“I Believe in Heaven”

6d2a344b2bb50ac1d188a4.L._V372440985_SY470_Cec Murphy is one of my heroes! Not only has he written or co-authored more than 135 books and hundreds of articles, he’s one of the most articulate, thoughtful, gracious Christians I’ve met. He’s been the keynote speaker at a couple of conferences I’ve attended, given me wise counsel on several occasions, and earned my deepest respect. I even won a signed copy of his 90-Minutes in Heaven at one seminar! So, when Cec wrote I Believe in Heaven, I was eager to read what he had to say, trusting his integrity as a person as well as a writer. booksI Believe in Heaven is divided into two sections. The first (and larger) part deals with what Cec (and his co-author, Twila Belk) believe to be credible accounts of people who have had near death spiritual experiences or who were pronounced dead but came back to life with stories of spiritual after-this-life experiences before reviving. These accounts often give a synopsis of what the people say they witnessed of heaven (or hell). One of the most profound (but testified as true) concerned Emanuel Tuwagirairmana, a Tutsi who was killed by shrapnel from a Hutu bomb during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, wrapped in a blanket but not buried for seven days (because his friends were in hiding with him). He revived with maggots in his mouth and stinking so badly that his friends all ran out of the building (despite their fear of snipers) because they thought he was a ghost. Since that time, Emanuel has spent his life sharing what he learned of heaven with others throughout Africa. There are also many other accounts: a George de Benneville who revived in a coffin after being “dead” 42 hours; the famous psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, Carl G. Jung, who later, during a BBC interview responded to the question “Do you believe in God?” with: “I don’t believe. I know.” And, not all the accounts are from the past. Dr. Eben Alexander, a skeptical neurosurgeon, became a convinced believer in 2008 after his near-death experience. Despite a storm of protest from those who don’t believe in the possibility of life after death, more than 11 million people have professed to having had near death experiences.The second half of the book deals with biblical answers to some of the basic questions people ask about what happens after this life is over: What is heaven? What will it be like? How do we get there? Do all dogs go to heaven?? What is hell? Who goes there? What are the “new heavens” and the “new earth”? He also gives a thoughtful response to the question “What Should We Consider When Communicating with the Dying?” and ends his book with some “Last Words of the Famous and Infamous” (which I’m planning to use for Friday’s post).

If you’re curious about the possibility of heaven or those who say they’ve had near-death experiences, I think you’d find I Believe in Heaven interesting. No one can swear to the complete credibility of the accounts, but I do believe with all my heart that Jesus died, was buried, did rise the third day, and is eternally alive. So, I also believe in heaven, because Jesus said it exists.

IMG_9565In the midst of a world full of bad news, as I recognize the inevitable deterioration of all that is physically beautiful both within and around me, and in the face of the shadow of death, I am comforted every day that I believe in heaven! I’m looking forward to going there, and I hope you are too.

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

 

2 responses to ““I Believe in Heaven”

  1. Thanks for your nice review of I Believe in Heaven, Kathi! Cec and I appreciate your thoughts and good words. And yes, I’m looking forward to heaven, too! 🙂

    • Thanks, Twila. I am always uplifted by Cec’s ministry, and I’m really appreciative of your partnering with him!

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