The first point I would like to disagree with the book is that heaven is not a current place to go to. One day it will be. Christ will come back, he will raise the saints up and create a new heaven. This is the heaven that will have streets of gold and gates made of pearls. Right now the saints who have died are in an intermediate state; this state is called “Paradise” in Luke 23:43. Secondly, Colton said he say people with bodies and wings on them; however, the bodily resurrection will not happen until Christ’s second coming. It will be then that the transformation of these sinful bodies will take place, but until then the bodies will not be transformed. Third, the book seems to have a focus on getting back to that “heaven” Colton was at, but as Dr. Jeff Gibbs astutely notes, “There is not one crumb, not one word in Heaven is For Real that God’s full plan of salvation in Christ means eternal life now, and on the last day, full bodily holiness and immortality for all believers and for the whole cosmos. There is no appreciation for the importance of our bodies, and of God’s promise in Christ to redeem them and raise us to everlasting life.” Dr. Gibbs says the correct response to the book is to quote the Nicene Creed when it says, “I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world (Greek, “age”) to come.” Fourth I there is not statement in the Bible that God will take some to heaven and then send them back on earth. It is actually quite the opposite of that. In Luke 16 there is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. When the rich man asks God to send back Lazarus God says “No!” This leads into the last point, God said “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they hear when a man rises from the dead.” This book has helped Todd and other comes to accept God’s promises in a better way (see pgs. 84, 126, and 130 in the Heaven is for Real); however, we are not suppose to accept God’s promises on anything less than God’s own testimony. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” Peter also warned us not to trust any one’s experiences writing, “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). And Jesus himself said “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29).
I am not trying to dismiss near death experiences. There are plenty of people who have reported them. I am disagreeing that young Colton went to heaven and then came to earth, or that Don Piper spent 90 minutes in heaven, or that Bill Wiese spent 23 minutes in hell. It is not Biblical to believe so. As Christians, we are not to accept the experience of others as authoritative, but we are to be searching the Scripture and comparing the Scriptures to man's experiencesto see if they match up. Colton’s story is a nice story, but it does not match up with the Bible. So I warn you, do not be deceived by these myths and fairy tales. Do not be lead astray. Heaven is real, but it not real because Colton says so, but because Christ says so.
**There are a few other good blogs out on this done by Tim Challis [here], C. Michael Patton [here], and T. A. McMahon [here].