning of more deceit. I so do not want to say he is wrong. But don't we also know, as believers, that satan is so deceptive? Look at how he has deceived in the Bible. None of us are immune.
It might be a good book to point people to Jesus through an innocent child's belief and because I remember this boy adamantly stating we have to know Him in our heart to go to heaven. I say this hesitantly...
We also know that in the last days deceit will run rampant (1Timothy 4:1). We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived. This boy may not be considered a false prophet, but might be being used for no good. If we allow one little deceit, others will gain footholds. It's why the way is narrow that leads to life...and wide is the way to destruction.
Galatians 1:9 - As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.