Category Archives: Tours of Eternity

A Tour of Heaven

For centuries, man has pondered the existence of an afterlife.  Is there really a Heaven?  Are there pearly gates, streets paved with gold, angels playing harps, and eternal happiness?

Is there actually a Hell?  Is it truly governed by Satan and filled with fire and misery?  Are there any other realms that exist between these two extremes?

People who have described near-death experiences report glimpses of these realms in the precious minutes during which they were declared clinically dead.  One of the more recent and intriguing accounts was publicized in the book “Heaven is for Real.”  As an assertive, matter-of-fact, no-nonsense, four-year old, Colton Burpo confidently described seeing beautiful views of Heaven:

“Heaven is more amazing than you can imagine.  I could hear beautiful music and see lots of colors.  Big, bright rainbows are everywhere you look.  The streets are gold, the gates are made of pearl, and shiny jewels are on the walls.” (64:9)

Are these the fanciful wishes of a four-year old’s imagination?  Perhaps – that is, until you read Revelation 21:19, 21 –

 “The foundation stones of the city walls had every kind of jewel in them … The twelve gates were twelve pearls.  Each gate was made from a single pearl.  The street of the city was made of pure gold.  The gold was clear as glass.”

Don Piper was on his way home from a conference when his car was crushed by a semi-truck that crossed into his lane.  Medical personnel said he died instantly.  While his body lay lifeless inside the ruins of his car, Piper experienced the glories of heaven, awed by its beauty and music.  Ninety minutes after the wreck, while a minister prayed for him, Piper miraculously returned to life on earth with only the memory of inexpressible heavenly bliss.  He describes the gates and walls of heaven as well as the streets within — and the glorious music:

“Looming just over the heads of the loved ones who had come to greet me stood an awesome gate interrupting a wall that faded out of sight in both directions.  It struck me that the actual entrance was small in comparison to the massive gate itself.  I stared, but I couldn’t see the end of the walls in either direction … The gate wasn’t made of pearls, but was pearlescent – perhaps iridescent … To me it looked as if someone had spread pearl icing on a cake.  The gate glowed and shimmered.” (65:50-51)

“I paused just outside the gate, and I could see inside.  It was like a city with paved streets.  To my amazement, they had been constructed of literal gold.  If you imagine a street paved with gold bricks, that’s as close as I can come to describing what lay inside the gate.  Everything I saw was bright – the brightest colors my eyes had ever beheld – so powerful that no earthly human could take in this brilliance.” (65:51)

“It was the most beautiful and pleasant sound I’ve ever heard … I felt awestruck, wanting only to listen … It seemed like I was part of the music – and it played in and through my body … I felt embraced by the sounds … As I became aware of the joyous sounds and melodies that filled the air … I felt as if the heavenly concert permeated every part of my being … I call it music, but it differed from anything I had ever heard or ever expect to hear on the earth.  The melodies of praise filled the atmosphere … the praise was unending … Praise was everywhere, and all of it was musical, yet comprised of melodies and tones I’d never experienced before.” (65:46-47)

Four-year old Colton also describes,

“Heaven is not scary – ever!  There is no sun, but it never gets dark in heaven because the light of God is so bright.  No one ever cries or is afraid in heaven.  No one ever gets sad or mad.  Everyone is happy there!” (64:10)

 Don Piper adds his impression of the light in heaven:

“Coming out from the gate – a short distance ahead – was a brilliance that was brighter than the light that surrounded me, utterly luminous … Everything I saw glowed with intense brightness … as far ahead as I could see, there was absolutely nothing but intense, radiant light … The light engulfed me, and I had the sense that I was being ushered into the presence of God.” (65:44)

Revelation 21: 23-24 –

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it.  The glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is the city’s lamp.  By its light the people of the world will walk.”

