The author of one of this year’s new best-selling books about heaven says the message he wants readers to understand is that they need to return to a relationship with God, and bring their nation with them.
“We share the same faith, but my grandfather was a God-fearing man and I’m a right-wing radical Christian,” said Kevin Malarkey, the author with his son, Alex, of “The Boy Who came Back from Heaven,” published by Tyndale House.
The book is called “A remarkable account of miracles, angels and life beyond this world” and is No. 6 among religious books on eschatology, No. 6 among religious biographies and No. 18 among Christian living books at Amazon today. It’s No. 252 among the hundreds of thousands of products that are ranked.
It tells of the automobile accident that left Alex, then 6, with massive injuries and his first-hand account of the angels who took him through the gates of heaven itself, of meeting and talking with Jesus.
The powerful account, along with another book, “Heaven is for Real,” by Todd Burpo, about his son’s account of a visit to heaven, has been attracting a ton of attention in even secular arenas of late.
But the Tyndale House project is about more than an automobile accident and the miracles that followed, Malarkey told WND.
It’s about the fact that “God is near,” Malarkey said. “He is intimately involved in our circumstances, whether we feel it or not. We want people to know when you have a relationship with God, anything is possible.”
He said that impacts how people are living, and in today’s uncertain world of economic chaos, job insecurity, global terror threats, Middle East uprisings and dangers to the simple act of living out a Christian lifestyle, the point “isn’t even to know that heaven exists.”
“Most people kind of already know that,” he said. “Some people have been disappointed in our book. We didn’t tell a ton about heaven. I don’t think the Bible tells a ton about heaven.”
But he said what’s important is that “The God who made heaven is real. The God who cares for us is real.”
Americans need to remember that and act on it, whether things are going good or bad.
“Throughout history, civilizations get full of themselves and then they fall flat,” he said. “I think we’re definitely forgetting God in his country.”
His book talks about the accident, a paralyzing impact that crushed the family vehicle, and of the injuries suffered by Alex, who was in a coma for two months and awoke with his startling eyewitness account of what happened while he was unconscious.
Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist with a counseling practice near Columbus, Ohio, said a relationship with God is a help to anyone when “difficult times come out of nowhere.”
In fact, he argues that difficult times are what make Christians strong.
“Knowing that great men and woman are made during hard times either takes us out or makes us stronger,” he said. “For people of faith, because we know more about our eternal destination, our God should be able to see us through. We may be struggling but we’re not fearful in the same way others are.”
He said he’s convinced that deep down, Americans know that, and recognize God’s importance in their lives.
“I think our nation was founded on godly principles by godly men and women,” he said.
While America continues to be among the most affluent nations on earth, the “toys” that are in abundance don’t provide happiness, he noted. “We’re designed to be in a relationship with God and fellow man,” he said.
According to the book, the 2004 accident caused what is medically termed an “internal decapitation” – Alex’s skull was detached from his spinal column. Needless to say, with Alex in a coma, the prognosis for survival was not good.
When the accident occurred, the Internet spread the news of Alex’s condition. He was the focal point of prayer from around the world. Even people in Afghanistan were praying for him, according to letters received.
Two months later, Alex awoke with an incredible story to tell. He shared detailed recollections of the accident scene and the emergency room – neither of which he could have seen with earthly eyes. He talked about the music he heard in heaven – nothing like he had ever heard before. And he talked about his conversations with Jesus.
“The first thing I saw was the angels catch daddy,” said Alex. “The car hit us. I slammed into my seatbelt. Daddy flew out of the car and the angels caught him.”
When father Kevin first heard that story, he feared his son had brain damage from the collision.
“I really did, because I thought he was imagining things,” he said.
But it soon became clear Alex knew things he couldn’t have known from the five senses.
“He told me that he saw me go away in the ambulance, but I never told him I went away in an ambulance. Why would he think I was in an ambulance? Cause I didn’t have any injuries.”
Alex’s answer: “I was in heaven then.”
In the years since the 2004 accident, Alex has made remarkable progress. He can now stand for periods of time in a supportive frame and walk on a treadmill with assistance.