Heaven or Hell? You Choose

They have done it again. Two women, one in America and one in Ecuador, allege they have gone to heaven and/or hell, and come back to tell about it.

Charlotte Holmes, in America, says she died for 11 minutes and went to heaven where she saw beautiful colors, scenic landscapes, and heard beautiful music. She also states she visited hell which smelled of rotten flesh. 

In Ecuador, Angelica Zambrano was dead for 23 hours and visited both extremes. She did so four times. For her visit to hell she was escorted by Jesus. The devil and demons were tormenting a former popular singer/dancer while he was being forced to dance amid flames. She saw one former Christian who is there for refusing to tithe. There is a new twist.

Persons who claim to have died and gone to heaven and returned discredit themselves for the Bible says, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9: 27).

She said she saw babies and infants in heaven. Heaven is eternal so there will be no ages in heaven. We will all be a heavenly age which is beyond our description.     

Have these and others before them who claim similar experiences really had what they claim? Before explaining, I will answer that question. NO! I will give reasons for such an emphatic answer, but first I want to give persons who claim to have visited heaven and/or hell the benefit of the doubt.

Have you ever had a dream so real that when you awakened it took a bit of time to determine if that was really true? When in a deep dream state the brain is as active as when awake. Your mind dreams it and emotionally your body experiences the surreal happening.

Certain medicines, and doubtless illicit drugs, heighten such experiences. When in the hospital for five weeks I was administered some medicines that caused me to have hallucinations. They were so real, these virtual experiences were frightening. I begged to be taken off those medicines.

Some who profess to have been to heaven/hell have been proven to be charlatans, liars. I heard a destiny traveler give his testimony in a local church. It was so phrased it seemed to be true. He was internationally acclaimed and broadly publicized in America. A movie was made of the experience. Shortly thereafter he admitted he made up the story.

Now, how can it be said professed destination travelers have not been to heaven and/or hell. When measured against Bible texts on the subjects they don’t align. First, the devil does not torment, he is tormented. Scripture says hell was created for the devil and his rebellious demons (Matthew 25: 41). 

Scripture notes: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him (I Corinthians 2: 9).”

Overall heaven is not just an earth of steroids. It is unexplainably different. All the description we need is in the Bible. The best we can do in explaining it is to say of certain features is “it is like,” that is, illustrated by a likeness to what we know.

Those who claim to have been to heaven talk about how wonderful they felt, how joyful they were, how blissful, and comfortable they were. Their testimonies usually reveal how narcissistic they are. Little or nothing is said about the majesty and glory of God that fills the place. None have spoken of a state of holy awe.

The clincher defining disproving factor is found in II Corinthians 5: 8: “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” If an American teen were translating the Greek text it would read, “The moment a believer dies he or she is eyeball to eyeball with God.” The point is an encounter with God is immediate. Most who claim to have been there talk about taking a walking tour without mentioning God.

Heaven and hell are real and we determine where we spend eternity.

Commitment to, obedience to His word and will, and faithful loyalty comprise  a ticket to heaven. Make sure you have it.