If we can accept that the visionaries who have encountered the Virgin Mary are credible, honest, and genuine witnesses to supernatural visits, can we also believe their accounts of visiting or seeing Heaven, Hell, and other realms?  Hesitate before you answer that question – because first you need to hear what they are actually reporting.  Here are some excerpts from their testimonies:


On June 8, 1980, Mary appeared again, giving Bernardo four visions – “which were like movies in the sky.”  The first vision was of the first Christians, singing and marching towards Heaven.  They were dressed in white – their bodies glowing with light.  The second vision was of another group of people also dressed in white.  They held illuminated rosaries in their hands.  The leader read from a book, and after meditating on the reading, they prayed one “Our Father” and ten “Hail Mary’s.”  Mary explained that they were the first ones to whom she had given the Rosary.  She wanted everyone to pray the Rosary like they were doing.  In the third vision, Bernardo saw a group of men dressed in brown robes.  Mary explained that these were the Franciscans.  “They received the Rosary from the hands of the first ones.”  In the fourth vision, he saw a large group, as big as an army, of people in normal dress, all holding rosaries.  Light radiated from their bodies, and they were beautiful.  He wanted to join them and go with them even though he was not illuminated, himself.  The Virgin replied,

“No!  You are still lacking.  You have to tell the people what you have seen and heard.  I have shown you the glory of Our Lord, and you people will acquire this if you are obedient to Our Lord, to the Lord’s Word – if you persevere in praying the Holy Rosary and put into practice the Lord’s Word.”

Bernardo only shared these visions with the priest, knowing that the church must approve them first.  The priest gave Bernardo approval and permission to spread the visions. (2:159-161)


In early October of 1981, Vicka received a surprise while visiting Jakov at his home.  The Virgin Mary suddenly appeared and announced that she was going to take them to see Heaven.  Jakov became frightened, thinking that they would not return and said, “Why don’t you just take Vicka?  She has many brothers and sisters, but I am the only child of my mother.”  The Virgin just smiled sweetly and took the two of them by their hands.  Vicka describes the experience:

“I was wondering how many days we would be traveling (to get to heaven), and whether we would go through the sky or the ground.  Our Lady took my right hand and Jakov’s left hand and took us with her.  We saw the ceiling opening, giving us just enough space to go through, and within the wink of an eye, we found ourselves in heaven.  Heaven is one huge endless space.  It has a brilliant light which does not leave it.  There is a special kind of life that does not exist on the earth at all.  We saw people dressed in pink, yellow, and gray gowns.  Nobody was older than 33 years old.  They were walking, praying, and singing, and there were small angels circling around.  We saw people praying and singing, together in groups, but we could not understand what they were saying.  It must have been some heavenly language.  We experienced a special indescribable joy.  Our Lady told us to have a good look at how overjoyed all those who were in heaven were.  It was a special kind of joy that cannot be experienced on the earth.  Everything is definitely so much more beautiful.  When you are entering heaven, you experience an enormous feeling of separation from this life and enter a special new life.” (48:65-66)(45:135)

Mary:    “All those who are faithful to God will have thatI did this so you could see the happiness which awaits those who love God.” (45:135)

The children were not dreaming this, nor were they just given visions.  They were physically absent from Jakov’s house for exactly twenty minutes.  Jakov’s mother saw them in the home right before they departed.  When she couldn’t find them a moment later, she frantically searched everywhere for them, inside and outside of the house for twenty minutes.  She was becoming very fearful when they suddenly reappeared within the home, telling her where Blessed Mary had just taken them. (45:135)(52:61)

Speaking of Heaven, Ivanka was granted a special request by Our Lady on May 7, 1985.

“I never saw Mary so beautiful as on this evening.  She wore the most beautiful gown I have ever seen in my life.  Her gown, veil, and crown had gold and silver sequins of light.  There were two angels with her – I don’t have words to describe this!  Our Lady asked me if I had some wish.  I told her I would like to see my earthly mother (recently deceased).  She smiled, nodded her head, and my mother immediately appeared.  She was smiling.  Our Lady told me to stand up.  I did, and my mother embraced and kissed me, and said, ‘My child, I am so proud of you.’ Then she kissed me and disappeared.  After this, I asked Our Lady if I could kiss Her.  She nodded her head, and I kissed Our Lady.  She blessed me, smiled, and said, ‘Go in God’s peace.’” (52:234)

Ivanka said later that her mother looked the same but much prettier with no evidence of the suffering that she had gone through in the last years.  But her body was no longer like our earthly bodies.  Ivanka added that touching Our Lady’s body was different than that – and that her dress had a “metallic” feel to it. (52:33) Ivanka adds,

“Many people do not believe there is life after this life.  But I am here as a living witness, and I can say there is life after life because I was able to see my Mom.  This witnessing was not just for me, but for all mankind.” (45:127)

Vicka said that “nobody is older than 33 years old” in Heaven.  Colton Burpo validates her perception as he further describes his views of heaven from his four-year old perspective:

