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Remembering the Hope of Heaven

Remembering the Hope of Heaven

In a follow-up to our recent broadcast "Holding on to the Hope of Heaven," Pastor John Burke returns to offer encouragement as he shares hope-filled stories from people who have had near-death experiences and received a glimpse of the beautiful destination that awaits followers of Christ. John and Jim Daly's wife, Jean, inspire listeners to imagine heaven and hold on to the hope of eternal life promised by God.
Original Air Date: December 23, 2020

Excerpt:

John Burke: God doesn’t make entrance into heaven something you earn. He just … It’s a gift. All He needs is a heart turning to Him saying, “I want your love. I want your forgiveness. I want your life.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well, that’s John Burke, and he’s our guest today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus President and author Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: And, John, we had, uh, John Burke on the program back in April, right as the Coronavirus shutdown was in full force. And as a pastor and the author of a book on near death experiences, he gave us a glimpse of what heaven will be like. And he has done incredible work, survey work, with over a 1,000, uh, people that have had near death experiences and it, it was one of the top programs of the year. And I’m excited to have John back to talk further about the stories that he collected and hear his insights about near death experiences.

John F.: Yeah, I think the message of hope in the eternal came through loud and clear from John. And certainly, as we’re celebrating the birth of Christ just around the corner, uh, we want to, uh, have John back to put a new emphasis on, uh, the hope we have in Christ. Uh, and his research, as you said Jim, really brought out a lot of interesting things from near death experiences. People who were clinically dead came back and had stories to tell. And that really is the foundation for the conversation today.

Jim: Uh, you’ll better understand, uh, I believe what Paul mentioned in 1st Corinthians when he said, “What no eye has seen nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

John F.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And these people have seen a glimpse of that and that’s what we’re gonna touch on today. I’ve also asked my wife Jean to come back. She was with us last time. Jean, it’s great to have you here.

Jean Daly: Well, it’s a pleasure being back. (laughs) I’m very excited about the subject matter.

Jim: It put’s an extra skip in my step-

Jean: Aww, that’s sweet.

Jim: … to have you here. It’s always nice to have you. Maybe we can do lunch. (laughs)

Jean: Yeah, let’s.

Jim: Let’s do it.

Jean: Yes, yes.

Jim: And John, welcome to Focus on the Family.

John B.: Hey so grateful to be back.

Jim: It’s fun to have you here.

John F.: And I should mention John Burke is the pastor and founder of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. And the book is called, Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You. It’s a great book and we’d encourage you to get a copy. We do have those here at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: John, uh, let’s give a little bit of background for the listener who may be joining us. Didn’t hear the previous broadcast that we did with you. Uh, as a young man, uh, you were a skeptic of Christianity. Your background is engineering, I get that. That’s a typical combination, right? You’re very science oriented. You want facts in front of you, et cetera, but you did have a major event in your life that changed your perspective. What happened?

John B.: Yeah, well, my dad got cancer and so literally death was knocking on our door. And at that time, I thought maybe there’s a God. I don’t know. Um, Jesus probably just g-good man myth, about son of God, and-

Jim: You are a pastor today. That’s phenomenal. That story right there is phenomenal. (laughs)

John B.: … yeah. Um, so the thing that happened is a friend gave my dad the very first study on near-death experiences.

Jim: Right.

John B.: And I couldn’t put it down.

Jim: Hmm.

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And I was so blown away because I thought, “Okay, I’ve always asked, you know, how do you know this stuff is real? How do you know?” And here I was seeing evidence, uh, from th- th- he had categorized a hundred people. And so many of them were seeing this God of love and light. So many of them saw Jesus and knew God was Jesus. And I was like, “Wow, could this be true?” Now, I wasn’t convinced right away.

Jim: Huh.

John B.: But I, uh, within the next couple of years, ended up starting to read the Bible and got into a small group. I came to faith in Christ and then … And I think it was God’s providence. I kept running into more and more of these stories. And I just was curious like, “Okay, how does what the Bible say, correlate with what these people are saying?”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And initially it doesn’t always, so I am always skeptical of any one story. And I think that’s a good posture to have actually.

