Jesus speaks against the Heavenly Vision Profit Industry.

Heavens Gates Openingin the past few years we have seen “Heaven is for Real” become a best-selling book and movie.  In fact the movie sold $100 million worldwide and now $37 million in DVD and other media as well.  The book was a bestseller.

Also “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” was a little less successful, but still a money maker.  This one is important because it eventually was revealed to be a fraud.

A new book-turned-movie was released today called 90 Minutes in Heaven.  It again has the promise of making millions from Christians who want to hear another story of what heaven is like, and be convinced that in fact “heaven is for real”.

The only comment worth giving on these attempts to tell things beyond that which has been told in Scripture is that which Jesus tells:

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:19-31 (ESV)

There you have it.  The Lord Himself has spoken.  Don’t waste your money.  Don’t waste your time.  Hear the witness of Scripture.  Go to Church.  You want heaven – receive the Lord’s Supper and hear about what God has done for you in Baptism.


Jesus speaks against the Heavenly Vision Profit Industry. — 34 Comments

  1. Pastor Scheer, thank you for this post. Someone labelled these books/movie as ‘heaven tourism’. I think even we Lutherans can confuse people when the word ‘heaven’ is used in whatever context. I remember a hymn in TLH titled, ‘Heaven Is My Home’ and it had a sappy, IMO, tune. Someone had the good sense not to include it in LSB.

    The creeds that we say to one another in the DS remind us all of the great hope that we have:

    ‘the resurrection of the body, and the life + everlasting’ – Apostles’ Creed

    ‘and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life + of the world to come’ – Nicene Creed

    In Christ,

  2. I have never understood this. Christ was God Incarnate, cloaked in human flesh. He was there, at the Beginning, Jesus wasn’t quiet, about Heaven. That isn’t enough? For Christians? I remember being chided, for being given the book & not reading it. 90 minutes? Really…..

    Only One, has come to earth, from Heaven. That was Jesus Christ, our Lord. Not saying that at His good choosing, things may happen when deemed worthy, but this stuff?!

    No. Christians of every Denomination, are so hungry, for anything, they will follow anything. No small wonder, God calls us sheep.

  3. Pastor Scheer, May I have permission to include your post here, in toto, in my next newsletter?

  4. I have had christian friends even get into a huff because they believe this nonsense. But these are the same people who love Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer so go figure

  5. Excuse me for getting off topic for a moment.

    Here is the link for very pleasant listening to many of our old favorites.   The Lutheran Quartet rocks.

  6. Couldn’t agree more about this claptrap. I’m glad you’ve provided a quick and succinct response, Pr. Scheer. It’s in a similar vein to the ‘Left Behind’ series.

  7. I would say they are hungry because they are not being fed the pure Gospel. (If you will allow me to chide you in a small way, there’s no need for the extra commas.) @Dutch #2

  8. @Pr. Don Kirchner #13

    That quote by Prof. Gibbs is brilliant. I happened to use it in a Bible class recently, and it stops people in their tracks and makes them think. His review of the book ‘Heaven Is For Real’ found at the Concordia Seminary website is spot on too.

    In Christ,

  9. Even though I have read BJS almost everyday for about three years, I rarely comment. For as much as can be learned here, it’s an intimidating place for those like myself, those trying to become better theologians with the handicap of not being raised in the church, nor possessing any academic degrees beyond a less than stellar high school education, nor having participated in any job out in the big world, only staying home for 29 years now, raising children. This is why I appreciate several of the regular commenters and posters at BJS who have exhibited extreme graciousness, respect, and patience toward me the couple of times or so I have commented, as well as observing the same people respond similarly toward others. With that all said, I am pained that Dutch has clearly been confused, humiliated, and hurt by what has been said and done here concerning her post(s). If corrections absolutely needed to be made in regard to her writing (and that is debatable), I wish it could have been done so with delicacy and humility, privately, and apologies given in the same manner (contra post #37)

    While I appreciate Marc smoothing things over with some gentle and clarifying humor (post #33), I would think that others who are so adept at punctuation, and articulate in underscoring the personal torture they endured while reading Dutch’s posts (#31, #37, #40), could be so self-possessed as to resist doling-out a condescending, sometimes flippant, public “schooling” of a sister caught completely unaware. I would think that, with your authority over the written english language, you could easily, and gently correct a sister in a discreet, gracious, even self-deprecating manner that would leave her feeling edified and grateful. Why not protect her from public shame and personal embarrassment, who, metaphorically speaking, is unaware that she has a large piece of broccoli stuck in her teeth? She has humbled herself to “remove the broccoli,” (#35), yet is met with indifference, self-justification, and disregard for her plea to hear the true message of her soul-baring post(s). Is our need to “educate” another, more important than listening with a broken heart? If you read BJS regularly, it is easy to glean that Dutch has suffered for years from a physically debilitating disease. She shared her faith from a place of deep suffering that most cannot comprehend. She is a 46 year old women who clings to Christ, even as the Lord has come close to taking her from her children for the rest of their earthly lives, in a near death experience. Do we have a word of sympathy for her, no lectures attached?

