Why I won’t be watching “Heaven is For Real”

On my flight back from Baltimore! It's kind of like Heaven, maybe?
On my flight back from Baltimore!

Today marks an infinitely important day in history. Jesus was raised from the dead. My faith is not futile. Jesus is the Christ and is able to pay the price for my sins.

Sunday also marks the release of “Heaven is For Real” the fictitious account of a four year old boy who went to Heaven and back.

To my brothers and sisters, be careful. It’s an awfully cute story. A toddler growing up in a dinky little rural town recovers from a burst appendix to testify he went to Heaven and back. But let’s recuperate through the clouds of emotionalism and ask the all-important question: Is Burpo’s account consistent with God’s Word?

No.

There is simply no Biblical basis for someone–today–to return to Heaven and back.

Scripture is sufficient. If you want to know that Heaven is for real, then look no further than the historical, logical, archaeological, and prophetically credible words of the Old and New Testament. Just FYI, the cult that is the “church” of Latter-Day-Saints was inaugurated on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy named Joseph Smith.

Scripture testifies of four people who got a glimpse of Heaven: Ezekiel, Isaiah, Paul, and John. Glimpses! Not all-inclusive trips like the one the Burpo’s testify of. These were prophetic visions–not near death experiences. And these prophets didn’t speak of cute features like sitting on Jesus’ lap; they were utterly awestruck by the Glory of God, which is the supreme reality of Heaven.

Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! (Proverbs 30:4)

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (John 3:13)

Because here is the issue: If what Todd Burpo says is true, then he is claiming divine authority that has been granted to him. Since it is a new revelation of God! This is much more than a heart-warming story, friends! This involves the credibility of the Bible! Putting words into God’s mouth that he didn’t say.

Heaven is For Real is representative of a dangerous sway in the American church toward subjective, esoteric, mystical experience. Emotions are important–essential to human expression, but any narrative that stimulates emotionalism-based decision-making rather than standing upon the objective truth of God’s Word, should be avoided.

Personally, I find the book of Revelation much more fascinating. It’s so much better than having wings and seeing old relatives. No more death. No more darkness. No more ferry disasters in my home country. Satan defeated. Martyrs redeemed. And best of all: I will see Jesus face-to-face.

Have discernment, my friends. There is a terrible amount of false teaching out there.

Your friend, D.Kim
Acts 20:24
FTM

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A Dangerous Attitude Toward Evangelism

There’s a cliché floating around that greatly concerns me.

Now let me be clear. I wouldn’t call it a heresy. I think it’s simply a misunderstanding. But misunderstandings can become plagues if not snipped in the bud.

What I’m talking about is this idea that, as Christians, we are supposed to let our actions be the utmost testimony to the world. I recently read a couple articles about two NFL quarterbacks whom adhered to this dangerous attitude toward evangelism.

“I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. Some players get more vocal about it … some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am.

“——- will not stand on the bleachers and shout; but he will privately live that life consistently with Jesus. I love that about him.”

While such statements bear some truth, the attitude they exhibit is not completely Biblical. Here is why.

There is a constant theme throughout the Old and New Testaments that when believers are filled with God’s Spirit, they spoke His truth. Here are just a couple examples.

“Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,” 1 Chronicles 12:18

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me … to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Isaiah 61:1-2 (later repeated by Jesus in Luke 4)

“But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Sprit, looked intently at him and said,” Acts 13:9

And Jesus, our Lord, is the paramount example.

“And Jesus, fill of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted by the devil … And Jesus answered,” Luke 4:1-2,4

The Bible is packed with countless other examples.

People loved Jesus when He would heal the sick; the crowds flocked to His presence when He fed them. But it was His words that separated the sheep from the goats. His verbal testimony is what provoked people to pick up stones to kill Him.

Paul wasn’t beheaded because he lived a private Christian life. The Apostle James wasn’t slaughtered by Herod’s sword because he attended church. Christians in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and India are not electrocuted, burned at the stake, and forced to watch the murder of their families simply because their behavior emits religion. Christ followers are martyred for their fearless proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is then echoed by their lifestyle as a cornerstone.

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If our actions fail to support our words, we are hypocrites. If our words don’t overflow as a result of our salvation, then we need to evaluate if we are finding our satisfaction in God alone. We will naturally talk about what–or whom–we find joy in.