Jim: John, uh, let’s get into some of this. Um, what are those similarities with those experiences that you followed? And describe that research just so people have a scope, it, it has been over a thousand people that you’ve interviewed or people that you are working with, [crosstalk 00:04:38] that have been interviewed.

John B.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: So, it’s a big number.

John B.: Yeah.

Jim: But what are those similarities that you did find you’ve mentioned a couple of them.

John B.: Yeah. Well, and in the book, I kind of focus on 12 or 13 of the commonalities. Um, when someone dies, they, they say they leave their body, but they’re in the room still many times they can see their body. They can see the resuscitation attempts.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: They talk about how they’re still themselves. They have a spiritual body, but they’re still fully themselves in fact, feel more themselves than they’ve ever been.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: Remember everything-

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … about their life and they’re watching what’s going on, complete sense of peace. Um, just feel like they’ve never felt so alive. Many times, they travel. Then sometimes they call it through, uh, a tunnel. Sometimes it’s a path like a pathway of light. Sometimes it’s instantaneous.

Jim: They’re just there.

John B.: And they get to this place of, uh, incredible beauty, um, not unlike earth, mountains and flowers and trees and forests and-

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … but also so much beyond-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … at the same time. And in this place, it’s lit up with the most exquisite light, but the light doesn’t shine on things. It comes out of everything.

Jean: Right.

Jim: Isn’t that amazing?

John B.: And it’s not light like the light of earth that hurts your eyes. It’s light that they say is palpable. It’s love, it’s life and it’s light altogether.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And it’s like, it’s emanating from everything.

Jim: Well, we’re gonna get into some of the stories, but Jean, I wanted to turn to you and just, uh, tick off a few things that caught your attention as you and I read the book.

Jean: Well, there are many things. (laughs) I mean, there’s like 10 things, but I’ll just mention the, the love, the overwhelming and boundless love that people experience from Jesus. That it’s a love that’s so incredibly full of warmth and grace and, and people describe it as being fully known and fully loved. And it’s, it’s something they feel, they just feel it permeating them and, and coming through Jesus. Uh, the light, you just mentioned that as well, the light in heaven, the beaming brilliant radiant light coming from and through Jesus and, and that Jesus and God the father literally light up heaven. And that people describe their senses as being so much more than what they have on earth. It’s so amplified.

Jim: That grabbed me too.

Jean: Yes.

Jim: And it, it was like, you could see 10 feet or a hundred miles.

Jean: Yes.

John B.: Yeah. And that’s another great example, you know, the commonalities like of the descriptors, you know, I wrote about, you know, probably 12 to 15 of the commonalities typically, but they’re actually, I categorized over 40 descriptors of this place and what these people said across the globe and I actually matched them to what the Bible says and I’ve got verses for all, but two.

Jim: Wow.

Jean: Wow.

Jim: That’s amazing.

Jean: Yeah.

John B.: And even the two … So one and this is where, when you first hear the stories as Christians, I think it does sound kind of maybe w- out there weird like-

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: … that they will say something like, um, you know, there were colors far beyond the color spectrum and you know, this light that is love and all that. Well, once you start to see what the Bible says, you realize, “Oh, well, that’s what we should expect if we had imagined heaven.”

Jim: Right.

Jean: Right.

John B.: But we don’t.

Jean: Right.

John B.: We don’t really read it and go-

Jean: No.

John B.: … “What would that be like, um, people being able to see,” you know, like, they’ll say, “I could see miles-

Jim: Right.

John B.: … and as if I was right up close.”

Jim: Right.

John B.: It’s like, “Well, okay, well, that’s not in the Bible.” Well, actually it is. John in the book of Revelation is taken up into heaven. He’s taken in the spirit to a great high mountain. And yet he reads the words inscribed on the stones [crosstalk 00:08:51], for the new Jerusalem.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: No, the new Jerusalem.

Jim: Okay.

John B.: You know, the foundation stones-

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … there are names written there. How did he read them?

Jim: Yeah, that’s a great question.

Jean: Wow.

Jim: Yes.

John B.: But they commonly say this, they have, their eyesight is magnified. In fact, they say that you don’t just have five senses. It’s more like you have 50, a hundred senses and, and the senses are blended.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: So again, that’s where it’s like, “Whoa, what?”

