Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Heavenly Experiences

Have you read any of the books about people who have had heavenly experiences?  I have, and I have enjoyed them very much.  They have expanded my thinking, not only about what heaven could be like, but also about how big God is, how much He cares for each person, how He is always looking for ways to bring people closer to Himself, how He can't be put in a box and the myriad of ways He is always trying to communicate with us.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of reviews/comments on these books that cause sincere Christians to be afraid they will be misled if they read them or see the movies based on the books.  Do you really believe God is going to allow us to be deceived if we put our trust in Him to direct our paths?  If we ask Him to help us know Him in every way possible will He lead us astray?  Would we do that to our children?  I think we miss way too many opportunities to know a Great Big God who wants to reveal many aspects of himself to us by attributing too much power to a Little Bitty Devil.

I believe one of the very best ways to live our lives is to Never let fear make our decisions.  If we have prayed for wisdom and feel led to not read a book or see a movie--that's guidance.  God knows where we are in our walk with Him and therefore what will encourage us and what will harm us.  But if we are curious about the books or movies but don't explore them because we are afraid we will be misled that very well could be the devil keeping us from a great blessing from God.

The Bible says we are to test the spirits--that by their fruits we will know them.  We know fear, condemnation, doubt, and criticism are not fruits of the spirit, but love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control are.  What are the fruits of helping people to believe there is a heaven?  What are the fruits of making people afraid to think about it?  See what I mean?

There is something wrong with 'thought police' in Christianity who believe their job is telling us what is good for us and what we should stay away from.  That is legalism and Paul says we are to avoid it like the plague (my interpretation.)  Jesus wants us to have a relationship with Him.  Through it He will direct our paths.  We don't have to be afraid, and we aren't to rely on someone else to guide us.  Those who tell us what to do are usurping God's place in our lives and keeping us from seeking an intimate relationship with Him.

I have talked with several non-Christians who have seen Heaven Is For Real.  They were encouraged and excited.  Does that sound like the devil?  Since they are not about to set foot in church and some of us Christians have forgotten it is our job to tell them how much God loves them, what better opportunity to let them see a little glimpse of His goodness and how much He cares for His children!

I am very encouraged that movies like this are being made.  Let us pray those of influence in the media will realize the great potential to reach the lost and make that one of their primary goals.

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