I have not seen the movie, “Heaven is for Real” yet, so I can’t give a first-hand account of what is in it. However, I have read in several reviews that the movie does not say how a person gets into heaven. This is definitely not true of the book. In it, four-year-old Colton hears of a man dying. He asks his father, “Did the man have Jesus in his heart?” When his dad responds that he isn’t sure, Colton becomes agitated, insisting, “He HAD to have Jesus in his heart. He HAD to know Jesus or he can’t get into heaven!” Later, when he sees the casket holding the man, “Colton’s face gathered into that same knot of intense concern. He slammed his fists on his thighs, then pointed one finger at the casket and said in a near shout, ‘Did that man have Jesus?!’ . . . ‘He HAD to! He HAD to!’ Colton went on, ‘He can’t get into heaven if he didn’t have Jesus in his heart!'” Colton also explains why Jesus had to die on the cross. “Jesus told me he died on the cross so we could go see his Dad.”
I watched a scene from the movie in which Colton’s dad tries to assure a woman whose son died in the war that her son would be in heaven because God loves her son as much as He loves Colton. This is very different from that scene in the book. In the book, Colton’s dad is encouraging a woman who had a miscarriage and is wondering where her baby is. There is a world of difference between a baby dying in the womb and a young man, who had many years to make a decision about following Jesus, dying. The movie scene made it seem like everyone goes to heaven because God loves everyone. While God does love the world, He also has very specific requirements for entrance into heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16.
I think it is sad that the movie skips the most important message of the book. Yes, heaven is for real. But you can’t get in without a ticket. That ticket is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We never know when our last day to live will be. You are invited to live with Jesus in heaven forever! I hope you will seriously consider what Colton shared and ask Jesus into your heart if you have not already done so. If you have questions about all of this Jesus stuff, I recommend reading the book of John from the Bible and the book, “More than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell. Wishing you each a blessed day – and an even better eternity!