Jim: That’s really amazing.

John B.: Yeah, but if you think about it, you know, we are constrained by three dimensions of space.

Jean: That’s right.

John B.: We’re constrained. This is a limited experience-

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … of this abundance of life-

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … that Jesus promised.

John F.: Yeah. Uh, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and in the studio joining us, Jean Daly, and then John Burke. John has written a book called, Imagine Heaven: Near Death Experiences, God’s Promises and The Exhilarating Future That Awaits You and we will encourage you to pick up a copy of that book. We do have those here at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800-A-Family.

Jim: John, I think we’ve done a good job kind of painting the picture of what data you collected. And, uh, like you said, connecting it to scripture. We can’t cover all that in 30 minutes. So, people need to get the book to get into more detail. But I do wanna cover some of the stories, because again, they’re profound. Let’s start with Dr. Mary Neal, a physician, uh, she had an accident, a water sport accident. Describe what happened and what happened to her and her experience.

John B.: Yeah. And, uh, you know, so many of these are like doctors-

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … and airline pilots.

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And that’s what really got me is why would they make this stuff up?

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: It just, it only hurts their career. And Dr. Mary Neal is, uh, a spine surgeon. She was kayaking with her husband in, uh, Chile and she goes over a fall and it was a steep drop. And her kayak wedged between two boulders underneath the waterfall.

Jim: Right, so she was-

John B.: And she couldn’t get out.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: And she was pinned to the kayak, tried to release her spray skirt. The force of the water was holding her down. You know, her friends were waiting for her to come up and she’s sitting there doing everything she can calmly trying to get out. And then she starts to realize, “I’ve been underwater too long. I can’t be underwater this long. I can’t still be alive.” And she’s … (laughs) And it’s pretty cool in the book I, I describe what she said. She said she, she’s feeling more peace and joy than she’s ever felt before, more alive than she’s ever felt. And yet she’s also, huh, completely herself. So, she’s super analytical kind of person.

Jean: Yes.

Jim: Right.

John B.: And she’s sitting there watching her knees bend backwards, analyzing now, “What’s going on with my cartilage and my bones right now is …” But that’s not what she’s experiencing. Instead she’s experiencing Jesus, physically tangibly holding her and gives her a life review, which is another commonality.

Jim: Right.

John B.: Um, that we-

Jim: That seeing your life go by.

John B.: … we experience our lives, uh, in a powerful, profound way. Like Mary said, “Not only was Jesus showing me all the experiences of my life. He was showing me how everything, the things I said were good. The things I said were horrible, how he used them in other people’s lives. And he showed me sometimes 10, 20, 30 people were moved-

Jim: Hmm.

John B.: … how truly good comes of all things.”

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Wow.

John B.: It’s that, you know, that verse of God uses all things to good of those who love Him.

Jim: And how long was she dead and what happened to her?

John B.: 30 minutes, so they … She finally dislodged, uh, about 15 minutes underwater. And then they were able to … They saw her body come up. They pulled her up on shore. They started resuscitation. And meanwhile, she shoots up out of the water and she’s up above the water fully herself and can see them searching for her, searching for her body. And she said … And this is another commonality. This welcoming committee was there.

Jean: Yes.

John B.: But they, she said were bursting with love and light-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … like it was coming out of them toward her.

Jean: Yeah.

John B.: It was like this, and they were … it was like this big, great party. Like they were joyful and dancing and hugging and you know, kissing and it’s real life.

Jim: Wow.

John B.: You know, we tend to think, well, okay, there are these people with light coming out and that’s weird, (laughs) but actually that’s Daniel, that’s Daniel chapter 12, I believe. Where he says everybody, uh, will die and be resurrected, ultimately some to, you know, eternal perdition, but some to everlasting light. And those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

Jim: Let’s move to another story. Another doctor actually, Richard Eby, uh, this one is really interesting because he was dead for 10 hours.

Jean: Yeah.

Jim: I mean-

Jean: That’s crazy.

Jim: … uh, describe that.

John B.: I mean, most people-

Jim: And he’s a medical doctor as well.

Jean: Right.

John B.: … and he’s a doctor.

