On Monday I posted about my recent trip to Heaven. I said I didn’t know what sparked the dream. I don’t, but the truth is, the kids and I have had a number of conversations about Heaven lately. We’ve no immediate reason for this. We haven’t lost a loved one. It’s just something they’ve initiated. And I welcome it.
Zach’s take on Heaven:
He dreamed that we were all in Disney World, having a fantastic time, when Jesus came and took him straight to Heaven. I asked him what it was like. He said:
“The streets were gold and there were no corners anywhere!”
To get this, you might have to know how often our family gets injured by corners. Blame my often clumsy gene pool; it is what it is. Coffee tables, bed frames, bookcases … yes, even walls jump out to attack our shins, ankles, knees and heads. It’s quite sad, actually, which is why a Heaven with no corners sounds absolutely wonderful.
On another night my precious seven-year-old sighed, wishing aloud that he could go to Heaven now. Of course, I asked, “Why?”
“’cause then I’d be perfect. I really wanna be perfect now.”
Oh, don’t we all wish we could be perfect now?
Ellie’s take on Heaven:
While sitting with us in “big church,” she leaned over to me and whispered:
“I wish Disney World was more like this!”
Can you imagine? A place as exhilarating and carefree as Disney World but filled with praise for God? Now, THAT sounds like Heaven!
Clearly my family really, really loves Disney. The photo above was taken there last year.
Do you talk about Heaven much?
According to this post, proof Heaven is wildly popular … except in the church. We don’t really talk about it much. In fact, it’s been ignored so much that Christian leaders and even the pope have relegated its antithesis to little more than a campfire ghost story.
I don’t want to debate the reality of Heaven or Hell. Rather, I want to encourage you to think about it. I want you to study for yourself what God says about it and what we who believe have in store.
Resources on Heaven
I do not recommend any books that tell of Heaven “experiences.” You know which ones I mean. Those books make me very uncomfortable for a couple reasons.
First, the Bible says no one has seen God and lived to tell about it. (1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 4:12) Even Moses was forbidden to see His face, but was shoved in a rock crevice while God’s back passed by (Exodus 33:18–23). Being in the presence of God doesn’t sound like something a mortal could survive.
Secondly, the Bible warns against adding to Revelation (22:18). I believe God can still grant us fresh insights and perspectives, but I grow very wary of a population who will believe the “eye witness” accounts of someone who came back from the dead and not grant credence to the Scriptures we’ve had all along. Do we really need a contemporary to confirm what God has already told us? Do we need a supernatural affirmation or addition to God’s Word? Why isn’t His Word enough for us?
That said, here are a few resources I DO recommend.
EPM.org: Randy Alcorn has devoted his life to teaching others about Heaven and how to live with Heaven in mind. His organization — Eternal Perspective Ministries — provides a number of resources, including a few of the titles I mention below. You can explore his site for more on Heaven, creation, the persecution of the church and social issues. Truly, he holds a holistic approach to Christianity, one in which all aspects of life are filtered through an eternal lens.
For Kids and Families:
- Someday Heaven by Larry Libby :: Ages 4-8
This book tackles questions about Heaven in a simple format and kid-friendly language. It offers plenty of Scripture references for further study, too. You can read a full review at CCBR.
- Tell Me About Heaven by Randy Alcorn :: Ages 8-12
Ron DiCianni is hands-down my favorite contemporary artist, and I must admit that his illustrations lend to my recommendation of this book. This is really a chapter book presented as a picture book. It features a fictional story that relates biblical truths. Read a full review at CCBR.
- Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn :: Ages 8 and up
This is definitely a chapter book recommended for established readers. It, like Someday Heaven, tackles questions in a nonfiction way, but it does so in much greater detail. Chapters average about 15 pages, but the table on contents itemizes each into smaller sub-chapters by specific question. This makes it easy to jump right to any burning inquiries.
- Heaven by Randy Alcorn :: I must admit I have not read all of this book. I’ve read much of it and have many close friends and family members attest to its value and biblical accuracy. It is 560 pages, but I believe well-worth the investment. Many portions of this book created the foundation for Heaven for Kids mentioned above.
- 50 Days of Heaven by Randy Alcorn :: If 560 pages seems too much, how about a devotional? That’s what you get here. Similar premise and theological accuracy, but packaged in a concise format. Also, this book emphasizes how to live here and now with eyes on there and then.
Talk to Me.
Does your family talk about Heaven much? What are your favorite conversations and resources?