Someone on Facebook shared this picture with me a few months back of a young reader checking out my Heaven booklet. (If you read it right side up, it might have even more impact!)
I’ve been greatly encouraged by the responses to this little 60-page booklet, which contains a sampling of the questions and answers found in my Heaven book. Heaven has reached one million copies sold, and this small, affordable booklet has sold over 1,200,000. I never would have guessed it of either!
We’ve heard from many readers about how they’re using the booklets evangelistically. An EPM reader sent this story from a physician friend:
We make the Heaven booklet available to all of our patients who might wish to take one. A lady just told me that her father had come with her to her office visit about 6 months ago. While he was waiting in the office, he picked up one of the booklets and read it cover to cover. He reportedly was a scientist and somewhat agnostic. Because he saw these booklets in a "smart doctor's office" he read the booklet and over the next couple of months, had some other interactions with questions. He died in December, but two weeks before his death he accepted the Lord. His daughter was in the office in tears today thankful for that booklet.
Another reader wrote, “The booklet versions of Heaven and If God Is Good have become standard usage for me when engaging in grief counseling with both those who are dying and those who have lost a loved one. While I occasionally give the full versions away, the mini ones are so convenient—people who are grieving are intrigued by their titles and appreciate the shorter read during all of the busyness that dealing with a death can bring.”
One of the most distinctive aspects of how the Heaven booklet has been used is its wide distribution at memorial services. Some churches, including my own, make it available at every memorial service. Sometimes it’s handed out at the door; sometimes it’s placed on the seats or pews. When the person’s death was tragic and troubling, my booklet If God Is Good: Why Do We Hurt? is used. Unbelievers and believers alike struggle with the problem of evil and suffering. As I do in the Heaven booklet, in If God Is Good, I share the good news of salvation in Christ.
Last year, a new beautiful little book called God’s Promise of Happiness was released, which is a simplified and differently presented version of the big Happiness book. It’s designed for believers who want an introduction to the topic, but don’t have the time or inclination to engage the larger work. God’s Promise of Happiness is also written for unbelievers who are interested in the subject and will be drawn to the Gospel as “good news of happiness” (Isaiah 52:7, ESV). I believe its pocket size and the question and answer format will make it a helpful tool in sharing the Gospel of Christ. In that sense, it’s sort of the happiness equivalent of my Heaven booklet.
Many people, including myself, regularly give away booklets. It doesn’t take much effort, and when it does, it’s more than worth it. I leave them with servers at restaurants (always with a tip that's 20% or more), give them to people on planes, and have them on me for checkers at stores. In some cases, we won’t be in a position to follow up and may not see the person again in this life. But consider that one day, in the presence of Christ, you may have a person who read the booklet and came to faith in Christ, or were strengthened in their faith, say to you, “Thank you for giving me that booklet—God used it powerfully in my life!”
What a privilege!
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.