Five people you meet in heaven article

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Christian Research Institute

five people you meet in heaven article

Read the latest news and coverage on The Five People You Meet in Heaven. View images, videos, and more on The Five People You Meet in Heaven on. How accurate is the best-selling book The Five People You Meet in Heaven, asks Dr. Zukeran? From a biblical perspective, its view of heaven. While “The Next Person You Meet in Heaven” has potential to do big business, the best-selling author says his reason for writing it is personal.

And finally, our life, as insignificant as it may seem, has a purpose. Heaven is a place where we find inner peace with ourselves when we learn these lessons. Through this process, we are cleansed of negative thoughts and scars we carried in our lifetime and find true inner peace. After this, we will choose our heavenly dwelling. There we will wait for newcomers whose lives intersected ours on earth.

We will be one of the five people they will meet as they learn the meaning of their life on earth.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

He addresses two life questions that every individual wrestles with and desperately seeks answers to: What is the meaning of my existence? Albom is an excellent writer and is sincere in his effort. This story causes each one of us to wrestle with these key questions of our existence and eternal destiny, issues many choose to ignore but must inevitably face. He also teaches some valuable life lessons. For these reasons, the story is enjoyable and thought provoking.

In some ways he gets us closer to the answer, but never really gets there. Christians will find that he gives us some appetizers, but fails to deliver the main dish. In what follows, I will present a biblical critique of this story and explain how Albom scratches the surface but never finishes the quest for meaning, significance, and eternal hope.

The Quest for Meaning What is the meaning of my existence? Does my ordinary life make a difference? Will I look back on my life with regret, feeling that I contributed nothing significant in my lifetime? These are issues most people ask throughout their lifetime and seek answers for.

Every person who has understanding can know his or her life was worthwhile. Therefore, even small decisions and actions we take can significantly affect the lives of others. Look at what Morrie did for me talking to me. And I wrote a book to try to pay his medical bills and went from one person to another person and people come up and say your book changed my life. How did that happen? In the story, the main character Eddie learns in heaven that he impacted the lives of others both positively and negatively, often unintentionally.

Why should we care if our lives affected others? Therefore, our lives have no ultimate meaning, and impacting the lives of others is meaningless, for our final destiny is extinction. If God created us for a purpose, then we need to find out why He created us.

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The answer to the meaning of life is directly tied to the origins question. Since Albom does not answer the origin question, he cannot provide an adequate answer for the meaning of life question. The Bible teaches that we were created by God to love Him, love others, and fulfill His calling upon our lives. Any answer that does not include God as a centerpiece of the answer will fall short, and Albom basically leaves God out of his version of heaven.

Albom gives us a very different picture. Albom developed his idea from a story his uncle, Edward Beitchman, told him when he was a child. One night his uncle was lying near death and woke up to see his deceased relatives standing at the foot of the bed. And I began to explore this simple concept: With each encounter the main character Eddie is taught a new lesson that puts the pieces of his earthly life together so that it begins to make sense.

Some lessons bring joy, others bring remorse, but the pain is a cleansing process that results in inner peace. Our souls are much bigger than this. How quickly we would get bored once we discovered the impact our life made and then spent eternity in a heaven we dream up for our pleasure.

Eddie looks at the Captain to see a man he hardly recognized without the layer of ash and dirt on his face - a young man in a pristine, clean army uniform who explains that for his Heaven he wished to see what the world was like before war, fighting, conflicts, and cruelty.

Eddie watches the Captain walk away after he tosses Eddie his old combat helmet. Inside the helmet, Eddie finds a foreshadowing of things to come: The scene changes and Eddie finds himself outside in a snowdrift, but he notices that the snow is neither cold nor wet.

He notices a diner where he sees his father through a window and begins yelling and pleading for his attention.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - A Biblical Worldview Critique

When his father appears to not be able to see or hear him, a well-dressed woman named Ruby appears and introduces herself to him. He assumes she must have been rich based on the manner of her clothing. She tells him that she has not always been this way and proceeds to explain to Eddie her story. Ruby tells Eddie that she had once worked as a waitress at the diner and explains that Ruby Pier was named after her by her husband Emile, who built it in tribute to her.

five people you meet in heaven article

Emile was wounded while fighting a fire that burned much of Ruby Pier and later died from pneumonia. Ruby confesses that she picked the diner because that was where she had met Emile and wanted the diner to be a refuge for anyone who had ever been hurt in any way by Ruby Pier, which she grew to despise as it took so much away from them. This is the reason that Eddie's father, a harsh and abusive man, became a part of Ruby's Heaven.

Ruby teaches Eddie to release his anger and forgive his father for all the trouble and hurt he had caused, only after she showed him the true cause of his father's death different from what he had always believed had happened. Mickey Shea, a man who worked on rides at Ruby Pier with Eddie's father, was at Eddie's house drunk and in a terrible emotional state.

five people you meet in heaven article

He pulls out a flask, downs it, and then proceeds to try and force himself onto Eddie's mother. Eddie's father walks in at this point and manages to stop the drink fueled rape, then chases Mickey all the way to the pier, where Mickey jumps into the freezing water as an attempt to evade him, even though unable to swim.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven – A Biblical Worldview Critique

Eddie's father jumps in after Mickey and saves him instead as they had long been friends and he felt he owed him despite his recent drunken behavior towards his wife. Eddie's father later dies after falling ill due to being in the freezing water when he rescued Mickey.

