As Christians we know that truer words have not been spoken. Heaven Is for real and we know this to be an absolute certainty. This film explores an event not too long ago where a kid believed that he went to Heaven during a trying medical situation where he nearly died. This film essentially brings that story to the big screen and while they take some liberties, most of it happens as it did in the real. (“In the real” = Real Life) So…did this happen?
There have been many miracles throughout history. We’ve had many significant ones like David vs Goliath or the 3 men in the burning furnace. Many smaller miracles have happened as well and continue to happen. Think of the many times someone has had cancer or another incurable disease and then for it to vanish. It can even be something as getting delayed in a train for an extra minute so that you get to just miss a big storm. I’m confident that miracles happen each and every day around the world. We simply won’t hear about many of them and some may happen that we don’t even regard as miracles. We don’t always see what effects each event has on us even if it was something that critically changed our lives.
We don’t expect to see events like in the olden days where God would physically speak to crowds and perform incredible feats. It’s a different time and once we get past the New Testament and Jesus went back to Heaven after the resurrection; it is now a time of Faith. Would faith be as important if we were shown proof of God’s existence so openly? In his own way, he shows us this each and every day, but our faith is very important. We choose to believe in God whether we see proof of this or not. It’s just like how many people don’t believe in him because they don’t think that he exists. Free Will is granted to us and we choose whether to believe in him or not.
Coming back to the question…do I believe that this boy went to Heaven and came back? It’s certainly possible, but I am highly skeptical and I would be inclined to say no. Unfortunately, we live in a very difficult world and there are billions of people on it. Just as many live for the Lord and to spread his glory other live to tarnish his reputation and to take people away from this path. There are many people who claim to have heard directly from God and speak of many fantastic occurrences. While I have no doubt that some are true, the majority of them are probably not. I personally find events like this one harder to believe once they do get into the spotlight like this. It just seems all too easy and like it’s a way for us to renew our faith in the Lord. That may be a noble intention, but if the story is fabricated towards that goal then it is not worth it. There is always the chance that the kid truly believes that he went to Heaven and that he truly did, but there’s no way to know for certain.
I pride myself on being an optimist most of the time, but I can also be a very skeptical person. It’s tough to balance these two things out as I typically assume the worst when any situation occurs. Sometimes my hunches are correct like with The Interview and how that situation blew up quickly, but it’s always good to tackle a situation with bright thoughts. Expecting the worst can just lead to you not enjoying things as much as you should be. So, I want to believe that he really did go to Heaven, but I have a hard time believing it.
There are so many things that could have happened. He could have really gone to Heaven; He could have made the whole thing up; He could have had a dream; His parents could have made up the story and had the kid play along and he won’t change the story now; etc. The possibilities are endless. This line of questioning also arises in part from the fact that he is just a kid. He was quite young in the film and I forgot what age he was in real life when this happened, but he was certainly still a child. He grew up in a Christian home where his father was the Pastor. He had probably heard many fantastic things as he grew up and I’m sure that he was familiar with the Bible. He may have thought up the whole thing to impress his parents and he may even have forgotten that he made it up.
Ultimately, it does no good to go in circles about this forever. I’ve just been the type to never believe what I hear or see at face value without a lot of extra deliberation on my part. We all have our reasons for why we believe in God. Whether it be a connection that we feel in our hearts or an appreciation at everything that God has created, we know that he is real. No Big Bang created everything and life hasn’t just been in existence forever. So, you do not need any fantastic miracles or events to convince you of his existence. As long as you sincerely believe in your heart the words of the Bible and give your heart over to God, then you’ll be okay. You’ll be much more than okay! If you believe that this happened then that’s wonderful and if you don’t, then you’re still doing great. This is a story that has clearly given many people a lot of happiness and has strengthened many people’s beliefs so I still wouldn’t go around shooting it down. I can never say one way or the other whether it happened for not so maybe it’s just time that I started having more of a bright outlook on it. The last thing that you want to do is to discourage another person in their walk of faith so you just need to stay true to your belief in God and just take things from there. This is a formula that shall never fail you.
Debating whether or not this event actually happened certainly took up most of this article so I shall be brief on the rest. I still don’t care for the main protagonist to be a child as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, but he’s not a bad character. I think the film went a little far when he told his parents to pay back the hospital and then a big gust of wind hit the house. I get that symbolic scenes are important, but that was probably stretching the sensationalism a bit. He’s still a good character and that scene is a good example of what a moral individual he is. The parents are pretty good even if there is one scene that comes out of nowhere. They just suddenly explode and have a big fight. I guess their tensions had been rising, but it still felt out of character for them. Not to mention that they were in a tight spot so breaking a pair of dishes is not in their best interest.
Their fellow church goers did not look good though. They really didn’t handle the situation well. I don’t place the whole blame on them as I think the father should get some of it, but I would give them most of it. They certainly did not act as you would expect a Christian too. The pastor had a very tough time and they didn’t make it any easier. They were practically glaring at him as he went on the pulpit and none of them gave him any words of encouragement. A simple quote or two from the Bible or some sign that they were on his side would have been nice, but they ran to the option to fire him.
The one reason why I don’t put all the blame on them is that the Pastor didn’t do a great job either. The fact that his kid may have went to Heaven shook his faith to the core and he wasn’t sure whether he should believe in God anymore or not. It may have been best to have taken a little more time off from the pulpit then instead of just going up there and admitting that he’s not sure of his faith. As I mentioned, one thing you never want to do is to shake another person’s faith in God. That’s an absolute no no! It was a small church though and I was surprised that nobody was willing to talk with him about that. I’ve been to many Churches in the past and there is almost always at least one person who is very vocal throughout the message and would have had no qualms about debating with him or simply talking about the situation calmly. There was none of that here as the audience was just completely quiet or just adding to his troubles.
Overall, Heaven is For Real is a pretty uplifting movie. It actually gets pretty sad during certain parts, but you can look forward to it getting happy again by the end. Especially if you are familiar with what happened in real life. It is certainly awesome to think about Heaven, what it’s like and how it’ll be to live there for eternity. Just talking about Heaven would likely take up a whole other article so I won’t go into that here, but I believe that it will literally be perfect. Whether it will look different to each individual or whether it has a single look doesn’t matter. What matters is that we will be going there someday and we can wish for nothing better. Whenever you are in a tough spot or just need some encouragement, just think of where you will be going. This life is just a small drop compared to the eternal life that awaits us there. Meeting God will be an event like no other and it’ll make every hardship and pain that you’ve ever experienced worth it! This is a pretty good film to check out for Christmas and while I am at it I also recommend God Is Not Dead. Both of these films are very uplifting and nothing beats checking out a Christian film in time for Christmas, one of the greatest events in history! (The Birth vs The Resurrection vs The Rapture vs The Day you got saved, you can certainly make an argument for any one of these days being the greatest. Naturally, the latter would just be the greatest for you, but boy did that day change your life!)