The risen Lord tells me, heaven is for real

Apr. 20, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

During the past six weeks both my parents celebrated their 82nd birthdays in heaven. On Wednesday they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in heaven. They were married April 16, 1950 and never had an opportunity to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary together. Mama was already in heaven and Daddy was on earth.

So last Wednesday I imagine they had a pretty good time together.

Oh, yes. Heaven is real.

Today is the greatest day of celebration in the life of Christians — those of us who believe that Jesus died on the cross, rose again three days later and still lives.

This weekend the movie, "Heaven is For Real" opened in theaters across the country, including the Forest City theatre at the Tri-City Mall.

The movie is based on the book by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. The movie tells the story of real life couple Todd and Sonja Burpo whose son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth. These are things he couldn't  possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.

I read the book a couple years ago and it is amazing.

Do I believe heaven is real?Absolutely.

What happened on Good Friday 2,000 years ago and the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday morning is the reason I believe in heaven and the reason I have hope on this earth.

Heaven became more real to me in 1981 when my sister went there when she was 30 years old.

Although I had lost grandparents to death at the time, this was my sister, the person I grew up with and we were very close. So for the first time in my life at that time, a person I loved dearly and was extremely close to was in heaven.

I was more interested in heaven than ever before and was enchanted to read about the place she was living.

Ann Howard (her story is on Page 1) came by this week to share her near death experience with me.

She said she wished she knew enough words to describe the beauty she saw.

She has traveled to six continents and visited 124 countries and never had she seen such a beautiful place as the day more than 40 years ago when she went into cardiac arrest.

The beauty of this earth didn't compare," she said.

In 2002 I was hiking in a rain forest in Hakalau, Honomu on the Big Island, Hawaii and saw the Akaka Falls. "This is what I believe heaven will look like," I told my friend.

I was stunned at the beauty and could only imagine how much more beautiful heaven would be. 

Ferns in the rain forest were nearly five and six feet tall and the most beautiful greens I'd ever seen.

The beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains and the mountains around Lake Tahoe, Ca., Rutherford County's very own mountains and valleys are among the most spectacular sights I've seen on earth. 

Just think what heaven will be. 

Howard said she really didn't see anyone in particular when she caught a glimpse of heaven, but a lot of people started coming toward her to welcome her there, she said.

More than 2,000 years ago the women went to the tomb where Jesus Christ was buried to anoint his body with oil.

They couldn't believe what they saw.He was gone.They suspected someone stole the body. Their hearts were broken beyond belief, we're told. 

How could they go forward?

But when the news of the risen Lord came to them through their own eyes and their own beliefs, their world changed forever. They would never be the same again, and one day, as the Lord promised, they are together again.

Yes, heaven is for real.