The Inside Edition covered a brief interview of John MacArthur on the evening of April 22, 2014 who claims that the real-life Colton Burpo, who wrote the book, “Heaven is for Real,” and from which the screenplay for the movie was taken is based upon falsehood.
Prominent Baptist pastor and syndicated radio host, John MacArthur spoke to Good Morning America. He said, “I’m convinced that the entire movie and book is a hoax. It has nothing to do with Christianity. It has nothing to do with The Bible.”
MacArthur said, “Let’s say a dozen books written by people who have been to Heaven recently and come back. Every single one of them describes it differently.” (Inside Edition 4/22/2014)
MacArthur claims that there are probably twelve books about so-called real-life experiences after death where the writer has claimed to have seen heaven. MacArthur says that each of these so-called ‘visions’ are all different. He said this to imply obviously that then they all must be false, because how can Heaven be different for each person. Can Heaven be different for each person?
This writer says yes, and here is why. The Lord God deals with each person differently. He does this for the same reason that police interview all possible witnesses to an automobile crash. It has been proven that different people sometimes see completely different eye-witness accounts of the very same crash scene. This happens because the different eye-witnesses are standing at different corners and are viewing the crash at different angles. Were the witnesses distracted during those crucial moments of time just prior to and immediately after the crash?
MacArthur’s main claim to fame is his targeting of the Pentecostal side of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. He spouts that the gifts of the Holy Spirit do not exist any more and therefore anyone who practices these so-called Holy Spirit gifts are practicing falsehood as well. Now he attacks the people who claim to have seen Heaven. Does he not read his Bible? Have miracles ceased? Have visions from God ceased? Does God speak to anyone any more? Apparently, by his statements he has not experienced any of these wondrous works of God. Let’s look at some Scriptures, shall we?
Ezekiel 1:1, 3-6, 28 and 2:1-2
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him. And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
Now Ezekiel had one tremendous vision from God didn’t he? Has anyone ever claimed to have seen what Ezekiel saw? This writer does not know of any other writers that have claimed such fantastic sights. So let’s quickly look at another man of God who wrote about his visions of the Lord.
Revelation 1:1-2, 1:10-11a, 13-19
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book…
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter…
There are only two comments that both Ezekiel and John write about that match; and this is their response to such a great and wondrous vision from the Lord. Ezekiel commented, “I fell upon my face,” and John also commented, “I fell at his feet as dead.” Aside from these almost identical comments about their personal responses, their visions of the Lord God Almighty are completely different..
So do these differences in their accounts of their visions, negate their visions? I think not. MacArthur needs to open up his Bible and read the books of Ezekiel and Revelation and read it for himself. Why? Because I am positive that he wouldn’t believe my accounts of the visions I have received from the Lord either. I fell off my couch at His feet. Whoops! I wasn’t going to tell.