“One of the most wonderful things about heaven is that no one ever gets sick or hurt there.  No one ever has bumps or bruises or skinned knees.  No one needs glasses or wheelchairs.  In heaven, no one is old; everyone is young and healthy.  And no one dies in heaven.  In heaven, you live forever with God!” (64:20)

Young Colton had never met or seen a picture of his great-grandfather, “Pop,” who had died years before Colton was born.  Yet, he reports that this great-grandfather came up to him and greeted him while he was in Heaven.  When Colton’s parents showed him a recent picture of “Pop” before he died, Colton did not recognize him.  Then his parents remembered that Colton had said that everyone was young in heaven.  They found a picture of the great-grandfather at age 29 in 1943 (that Colton had never seen), and he immediately recognized him this time. (63)

Colton also described a young girl about age seven running up to him and hugging him.  He did not recognize her either, but she said that she was his older sister.  She knew about Colton and was so glad to finally meet him in person.  Colton says,

“My big sister was so excited to see me that she wouldn’t stop hugging me!” (64:13)

Later, Colton confronted his mother on not telling him that he had had an older sister.  His mother was stunned and in tears; she had never revealed that she had had a miscarriage of a female fetus several years before Colton was born.  How could he possibly have known about this?  When shown a picture of his mother as a young girl, Colton stated that she looked just like that older sister in Heaven! (63)

Visionary Geraldine from Australia had a very similar experience in November of 1989.

“Many things had been going wrong … I needed my grandmother who had partly raised me and was missing her very much.  I needed advice, and I was still grieving for her (she had died in 1982).  With tears streaming down my face, I was thinking of how we used to talk – and of her loving ways – my heart breaking as I wished she was still here.”

“Then, to my surprise, I heard a woman’s voice speaking inside of me clearly.  She said, ‘I am your Blessed Mother.  I am speaking to you from within.  Your earthly mother is not here with you right now so I have come to comfort you during your trials.  However, your other mother (grandmother) is here with Me.  Would you like to speak to her?’  At that moment I thought I was losing my mind … but yet … I felt peaceful and calm and very comforted and loved by this voice.  So, I said, ‘Yes, I would.”

“The next thing I knew, somehow, I was flying in spirit through the sky.  By my left side was an Angel guiding me, and I felt it was my Guardian Angel – and it was nighttime.  I saw in the distance a city.  As we approached this city, it was like a warm and peaceful Sunday afternoon because there was a holiness about it.  I saw white stone houses with flat roofs and park bench seats outside.  There were people sitting on the seats.  As we got closer, I recognized some of the people.  My grandmother was sitting on the right side and my (deceased) sister, Karen, opposite her.  My grandmother looked younger, and there was a beautiful glow about her.  I could see she was looking forward to my being with her.”

“Then I found myself looking towards my sister.  It was like looking through a camera as the focus moved from place to place.  My sister looked about thirty years old now; she was twelve years old when she had died.  Yet, her features were the same.  She was beaming and so happy and smiling.  She said, ‘I have someone very, very special here who is really looking forward to meeting you.  Don’t worry, I am looking after her for you.’  At that moment my view shifted down to see that she was holding the hand of a little girl about nine years old.  She had long hair tied back in a ponytail, and she wore a plain gray dress.  I didn’t know who she was.”

“Then my sister said, ‘This is Geraldine Margaret.’  At that moment I nearly fainted with shock.  I felt the hair stand up on the back of my head, and I felt hot, then cold, as I realized it was the little baby I had miscarried nine years earlier, and it was a girl.  I was going to call her Margaret Geraldine after my grandmother, but instead, they called her after me.  Then this experience ended.  As I came out of the room, my husband said, ‘What’s the matter?’ as he could see by the look on my face that something had happened.”

“I cried continuously at the thought of having a daughter and not knowing her.  Again, I was so upset – not knowing what to make of all this.  Again, I heard this beautiful, soft, loving woman’s voice:  ‘Do not be sad at what you have seen.  Rejoice, rejoice, for your Father in Heaven has given you a wonderful gift.’  I stopped crying and was comforted, feeling a great peace.”  (14:29-30)

The last three examples have suggested that everyone appears younger in Heaven, perhaps no older than 33, the age at which Jesus Christ died.  Maybe nobody is allowed to appear older than Jesus?  In any case, the last two examples suggest that miscarried babies continue to grow up in Heaven, consistent with the age that each would have been if still living on earth.