#30 Heaven is For Real Discussion Questions


  1. If the devil is behind these reports, what exactly is his purpose? What deception is he trying to promote?
  2. Does the Bible say absolutely that visits to heaven are not possible? Has anyone been to heaven and come back to tell about it?
  3. How does Colton’s experience compare to that of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)?
  4. How does Colton’s experience compare to Paul’s visit to heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)? Note: some believe Paul was describing himself and some believe it was another person. I am taking the position that Paul was referring to himself in the third person.
  5. Does the Bible put an absolute gag order on reporting visuals of heaven or only on some of the things one (Paul) hears there? Exactly what is being disallowed?
  6. Does the book mention anything about Colton’s salvation before his visit to heaven? How does this influence your thinking on the age of accountability?
  7. Why was Colton allowed to see Jesus, even talk with Him, while other reports of heaven never mention seeing Jesus at all? Who would have greeted Colton on his arrival to heaven if Jesus hadn’t?
  8. Why did it take so long for Colton to reveal his entire story? Why didn’t he say something when he woke up in the hospital? From a child’s perspective how do you think he saw this experience?
  9. Is it reasonable to expect his experience in heaven to be exactly like every other person’s visit to heaven?
  10. How does his experience change the way your view heaven and this life?
  11. What is quoted from Jesus of Nazareth in the beginning of the book, where we must become like little children?  (Hint:  Matthew 18:3).  I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (from the beginning of the book).
  12. When did Sonja and Pastor Todd learn about their son’s encounter with the Angel’s at the hospital?   They learned about this experience on a trip to Sioux Falls South Dakota to visit their newborn nephew Cody.  They were hesitant about traveling outside of their hometown of Imperial Nebraska because their last trip to Greeley Colorado in March turned into a nightmare, where one of their children almost died- AND talked to angels, which is what they find out on THIS trip at an Arby’s stop. (from the prologue).
  13. What about Colton’s story made it credible that he saw  angel’s and Jesus in his near death experience at the hospital, during an appendectomy, and an abdominal clean-out?  What made it believable, although shocking at the moment to his parents, is that he was out of his body, and saw his dad in one room at the hospital on his knees praying for Colton’s life to be spared, and he saw his mom in another room on the phone.   Other things he said, that may or may not have happened, was that Jesus made the angel’s present because he was scared when he saw Jesus at first, and the angels were singing songs that he could remember and told his parents about that night. (from the prologue).
  14. Can you quote some scripture that we can relate Pastor Todd Burpo to that is mentioned in Chapter 2 as well, and how he can relate?  First of all, not in a literal sense, we can consider Pastor Todd Burpo Job 1:8- Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him/ he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  I think we can agree on those things that as a Pastor, Todd fears God and shuns evil, but because of Adam and Eve he too is of a sinful nature, as was Job.  Also, like Job, if you read through this book, you will see that he has faced many trials and tribulations, and just when Pastor Todd thought it was over, his son was near death and even the doctors in his home town didn’t know what to do.  But Todd did not give up hope.  He was angry yes, but he did NOT lose faith.  (see chapter 2 & chapter 8). Can you come up with any other scriptures that can relate to Pastor Todd?
  15. Why do you think these two verses were mentioned when Colton was on the edge of the death, and Todd and Sonja were left with no other choice but to discharge him from their home base hospital and drive him 90 minutes away to Great Plains Regional Medical Center:  2 Sam 12:13-14-  13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”   2 Sam 12:21-23  21  His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way?  While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”  22  He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept.  I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’  23  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?  I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” The significance that Pastor Todd got out of these verses is that there is still hope because his son is STILL alive,  if you look back at verse 22, David did not give up, until there was nothing left.  I know it sounds a bit extreme, but Pastor Todd is who he is, so he reflects back on an expanse of biblical scripture, and this is how I view it.  How do you view it?  What do you think is the significance?

Heaven Is For Real is a bio of a “near death” experience (NDE) but without all the “weird” and “sketchy” images that usually accompany such stories.

It doesn’t focus on “long tunnels with lights at the end” or the sensation of watching medical personnel feverishly operate from a hovering out-of-body perspective. The details aren’t blurred and unanswered questions don’t abound. It is a matter of fact story shared from the perspective of an almost four-year-old child who had no preconceived ideas beforehand and explains everything casually.

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