Jim: But 10 hours?

John B.: I know.

Jim: How did he even survive that?

John B.: I know, and-

Jim: What happened?

John B.: Well, so he was helping a relative move and he … They were moving out of a two story, I think apartment. And he was throwing junk over, you know, the edge, uh, the, the rail.

Jim: I like it said a balcony. [crosstalk 00:14:24] That’s good.

Jean: Yeah. (laughs).

Jim: Exactly, [crosstalk 00:14:27]. Let’s just get rid of this stuff.

John B.: He was leaning on that railing, and he didn’t realize that the termites had basically-

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

John B.: … and it, it, it went.

Jim: And he went headfirst-

John B.: And he went headfirst.

Jim: … into the concrete split his skull open.

John B.: And so, yeah. So, he revived miraculously in the morgue.

Jim: In the morgue.

John B.: He was already in the morgue 10 hours.

Jim: That’s 10 hours.

John B.: 10 hours.

Jean: That’s astounding.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: I mean, medical doctors hearing that now are just saying that it’s impossible.

Jim: Yeah.

John F.: But it happened.

John B.: Yeah, it happens and, uh, yeah. I, and I have others who have medical records, 45 minutes, an hour, but that’s it.

Jim: Right. [crosstalk 00:15:03]. That is what was his experience given that he was in this place for 10 hours.

John B.: So, he didn’t travel a path or and that’s where, you know, these commonalities different people experience different points of these commonalities. Some more than others. I don’t know why, honestly.

Jim: Right.

John B.: But he just was instantly in this valley, this gorgeous valley with, you know, mountains and field and flowers and tall grasses. And as he’s asking these questions, like he asked a question, “Can I …? I wonder if I can pick a flower.” And immediately the answer is there, and he knows this is Jesus. And so, he picks it and he notices it’s not watery. It’s not like the cellular watery. And the voice says, “Of course,” because Jesus is the life that flows through.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And it just, it made me realize that something that says in Hebrews chapter eight, about when God told Moses to construct the tabernacle, He gave him a pattern for it.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And He said, it- “Construct it exactly as this pattern I give you, because it …” It says in Hebrews eight is a shadow of the real one in heaven.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And it started to make me just think is the sun and the water, which is life support of earth, just a shadow of the glory of God-

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes.

John B.: … and the living water of heaven. That’s the real thing. And this is, this is all a-

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … shrunk down version of real life?

Jim: Yeah, John, you know, that sounds great. And I know that there are gonna be listeners that are hearing this, that are having horrible life experiences. I mean, I don’t know what it could be, but you know, we know the categories, loss of a loved one, a terminal illness, diagnosis, or other pain, a loss of a son or daughter. And it’s hard to imagine that it actually is going to be better in heaven.

John B.: Yeah.

Jim: Because they’re feeling that pain.

John B.: Yeah.

Jim: Speak to that concept if you can, that the hope of heaven-

John B.: Yeah.

Jim: … is what we’re aiming for here. Even though this life is gonna really dish up pain.

John B.: Yeah.

Jim: And then what’s the purpose of that pain.

John B.: Well, and Paul says in Romans eight, “I am convinced.” And he’s convinced from experience that the sufferings we go through on this earth are nothing compared to the glory, that will be revealed-

Jim: And that’s the hopeful point.

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … in heaven. And, you know, to realize though that relationship is meant to last forever. I think a lot of fear that even Christians have all people, but I think even Christians have is somehow heaven will be this mystical, even the way I’ve described it, you might feel like, “Oh, that’s kind of weird and scary.” (laughs) Like, “I don’t wanna be a light. I don’t wanna be a …” (laughs).

Jim: Right.

John B.: But you’re not.

Jim: You’re fully created.

John B.: You are … This is what people say and that, and that’s why I put 120 of their stories in hearing, in their words, what the Bible says, Jesus said, “You will be with Me,” to his friends. “I will come and get you. You’ll be with me. I won’t eat or drink. You know, again, until we eat and drink and feast together in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: That’s what’s gonna happen. There’s a great reunion. And so, everything that we suffer here on earth is set straight.

Jean: Right?

