The Deception of a Christless “Heaven”: No Repentance Required
Colossians 2:18-19 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, (19) and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
To Heaven and Back: The True Story of a Doctor’s Extraordinary Walk with God by Dr. Mary Neal is a current book being featured in the news. Dr. Neal, a physician, is an attractive, intelligent, confident person who has told her story of being in heaven after a kayaking accident left her drowned for some 15 minutes. She said that after she felt her legs breaking from the force of the water, she was greeted by people who came to her and comforted her. Ultimately, they told her that this was not her time and that she was to go back to this life and tell her story. Her message, as presented in her TV interview, is that all is well when we die.
Now, I have not read this book (I did skim it). I have too many other reading projects to handle right now. But I want to issue this warning, based upon what Mary Neal said in the interview which I watched, and based upon a search of her book for mention of Christ or repentance. There is no heaven without Christ. And no one can come to Christ except by faith and repentance. Neal made absolutely no mentioned of Christ in this interview. Repentance is foreign to her theology. She spoke of “God.” But not Christ. Let us all remember: Christ is the only Mediator between God and man. There is no other Name under heaven by which we can stand in righteousness before our holy God.
What did Neal see? Well, Satan is quite capable of appearing as an angel of light, and his servants as sons of righteousness. What Neal “saw” in her experience before being revived is certainly nothing anyone should depend upon for the eternal outcome of their life. And note this very carefully as well: when people (as we know from Scripture) encounter the holy, holy, holy One, they are quite reluctant to speak of it. They are overwhelmed with Him. The Apostle Paul said what he saw was inexpressible. Yet these accounts that crop up in the news on occasion, like Neal’s, are anything but speechless. They talk about seeing all of one’s relatives, or of speaking with God as if He were the nice guy next door. In other words, they do not ring true to what Scripture tells us.
So make no mistake. When someone like Neal tells us “all is well when you die,” and yet never speaks of Christ, all is not well. Neal’s “vision” is a delusion. It promises eternal life without the need for Christ, or without the need to acknowledge the evil of our sin which made Christ’s death on the cross necessary. Such a message does not come from above, but from the father of lies.
P.S. – What does this have to do with abuse? Well, a HUGE issue in abusers who claim to be Christians, as most of you know, is their claim of repentance. Here they are offered heaven with no repentance. Messages like this, pronounced anathema (i.e., cursed by God) by the Apostle Paul, only enable abusers in their sin.