Ruby tells Eddie that he needs to forgive his father and tells him that hatred was a deadly weapon, "We think it attacks the person we hate, but hatred has a curved blade, it also attacks us". Then Eddie moves on to another heaven. Eddie now awakens in a room with several doors.

five people you meet in heaven article

Behind each of the doors, there is a wedding from a different culture and Eddie meets his late wife, Marguerite, in one of the weddings. They spend an extended period together, moving from one wedding to the next and catching up on all the things they had not been able to share since Marguerite's death. They remember their own wedding, and in the end, Marguerite teaches Eddie that love is never lost in death, it just moves on and takes a different form.

He begs her forgiveness for never making more of his life, never leaving his job at the pier, and for not giving her a better life she so richly deserved.

five people you meet in heaven article

However, she answers that she loved the fairground and their life on the pier, and the only thing she regretted was them not being able to have any children. He replies that all he would've changed is to have had even more time together with her, for it not to have been cut short like it was by her early death.

Marguerite's love for weddings comes from the look in all the brides and grooms' eyes right before the ceremony; the shared feeling that their love will without a doubt break all the records. Marguerite asks Eddie at one point if he believed they had that; he simply replied, "We had an accordion player", to which they both laugh. Eddie and Marguerite's wedding was on the rented top floor of a Chinese restaurant and was very low-budget, but the couple holds nothing but fond memories of the occasion - in Eddie's house, Dominguez finds a case of sentimental objects, including a restaurant menu from their wedding night.

five people you meet in heaven article

When Eddie awakens to a new scene, his fifth and last, he sees children playing along with a riverbed and a young Filipina girl named Tala waves and comes up to him. They attempt to understand each other, but finally, Tala manages to communicate and reveal that she was the little girl from the hut that Eddie set on fire.

And Eddie finally realizes that shadow he had seen all those years ago in the burning hut, and in his nightmares for most of his life afterward, was indeed not imagined - the little girl had been that shadow attempting to flee the flames. The girl shows Eddie the burns that she suffered when dying from the fire, as her previously clear skin turns to burnt flesh and scars. Eddie is absolutely distraught and breaks down both cursing and asking God "why?

The little girl walks into the river and hands him a stone and asks him to "wash" her like the other children in the river are doing to one another.

Eddie is puzzled, tells her he doesn't know how, but then slowly attempts to do as she asks. He dips the stone in the water and starts to scrape off the injuries he had inflicted on her; and soon to his surprise, Tala's wounds begin to clear until she is freed of all the scars. Eddie then asks Tala if she knows if he was able to save the little girl he attempted to save before his death. He tells her he fears that he failed to save her and he remembers feeling the little girl's hands in his just before his death.

But Tala tells him he did indeed manage to save her, he had actually pushed her out of the way and then reveals that it was her Tala's hands that Eddie had felt instead as she pulled him safely up to Heaven. So in reality, Eddie did manage to save the girl at Ruby Pier. Tala teaches Eddie that his life was not for nothing and that its purpose was to protect all the many children at Ruby Pier through his care for the safety of the rides.

In this way, Tala explains, he also managed to atone every day for her unnecessary death. He is shown a vision of all the many people he saved along the years by his maintenance work, and consequently all their children's children down the generations. For he wants everyone to be free of accidents, everyone safe. He is once again told that every life touches another and that everything is connected, it is all one big life. He is also one of the five people to be met by the girl whose life he saved when she dies Characters and their characterizations[ edit ] Eddie: The protagonist and main character around who the story centers; at the start of the story, he is killed on his 83rd birthday.

When he awakes in heaven, he is taken on a journey to meet five people whose lives intertwined with his in many ways which he never expected. As an adult he wanted to work as an engineer. Eddie would always remember "her waving over her shoulder, her dark hair falling over one eye. Joseph's skin had been turned blue when he was a boy because of repeated ingestion of silver nitratethought to be an effective medication at the time.

He had been given this medication to cure his "nervousness" and bed-wetting at a late age, and Joseph simply attributed all the side effects to not ingesting enough.

Handicapped by this disfigurement, Joseph eventually made a life for himself at Ruby Pier. Joseph is a "middle-aged man with narrow, stooped shoulders, naked from the waist up. His belly sagged over his belt. His hair was closely cropped. His lips were thin and his face was long and drawn.

Eddie's commanding officer at war. He has a "full head of dark hair" and looked to be "only in his 30s. A woman for whom Ruby Pier is named by her fiance Emile. Ruby's face was "gaunt, with sagging cheeks, rose-colored lipstick, and tightly pulled-back white hair. Ruby's husband, who also created the original Ruby Pier. He wore "a chalk-stripe suit and a derby hat.