Christian News • Christian Living • Theology • Reviews

The Bible is Sufficient to Know Heaven is Real


by Jason Smathers on June 10, 2014

heavenSouthern Baptists declare afterlife books and movies to be “antithetical to Scripture.”

While choosing not to name any book or movie in particular, following the huge success of books and movies like Heaven is For Real, 90 Minutes in Heaven, and 23 Minutes in Hell, the messengers to the 2014 Southern Baptist Convention addressed the issue through a resolution which states these accounts cannot be corroborated, are self contradictory and are antithetical to Scripture.

The resolution can be read below.


WHEREAS, There have been numerous books and movies purporting to explain or describe the afterlife experience; and

WHEREAS, These books and movies have had a considerable impact as seen in the best seller lists and high box office receipts; and

WHEREAS, Many of these books and movies have sought to describe heaven from a subjective, experiential source, mainly via personal testimonies that cannot be corroborated; and

WHEREAS, Many of these are not unified and contain details that are antithetical to Scripture; and

WHEREAS, Many devout and well-meaning people allow these to become their source and basis for an understanding of the afterlife rather than scriptural truth; and

WHEREAS, Though the Scriptures include explicit accounts of persons raised from the dead, such as Jairus’ daughter, the widow of Nain’s son, and Lazarus, in God’s perfect revelatory wisdom, He has not given us any report of their individual experience in the afterlife (Deuteronomy 29:29; Mark 5:21–43; Luke 7:11–17; John 11:35–44); and

WHEREAS, The Apostle Paul wrote about “a man in Christ” who was caught up “into the third heaven” who “heard inexpressible words” that “a man is not allowed to speak” (2 Corinthians 12:1–4); and

WHEREAS, The doctrines of the afterlife are critical to a full understanding of salvation and repentance (Luke 16:29–31; John 3:16–18); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10–11, 2014, reaffirm the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one’s understanding of the truth about heaven and hell.

Image is Copyright Derek Voller and used here under Creative Commons Licence (CC BY-SA 2.0).

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dale Mitchell June 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

In light of this resolution it will interesting to see if Lifeway Christian Stores stops selling these books and DVD’s in their stores, along with all the materials from heretical teachers they’ve been selling for years..


Jeanne June 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Gullibility today is rampant….Entertainment has become reality…Scripture is being set aside and not preached…People are NOT reading their Bibles for themselves….Laziness has become the norm.


Luana McDonald August 15, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Laziness being the norm may be true..I liked a couple of the movies I have seen. Not any of the ones mentioned. I know KNOW there is a Heaven and if there is Heaven then there is Hell. To be completely honest it helped me when I was first Saved many yrs ago to keep it real. I think we all can spend more time in The Word. Living in Southern Ca. I just assumed everything out of Hollywood has been changed to make money, why would these movies be any different? IF they make people go to Jesus then it can’t be all bad. Hopefully churches will be preaching truth once they get there. It does make them think? Or do you think these movies are just a substitute for knowledge? I am believing in what you had to say. Thanks….


Tom August 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

I have had a hard time articulating my objections to movies and books like this. Thank you for making it so plain here.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: