A note from Steve Gallagher.

Rebecca Springer [1] was born in Indianapolis in 1832, the daughter of a Methodist pastor. She graduated from the Wesleyan Female College in 1850. Nine years later she married an aspiring attorney who would later serve in the state legislature. Apparently she had a feeble constitution her entire life. It is unclear what year she had her after-death experience, but her book Intra Muros[2] (Latin for “within the walls”) was initially published in 1898.

The first time I gave any serious consideration to the subject of time and eternity was in 1993, when my spiritual mentor gave me a copy of Intra Muros (also known as “My Dream of Heaven”). My initial impression of it was that the author was a very godly woman. It was mostly little things she said throughout the book that gave me that sense. I never had the feeling that it was conjured up or written for self-serving purposes. Most of all, this book has been a tremendous blessing to my life. I make a point of reading it annually, if for no other reason than just to keep the realities of heaven clearly in view.

I would also like to say something about the viability of such a vision. How do we know that heaven is really as good as she depicts? Well, Scripture actually says quite a bit about it and I would highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s excellent book, “Heaven” for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the hereafter for believers. Also I should mention that I devoted an entire section to the subject in my book, “The Time of Our Lives in Light of Eternity.”

But back to our question: I will answer that question with one that Alcorn poses in his book: “Why can’t it be like this?” We know that anything God creates for our eternal happiness is only going to be good. I tend to think that the skepticism expressed in such a question reveals a lack of comprehension of the enormous goodness of God. If anything, I would think that heaven could only be far, far better than the happy place she described.

[1] She gave herself and her family members the surname “Sprague” in the story, for the sake of privacy for living family members.

[2] It has been released by various publishers over the years. It is also known as My Dream of Heaven.