Does Heaven truly exist? Is God Loving? If so, then why doesn’t everyone go to Heaven? Seems like these have been the biggest questions forever!
Many who have endured years of speculation and uncertainty have found comfort in Colton’s witness to the fact that Heaven does exist and that the God who answers prayer does indeed reside there, they tell us that Colton's experiences with Jesus and heaven changes how they think and feel.
Colton Burpo – The Boy That Truly Went To Heaven
The “Heaven is for Real” account by Colton Burpo (not to be confused with recently recanted story by Alex Malarkey who, after reading the Bible admitted he fabricated the story for attention) has taken the world by storm. Colton Burpo, knows that Heaven & God Exist. The four year old Colton’s amazing story of his trip to Heaven and back is described in the book and movie Heaven Is For Real. Colton had a near-death-experience in 2003 and lived to tell about going to Heaven and sitting on the lap of the resurrected Jesus.
After surviving emergency surgery when he was three years old, Colton slowly began sharing his life changing experience of visiting Heaven with others. Everyone in the local community, including his parents and members of Colton’s church where Todd, Colton’s dad, is the minister, doubted little Colton and initially thought the child’s mind was playing tricks on him.
Colton’s Heavenly Visitation – Details Revealed
According to Colton's parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo, after Colton’s appendix burst, his condition was life threatening. As Colton underwent emergency surgery, his parents were distraught with despair and spent hour after hour at the hospital praying.
God answered his parents’ prayers; Colton made it through surgery and eventually made a full recovery. However, once home from the hospital, his parents felt there was a “difference” in Colton and they could not quite put their finger on what it was.
Todd and Sonja discovered the source of that “difference” approximately four months after the tragic incident, when Colton began sharing what he had seen in Heaven with his parents. After Colton revealed many shocking and private family details, his parents began to realize that their son had indeed had an encounter with God and a Heavenly experience.
What and Who Did Colton See in Heaven?
Colton told his parents that the angels sang to him so he would not be afraid. He told them that he sat on Jesus’ lap, surrounded by winged angels. Colton could describe everyone he saw in Heaven and shared details about Jesus, the Archangel Michael with his special sword, Mary, John the Baptist, and even his unborn sister, who had died in his mommy’s tummy.
Colton’s revelations about his experience did not end there. Colton was able to describe Jesus in both character and appearance in detail Colton went on to say that Jesus then sent him back to earth to answer Todd’s prayers.
As Colton shared more and more of his experiences with his parents they didn’t know what to think. Of course, they wanted to believe their son, but they could not understand his experience. Colton had been very sick, but he hadn't actually died on the operating table, like others who have had near-death experiences.
Skeptics have tried to explain away Colton’s experience based on his knowledge of Bible stories. Colton’s parents were skeptical too - then Colton unexpectedly began to share even more astonishing revelations that further confirmed his heavenly visitation was true and that knowing the truth about heaven changes everything.
Colton Describes Meeting His Older Sister in Heaven
Colton asked his parents why they were in sitting separate rooms during his surgery. He said he had seen them from Heaven. His parents knew there was no way Colton could have known this.
The boy also explained that he had met his great-grandfather, a man who had died three decades before Colton was born. Colton pointed him out in a photo to his parents – a photo Colton had never seen, one of when his great grandfather was about 30 years old. Colton even knew his nickname, ‘Pops.’
Colton, who has an older sister and a younger brother, started talking about missing his ‘other’ sister. While Colton had never been told he had another sister, he told his parents he had met her in Heaven. Unbeknownst to Colton at the time of this revelation, his mom had miscarried a baby a few years earlier - before Colton was even born.
While Colton’s vivid accounts of Heaven surprised some in the Christian community most realize that God does work in mysterious ways. Though some remain uncertain about Heavenly encounters Colton’s childish innocence, his unwavering conviction and remarkable accounts of Heaven and God’s Love ring true for most. So much so that a few years after Colton shared his experiences with his family, his father, Todd Burpo was still being asked to write a book. It took some time but once written, the Heaven is for Real book immediately became a best seller. More importantly is was a place where many people found hope, encouragement, and Jesus. Soon the book Heaven is for Real was adapted as a movie and released at Easter, becoming an instant success because knowing the truth about heaven changes everything for seekers and beleivers alike.
But What About Coping As a Parent?
For any parent, not the least a pastor like Todd, finding out that your child had visited Heaven would come as a shock. For many parents, the main question would be: “Is it true, or is it make-believe?” While Todd and Sonja Burpo always wanted to support their son, at first they struggled to accept Colton’s claims. Could their child really have been there, seen Jesus …God? If he hadn’t, where was he learning the stuff he was talking about?
In an extract from his bestselling book, Heaven Is for Real, Todd Burpo wrote:
“Here was my kid, in his matter-of-fact, preschooler voice, telling me things that were not only astonishing on their face, but that also matched Scripture in every detail, right down to the rainbow colors in the book of Revelation, which is hardly pre-school material. How could my little boy know this stuff?”
It might have taken Colton’s parents a little while to come to grips with their son’s encounter with the Divine, but they knew he was telling the truth.
So If Heaven if for Real ... Does Everyone Get to Go?
According to Colton, not everyone gets into Heaven. A few months after his recovery, Colton was at a funeral that his father was ministering. In a way that only an innocent child could do Colton walked toward the coffin, pointed at it and yelled, “He can’t get into Heaven if he didn’t have Jesus in his heart!”
Colton Interviewed on the Sean Hannity Show
When asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity whether everyone goes to Heaven, now 14-year old Colton replied unequivocally, “No, not everyone goes to Heaven.” He then explained that to get into Heaven, “we have to let go of the things we love on earth, and not everyone can do that.” Colton’s answer was unwavering and aligned perfectly with biblical Scripture. Watch the full Sean Hannity and Colton Burpo interview here:
What Does Scripture Say About Who Enters Into Heaven?
According to the Word of God in John 14:6, Jesus has said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." Meaning the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, so not everyone enters into Heaven.
Learn About What It Takes To Get Into Heaven
After his childhood visit to Heaven, Colton already knew that only certain people got into Heaven. And his answer as a teenager reaffirmed his belief. Despite his young age, Colton knew - just as the Bible said: to get into Heaven, you must have Jesus in your heart!
Do You Have Jesus in Your Heart?
Even the most religious of people often spend their whole lives praying for a glimpse of God or Heaven. Colton's story may or may not appeal to you, but what it does show is that Colton is one special boy.
At such a young age, Colton couldn't have possibly made all of this up - he couldn't even read. Today, as a young man, Colton still remembers and reaffirms his early experience and is able to confirm what he learned and saw with biblical Scripture. In fact, Colton's greatest desire in life is to share the Love of God with others through song!
Do you agree with Colton and Scripture that you must have Jesus in your heart in order to go to Heaven? What does it mean to you to have Jesus living in your heart?