This timidity may very well be rooted in a buried, bashful fear of man. Such has been an enduring struggle in my life. I need to constantly ask myself if I’m seeking the approval of man over the approval of Yahweh.

Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. I don’t like to share my faith. In fact, if I were to be blunt, I hate it. Naturally, I love the approval of man. I hate rejection. I hate the weird stigma that comes with not knowing how to start a “spiritual conversation. I am terrified of talking to people about the Gospel. I would much rather preach a message or hide behind my computer screen in a blog post. But Jesus’ Church is built on the blood of martyrs who unashamedly embraced persecution for proclaiming the Gospel. And for the rest of my life, I am going to have to make war against the flesh that desires the world’s recognition rather than hearing those words “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).

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The Bible is crystal clear. We must be bold in sharing the Gospel holistically. Souls hang in the balance.

Oh, trust me, I’m 110% for living a life that is “worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). But our mission will never be complete until we speak for what we stand for.

Don’t allow crazy “preachers” at  your college campus deceive you. There is a way to share your faith with others that doesn’t make you seem like a madman.

Let’s not succumb to this ineffectual attitude of American Christianity. It will prevent us from accomplishing what the Holy Spirit yearns to do in us.

“The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man. -Brother Yun”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? Any how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! … so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-15, 17

Your Friend, D.Kim
Acts 20:24
FTM

Echoes of Eternity

I stumbled across a wonderful surprise while downloading iOS7 to my iPhone.

Buried within the bog of my Camera Roll, were videos from Passion 2013 that I had failed to upload to YouTube!

So here they are. Be encouraged by the echoes of 60,000 worshiping the one true God!

The Georgia Dome at full capacity is but an iota compared to the forthcoming praises of the elect in Heaven. Indeed, as C.S Lewis said, for the believer, there are far greater things ahead than any we leave behind.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession  that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

Your Friend, D.Kim
Acts 20:24
FTM

Beware of Freedom

Freedom is a curse to those who do not know how to rightfully handle it. It’s the reason why criminals are confined in prisons with electric fences, steel bars, and concrete barriers. A campfire that is not attended to in a dry forest will quickly spread into a blazing inferno. Unchecked freedom will create chaos both in nature as well as the lives of human beings.

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No where is this more evident than in the average life of us, who live in America. We have rights that many foreign nations do not. I have witnessed this single hand as I have traveled around the world and seen how abominable a government can treat it’s people. Despite our freedoms, we use freedom’s luxury to live selfishly or to pass the blame onto someone else. We slip into patterns of self-indulgent living in a affluent society.
This 4th of July, as we enjoy the family barbecues and the fireworks, let’s sit down and be thankful for the liberties we have. I hope that as the year progresses, we would learn to use freedom not for personal benefit, but as a gift to help those who are not as fortunate. Liberty should be a blessing rather than a curse, it’s our decision if we will fall into the pattern or start a new path for others to follow.

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“Like a raging fire, freedom without limits is dangerous. But when controlled, it is a blessing to all.” -Dennis De Haan

The Greatest Illustration on Earth

It takes a lot to make me cry. But anything that draws a personal connection always makes me to tear up.

I have always been a sucker for stories of military families being reunited with their loved ones. I just can’t imagine the jubilee I would feel after seeing someone I thought I might never see again. The good news is you don’t have to know someone in the military to experience this kind of joy.

It’s hard for me to not cry when I watch these videos. Mainly because they are an incredible illustration of the promise we hold to as Christ Followers: the promise that one-day, after we have fought the good fight, we will go home and be reunited with our Heavenly Father.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
– The Apostle Paul

At the end of my life, I want nothing more than to hear the words,

“Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”

Continue reading “The Greatest Illustration on Earth”

Dark Horses

This past Tuesday was further assurance to me that I am supposed to be in East Lansing.  My brother Connor Smith successfully walked-on to the Michigan State baseball team.  Ecstatic, jubilee, gratefulness were some of the emotions I felt as I read his text message while sitting in the International Center.  This is an incredible act of God’s faithfulness.  Without blabbing on too much, I want to share 3 reasons why this is so encouraging to me.

Continue reading “Dark Horses”