Some years ago I read Heaven by Randy Alcorn and was greatly helped by the Biblical handling of this subject. More recently I have read Heaven is for Real. This is very different, being a testimony of a very young child who visited heaven while undergoing surgery. I find the accounts of what he experienced, which emerged only over a protracted time period, very authentic, especially as they were corroborated scripturally by his father, a pastor, who was at first inclined to some disbelief.
The family had been going through a testing time. The father, Todd, had had several serious challenges – kidney stones, a compound fracture in his leg playing softball and cancer, accompanied by the associated financial pressures of the American medical system. As they were coming out of this bad period their three year old son, Colton, complained of stomach ache. After several ‘false starts’ it was diagnosed as a ruptured appendix which, due to the delay in diagnosing, was extremely serious. In hospital the medics warned the family that he may not survive. His father was angry with God and went to a side room to battle in prayer. They also mobilised prayer from the church and others of their friends. These proved successful as, contrary to medical expectations, Colton pulled through. But during that time it appears that Colton visited heaven.
Meeting an unborn sister
In the weeks, months and years that followed Colton casually told of things he had seen or witnessed in heaven. The first was when he had been naughty and his dad had to speak to him about being kind to people. His response was ‘Yeah, I know, Dad. Jesus told me I had to be nice’.
With that one statement, which, needless to say, took his Dad by surprise, a journey began for Colton’s parents that combined astonishment, perplexity, wonder and so much more. From time to time Colton would just drop a comment in a matter of fact sort for way which included a description that could only have come through revelation. Such as how he saw his dad praying for him while he was undergoing surgery. Or how he had met his sister who miscarried before she was born and whom his parents had never talked about. Or about meeting with his father’s grandfather who told him about things he and Colton’s dad had done together. Remember, Colton was under four years old when he had the surgery and had never heard his father talk about such things.
‘Markers’ on Jesus
There were also the conspicuously supernatural comments such as seeing ‘markers’ on Jesus which, when questioned, proved to be in his hands and feet. And the angels wearing sashes (Rev 15:6). And there being no darkness in heaven. (His dad had tried to lay a ‘trap’ and suggested he and his great grandfather had to go to bed when it got dark, which produced the repost ‘It doesn’t get dark in heaven, Dad. Who told you that?’ He then explained why it does not get dark: ‘Because God and Jesus light up heaven’).
Then again the urgency Colton expressed when he saw someone’s coffin (casket) at a funeral. ‘Did that man have Jesus? He can’t get into heaven if he didn’t have Jesus in his heart’.
Did Colton visit heaven? Are his reports true? His parents’ strong opinion is that no child could have made up such stories. He did not have the background or knowledge (eg from Sunday School) to be able to fabricate such events at his age.
Colton was 11 when the book, published in 2010, was written. Stocks are low but I encourage you to obtain a copy if at all possible.
I thought long and hard before recommending this book as I tend to be somewhat cautious about stories such as this. But I finished the book having been blessed and convinced of its veracity. Sadly the author of another similar book (which I have not read) The Boy who came back from Heaven has recently confessed that his story was untrue. We obviously need to be discerning. I hope you will read Heaven is for Real and find it gives you helpful insights. But you must judge its authenticity for yourself.