Jim: And John, you’re a pastor. I mean, that’s your heart, uh, coming out of that engineering background, and this is something God’s given you a passion for. I’m thinking of the listener right now, uh, who doesn’t have that relationship with Christ. I mean, we talk a lot about that. Uh, oftentimes here at Focus we say, if we can help your family, that’s one thing. But if we haven’t introduced you to the author of the family, we kind of failed in our Christian mission. Right?

Jean: Exactly.

Jim: So, we want to do both, and I’d like for you to speak to that person right now, who’s listening to this going, “Uh, it sounds like a bunch of malarkey.” You know, it, for me, it’s excitement because I think you’re putting pieces together that the Christian community we either have lost talking about this, but it’s right there in scripture, you do a fabulous job of connecting scripture to these experiences that people have. And I think that’s, that’s the evidence I need that the two are together.

John B.: Yeah, well-

Jim: But I want you to speak to that person who’s sitting there right now, they’re driving down the freeway or whatever they might be doing. They’re going, “What?” But they’re still listening (laughs) because they’re intrigued.

John B.: … yeah.

Jim: But you know, uh, speak to their heart about what this means. This is critical.

John B.: Well, stop and think about this. You’re talking about millions and millions of people all across the globe.

Jim: …and not just Western Europeans.

John B.: No, no, I put, I put studies-

Jim: Christian civilizations.

John B.: … I put studies in Imagine Heaven, where they’ve studied 500 Indians in the continent of India and compared to 500 Americans.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: You know, very different cultural, religious upbringings. And yet what they’re describing, the heaven and the God they’re describing is the same.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: You know, it was like, I, I wasn’t very open-minded, um-

Jim: Hmm.

John B.: … it was the death of my father, you know, that made me kind of wake up. And I think it’s a sad truth that many times, um, we go through life wanting to get our will be done. (laughs)

Jim: Yeah, there we go.

John B.: Right?

Jean: Yes.

Jim: That’s the truth and that’s fine.

John B.: That’s Christians-

Jean: Yes.

John B.: … that’s non-Christians. We live in a world of wills at war.

Jean: Yeah, that’s right.

John B.: And Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” because that’s what’s missing on earth.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: God though, and this is what I think is important to realize that I started to realize God is love.

Jim: Right.

John B.: He sent Jesus. The father sent Jesus so that we would know what love looks like in our finite world. He, God wants a relationship and it’s hard to imagine relating to a mystical spirit you can’t see.

Jean: Right.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And yet God remains hidden for a while because He’s teaching us something. He’s teaching us, uh, how to forever choose love, how to forever choose the author of love, the God of love.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: But we haven’t. All of us have gone our own way. All of us have chosen, “I know what’s best for my life my will be done.” You know?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And we’ve, we’ve inadvertently or blatantly pushed God aside. And the Bible calls that sin. And it says, the wages of sin is death, which is spiritual death, meaning separation from God. But this is the amazing thing. And this is what, uh, these stories reiterate as well. God doesn’t make entrance into heaven something you earn. He just … It’s a gift.

Jean: Yes.

John B.: All he needs is a heart turning to him saying, “I want your love. I want your forgiveness. I want your life.”

Jim: Well, that was one of the challenges as I read the book, really. And I’ll, uh, let you know, as a reader of your book, how I responded to it because when the Muslim encountered the light and the light said to that Muslim, this one of the experiences in the book, “I’m Jesus.” My attitude was, “Well, wait a minute, Lord, you gave him a chance. He passed it by now in this near-death experience, you’re allowing him to acknowledge you?” And I’m telling you in my heart, John, what I heard was, “Oh, are you gonna set the boundaries in my grace, (laughs) I thought that was my job.” Isn’t that great? And I was like, “Lord, I’m so sorry.”

John B.: And, and you know, what’s funny, Dean Braxton, who, uh, is a wonderful Christian man.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: He had one of these near death experiences. So here he is in Jesus’ presence, and he’s experiencing this love that he said, and m-many said this, “It felt like I was the only one Jesus loved.”

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: Like, “He loved me so much and was so crazy about me, and like I was his only kid.” And he said, “But then I would think about someone else I’d realize, “Oh no, He, He loves him the same-

Jim: Yeah.

