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'Heaven Is For Real' movie is for real

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The validity of the story of a young boy who told his parents he went to heaven and met Christ has received corroboration, according to an article in The Blaze. Colton Burpo, the now 14-year old boy who claims he visited heaven and conversed with Jesus during a near-death experience in 2003, said he has now found evidence which backs up his description of Christ.

His story is being told in the movie "Heaven Is For Real" on big screens across America. The book upon which the movie is based was a New York Times nonfiction bestseller. There has been considerable discussion generated across the world regarding Colton's story about going to heaven and seeing Jesus as well as other people.

Colton described Jesus as having brown hair, a brown beard, a very bright smile and eyes that were beautiful sea blue, according to the article in The Blaze. Following the alleged journey to heaven, Colton's father Todd Burpo spent years trying to find evidence to corroborate his son's story which he believes to be true.

Todd Burpo is played by actor Greg Kinnear in the movie as a preacher and volunteer fireman in rural Imperial, Nebraska. He preaches at Crossroads Wesleyan Church.

The three-year search for that piece of evidence ended in 2006 when a young painter and poet appeared on CNN. Akiane Kramarik claimed that God began speaking to her through visions when she was four years of age. Colton had his purported sojourn to heaven when he was four.

Kramarik created paintings of Jesus and the heavens based on what she evidently saw in those visions. One of those paintings appeared on Glenn Beck's former CNN show about the child prodigy. Todd Burpo told TheBlaze in an interview that when he saw the CNN show he realized the details in the painting matched exactly what his son observed in heaven.

Colton confirmed in his interview with TheBlaze that when he saw the painting of Jesus he said, "That they finally got one right."

Todd Burpo, who is still preaching at the same church he pastored back in 2003, said he believes the matching elements in the painting help to corroborate his son's story. He further said that even though Kramarik and Colton never met, their stories were similar.

Colton's dad further met head on one of the arguments skeptics of his son's story have raised. He said, "I understand why some people would say well isn't it convenient that you're a pastor---and would you have written about it if your son hadn't seen a Christian version of heaven?"

He understands why critics would claim his son's story might be influenced by the fact he was raised in the home of a pastor in which Jesus and heaven were discussed. Pastor Burpo said that Kramarik's story helps refute that argument of the doubters because her parents are atheists. She has never been inside a church and yet "Jesus started visiting her."

Todd has always defended his son's story vigorously. He even said Colton's experiences helped to make his own perceptions of heaven and the afterlife more detailed.

The pastor said that while he's always had "a high regard for Scripture" that the Bible in his opinion "is confusing about heaven at best." He further said that while there are verses scattered throughout the Book about heaven they never presented a concrete picture to him of what heaven really looks like.

Todd also said, "You know you have to trust God. You know hell is way worse than heaven. But what is heaven like? Streets are gold, gates are made of pearl. But it is very minimal in details."

The pastor also said that his son's recollections are consistent with those descriptions he has read in the Bible and have helped him better know how those verses fit together. He said it has added a lot of peace to him.

The movie portrays Colton's revelations of his odyssey as coming out in bits and pieces gradually as different things which occur in his life trigger something he purportedly saw in heaven. This appears to give his revelation greater credibility than if he had suddenly spurted out an entire story in one telling.

People may make their own judgments by watching the movie in which Kinnear portrays the pastor Todd Burpo as a sincere man who struggles to come to grips with his son's life-altering story.

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