Heaven Can Wait
The news has come out that Alex Malarkey has recanted the story that was told in the book titled
The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, a book that has been out since last year that details the story of the then 6 year old Alex who was in a horrific car crash that put him in a two month coma. When he came out of the coma he claimed that angels took him through the gates of heaven to meet Jesus.
Apparently Malarkey now ten years older at the age of sixteen has had enough and is recanting the story. He wrote an open letter to LifeWay and as he titled the letter,
"An Open Letter to LifeWay and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven."
Here are two quotes from Alex one explaining his confession along with his plea;
"I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible," he explained. "People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth."
"It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible… not by reading a work of man,"
While there is so much more to be said about this I am concerned that we do not miss this teaching moment as a church. We live in a time where people are so fascinated and taken by any story that comes out with someone claiming to have gone to Heaven. And Alex is a great example of the danger in putting any stock or faith in these stories. If you want to know about Heaven go to the Word of God, there is plenty there about the New Heaven and the New Earth. And guess what? It is all true.
In Second Peter chapter one, Peter speaks of the mount of transfiguration, being there , hearing the audible voice of God. And then stunningly in reference to God’s audible voice, Peter writes;
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you would do well to pay attention….” Peter says we heard God at the Mount of Transfiguration but we have something more sure, the prophetic Word of God!
When people like Alex come out and say it was not true, I never went to Heaven, the book is wrong, or the movie is off base or whatever the case may be, we should not be shaken or affected. As we need to be a church that is not basing our faith, joy or hope on anyone’s experience or account of Heaven,Hell or anything else. We are not holding to some voice from the sky or in our heads, we are holding to the written, holy, God breathed Word of God, that is the same yesterday today and forever. To God be the Glory, Sola Scriptura!