Quote from Phil Johnson [Exec. Director of: gty.org & works with John MacArthur]:
"Only four authors in all the bible were blessed with visions of heaven and wrote about what they saw: the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the apostles Paul and John. Two other biblical figures—Micaiah and Stephen—got glimpses of heaven, but what they saw is merely mentioned, not described (2 Chronicles 18:18; Acts 7:55).
As pastor John MacArthur points out, all of these were prophetic visions, not near-death experiences. Not one person raised from the dead in the old & new testaments ever recorded for us what he or she experienced in heaven. That includes Lazarus, who spent four days in the grave. Paul was caught up into heaven in an experience so vivid he said he didn't know whether he went there bodily or not, but he saw things that are unlawful to utter, so he gave no details. He covered the whole incident in just three verses (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).
All three biblical writers who saw heaven and described their visions give comparatively sparse details, but they agree perfectly (Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 1 and 10; Revelation 4-6). They don't agree with the Burpo-Malarkey vision of heaven. Both their intonation and the details they highlight are markedly different. The biblical authors are all fixated on God's glory, which defines and illuminates everything there. They are overwhelmed, chagrined, petrified, and put to silence by the sheer majesty of God's holiness. Notably missing from all the biblical accounts are the frivolous features and juvenile attractions that seem to dominate every account of heaven currently on the bestseller lists."
Thankfully and gratefully and finally, Baptist Press reports today,
LifeWay pulls 'heaven visitation resources'
LifeWay Christian Resources has stopped selling all "experiential testimonies about heaven" following consideration of a 2014 Southern Baptist Convention resolution on "the sufficiency of Scripture regarding the afterlife."
Though LifeWay "was not mentioned in the SBC resolution affirming the sufficiency of biblical revelation and affirming the truth about heaven and hell," King told BP in an interview, "the resolution was approved overwhelmingly and was considered during our process."
The resolution, adopted by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in June, warned Christians not to allow "the numerous books and movies purporting to explain or describe the afterlife experience" to "become their source and basis for an understanding of the afterlife."
The resolution did not list specific book or movie titles, but it seemed to describe works like "90 Minutes in Heaven," "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" by Kevin and Alex Malarkey and "Heaven Is for Real" by Todd Burpo along with its companion movie released last year by Sony Pictures.
The resolution affirmed "the sufficiency of biblical revelation over subjective experiential explanations to guide one's understanding of the truth about heaven and hell."end excerpts
In January, LifeWay announced it would stop selling "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" after coauthor Alex Malarkey admitted that he lied about having a vision of heaven as a 6-year-old. See related BP story. At the time, King said LifeWay was "committed to becoming even more proactive in the next few months in evaluating the resources we carry."
Now if we can just get them to pull Beth Moore...
The Burpo-Malarkey Doctrine
Heaven is for Real, But are the Modern Day Claims of “There and Back Againers” in Line with the Bible?
Video, Justin Peters, Why The Heaven Tourist Reports Contradict Scripture (Part One)