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … but I feel like I’m the only one.” And then he had this thought, “What about them?”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: And what he was thinking is child abusers.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jean: Yeah.

Jim: And he was thinking it as in a judgment, as a judge.

Jean: Right.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: And he said Jesus, uh, almost in a, in a harsh kind of way said to his mind-

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: … to his thoughts in his heart, “Who are you to nullify what I have done?”

Jim: Yeah.

John F.: Mm hmm.

John B.: And he said when when your put someone in prison. So he used his own analogy because he was in the criminal justice system. When you put someone in prison eventually they get out., they get out or they die. When we put someone in hell, it’s for eternity. And then he said, he stretched out his arms like he was on the cross and he could see the nails in his actual wrist more like wrists they would say and what he realizes, he wants everyone there.

Jim: He died for everyone.

John B.: He wants everyone.

Jean: Yeah.

John B.: It’s hard to fathom that, but yeah.

Jean: Yeah.

John B.: But that is it.

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: It’s that God has removed every barrier-

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: … between us and the one who loves us, except one, our pride.

Jean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John B.: In our pride we can play God, and we can say, “I don’t need you God, and my will be done.” Or we can just simply humble ourselves and go, “Lord, forgive me. Thank you that you paid for all my wrongs-

Jim: Yeah.

John B.: … 2,000 years ago.” So that a simple, “I do,” is all God needs.

Jim: And that’s the beauty of it. Uh, getting back to that original question, if you don’t know, or don’t have a relationship with Christ, we want to, um, introduce you to what it means to become a Christian. And we have many resources to help you with that. That’s our core goal here, Focus on the Family. Uh, John, thanks for being with us. This has been really good.

John B.: Oh, I so appreciate being here. Thanks.

Jim: Yeah.

John F.: And you shared that message John of the hope we have in heaven so beautifully here and, uh, especially poignant as we’re just a few days away from celebrating the birth of Christ. And, uh, Jim, I can’t imagine a more perfect time for our listeners to consider inviting Jesus into their life. And we have a lot of resources, as you said to get started, uh, like our free booklet, Coming Home, which describes God’s love and grace and how you can become part of His family.

Jim: We also have the outstanding book we talked about today b-by John Burke, Imagine Heaven, and Jean and I so enjoyed reading through the stories and the imagery. Uh, the book really gives you a strong sense of what awaits us in heaven when we pass from this life and step into the loving arms of Jesus. Uh, 2020, has been a challenging year and I’m thankful Christmas is finally here. We all need the hope and peace Jesus Christ came to give us. And our mission here at Focus on the Family is to remind you of that hope. Uh, we aim to give you practical tools and insights to help you be a better spouse and a better mom or dad. Uh, let me share a story from one of our listeners. She wrote, “As long as I can remember, our family has listened to Focus on the Family. And I know my parents have been very blessed and encouraged by listening to your programs. And now as a parent myself, I find myself checking the app every day to listen. I’m just so thankful for the work you are doing. Thank you for telling the truth and not backing down on the tough topics. In these days it’s so refreshing to hear a message of hope, of help, and of truth. Keep fighting the battles and keep pursuing Jesus. I pray that you will be thriving and even more impactful for my children as they grow up too.”

John F.: That is really an encouraging note.

Jim: It is, but we can’t do it alone. We need your help. This Christmas, you can come alongside struggling families with a special holiday gift. Your support of Focus on the Family will give families hope. And when you give a gift of any amount today to the ministry, we’ll send you a copy of John’s book as our way of saying thank you for being a part of it. Your support is critical so that we can finish the year strong and plan to reach like she said, in her note, even more families in the coming year. And I know God is gonna do tremendous work through you and Focus on the Family in 2021.

John F.: And when you donate today through a special matching opportunity, your year-end gift is going to be doubled dollar for dollar. So, God will use your donation to bring healing and redemption to twice the families. Donate today and get your copy of, Imagine Heaven, by John Burke and ask for that booklet as well, Coming Home, when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY or online focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And when you are getting in touch be sure to ask about the CD or look for the download of this conversation with John Burke. It has about an extra 30 minutes of content we just couldn’t squeeze in today. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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