    I hope you come back, Dutch. There are some gentleman here who have either corrected their inappropriate bluntness, or have come to your defense in one way or another. You are still among friends and cyber-family, even we who are usually silent. I am sure that I speak for everyone in that we are very glad the Lord brought you back from the dead this past March, and that we hope you continue for a long time to be a loving, faith nurturing mother to your boys. No doubt they cherish you dearly.

  10. @Tracy #19
    You sweet wee thing. Thank you for your empathy & compassion. It is generally what we are to be known by. I never was about being right it’s about doing what is.
    I’m just fine. This is just friendly fire & things are different now, here now. Damage done notwithstanding. The damage done, was not to me.
    What happened to me in March doesn’t even come close, to how close I’ve been/come.
    This book, movie, etc: details of this have been around for decades. I asked others about what happened when it was them. Theirs are no different than mine.
    What this book, movie, & those who say anything more, than it is like falling asleep, is not true Jesus said so. No, it does not happen this way. In March, the only reason I’m still here (on paper), the Med staff did what they did, is because of one phone call, unanswered.
    I, you & we have no reason to fear going Home.
    As I am told, only 2 human beings have left this earth w/o physical death. Jesus didn’t even do that. Christ is the only One who came back from Home. As He said He would. We, human beings even children of Christ do not. Lights faces only what in that moment were present, nothing more. Voices of those around you? Yes, you do hear just about everything. You cannot talk yet you can still think & process. That I can say you still do. The book movie the theories no. Christ said ya fall asleep & that is what happens. With no pain no fear: just concern for those around you. Peace contentment & hope. That is all ya know then.

    As far as BJS Tracy. I am a member of the old guard. Most here I do not know. Nor do those here really know or remember me. I know it’s ok to go because of this post from you. I was you long ago. You are so sweet & I inserted a Doxology for what you said here. My time is past. Now it is your time here at BJS. Your best & brightest…worst & most wicked moments will be played out here. Just as it is with every article posted & every post about them. We are family thru Christ Himself, not the medium we are gifted to be able to use. We would be no matter where in this realm we’d be.
    You will do & have done very well indeed. If you want to keep in touch you can find me on FB. Just type Dutch. You’ll find me.
    Pax Domini you sweet wee thing.

  11. @John Rixe #7
    My dear friend. I still say, that this your post #7 is the best of what is or is no longer here, at this article!

    I sang it at my Dad’s Memorial for a reason. It is how a child of Christ lives let alone departs.

    Thank you & you are right the Lutheran Quartet totally rock indeed!!!!

  12. @Tracy #19

    Hi Dutch,

    Did I miss a key clue somewhere along the line? Not that it matters, but Tracy’s post is the first I’ve gathered that your not a guy. I’ve known a few Dutch’s in my time, always older gents.

    Thanks for clarifying.

  13. @Marc L. #27
    No, a guy’s girl, yes. Ya thought I was a guy?! Why?!
    How did ya not know, I wasn’t a guy? Exiting BJS, this may actually explain quite a bit….sorry.
    Very much a girl
    When the sun sets here where I live, so does my time here at BJS.
    Y thought I was a guy?! Oi vey, how many other people thought I was a guy. My questions is WHY?!

  14. @Dutch #28

    Why? Because every person named “Dutch” whom I’ve ever known was male.

    I guess we learn something new every day. Right now, I’m sure your mind is blown away just as much as mine, likely more so.

    So sorry! 🙂

  15. @Marc L. #29
    Sun hasn’t set, here quite yet. Don’t be sorry. No for/on my account. Seen it before, just wasn’t me.
    Now it was. Friendly fire. It will be fine. Ya’ll will be just fine.
    You’re kinda new, the Dutch thing. My nickname is Duch short for Duchess. Princess Diana’s nickname. Why the added T ? When I signed my name, it looked like duck. I added the T .
    Man, ya thought I was a guy. Seals the deal, I still am a guy’s girl.
    I still like knowing that BTW. Most of what I’ve know about my given name? Yeah, most were German dogs named w/mine. I love having a nickname to go by.
    Pax Christi

  16. @Tracy #19
    I can still see a sliver of the sun in front of me.
    I need to let you know:
    My boys? Oh, My sweet & wise boys! Yes, they do know in spade what you said & I’m sure you have prayed for. They do Tracy. They do! I was & am to this point a stay at home Mumma. I did so by choice, before. I did so again. They have need of me. Tracy by they are so very ok.
    Not one of here is promised a sunrise or sunset. That is the point: I even w/everything are no different than anyone else. The boys know that.

    They were taught that long before I ever got sick.

    Further a field than I ever knew before this article & posts. Sweetheart, you dear girl, no more sun, the day is done.

  17. @Dutch #25
    “We are family through Christ himself, not the medium we are gifted to be able to use.” — what a happy truth! Peace to you, Dutch. Peace and good will toward all on this thread, sincerely.

  18. May gratitude and generosity be our daily joy.  May your Spirit overcome the fears that diminish our faith.  Amen

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