Do people really see a light at the end of a tunnel when they have a near-death experience? And could that be heaven up ahead?
That light is shining brighter than ever these days. Heaven is hot. Hotter even than that other place. Just ask any bookseller in America.
Folks have been going to heaven with amazing regularity lately. They look around -- one even sat on Jesus' lap -- then come back to report on the trip. It's a lucrative journey.
Three of these tales have ascended to heavenly heights on USA Today's best-seller list recently, and more are on the way:
- Colton Burpo, then almost 4 years old, "dies" during an emergency appendectomy, travels to heaven and reports back how "really, really big God is." "Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back," the Rev. Todd Burpo's 2010 tale of his son's round trip to the Pearly Gates, has sold more than 7.5 million copies after 22 printings. It has been on USA Today's best-seller list for 111 weeks and reached No. 1 eight times in 2011. It's now No. 94.
- Eben Alexander, a Harvard neurosurgeon who was in a coma for seven days in 2008, encounters an "angelic being" who guides him into the "deepest realms of super-physical existence." His "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey Into the Afterlife," published last fall, peaked at No. 4 in December and is now No. 10.
- Mary Neal's "To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story," published in May, tells of the orthopedic surgeon's celestial journey after a kayak accident in Chile in which she was pulled underwater for so long that even she thought she was dead. It has been in the top 150 for 33 weeks and reached as high as No. 14 in July.
Can you hear the publishing angels singing?
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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Craig Wilson / USA Today