Apologetics, Main, Miracles, z98
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Did being caught up to Paul’s ‘Third Heaven’ lead to a miraculous recovery for brain dead teen?

Credit: Ajith Kumar/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: Ajith Kumar/Flickr/Creative Commons

The media describes him as the “Miracle Boy” from Mobile, Alabama.

Two months ago, Trenton McKinley, 13, was in a trailer being pulled by a dune buggy when the person driving slammed on the brakes forcing the trailer to flip. They were driving on cement and Trenton was thrown out and the trailer landed on his head.

Unconscious, he was rushed to hospital. By the time his mother, Jennifer Reindl, arrived, her son had been dead for 15 minutes. His heart kept stopping and they were rebooting it using adrenaline.

According to Fox News, the doctors gave Trenton little hope adding that even if he came out of the coma he would be a vegetable because of oxidation. The only thing keeping him alive was life support.

After going several days of registering no brain activity, the doctors finally told Jennifer there was nothing more that could be done. If his heart stopped again, they would not use adrenaline to restart it.

One Saturday a few weeks back, the doctors told Jennifer they would keep Trenton alive until Monday with adrenaline if she was willing to donate his organs. There were five compatible people who would benefit from this life-giving gift.

Jennifer signed the papers that day giving permission.

On her Facebook page, Reindl said “His eyes were solid black and dry and I knew he would not hesitate to save five more lives.”

But on Sunday, the day before they were to pull the plug on Trenton, the doctors had scheduled one more brain scan but immediately cancelled it when they noticed movement in Trenton’s hands and then his feet.

They checked his eyes and the black was gone and ironically, Jennifer said his eyes that were originally blue had now turned “green with small white specks like glitter.”

Jennifer wrote, “they say when you look upon God … pigment changes … and my baby was in heaven … he is a miracle.”

Trenton regained consciousness and told his mother that while he was dead he had actually gone to heaven:

“I was in an open field walking straight. There’s no other explanation but God. There’s no other way. Even doctors said it.”

Since coming back from the dead, Trenton has had three brain surgeries. His skull that had been broken in seven spots is still not fully connected back together and is being held in place by a helmet as he waits for further surgery.

He is experiencing seizures and nerve pain daily. But Trenton is beginning to take steps with a walker and there is even a video of him shooting a basketball.

I have no idea of this family’s faith in God, but I wonder if this will have the same impact on Trenton as the Apostle Paul’s visit to the “third heaven” that he mentions in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7.

Though Paul tells the story in the third person, there is no doubt Paul was referring to the incident 14 years earlier when he personally encountered Jesus while riding to Damascus to persecute Christians (Acts 9).

This so radically affected his life, Paul, who at the time was called Saul, became a Christian and eventually died for his faith probably in the Roman Colosseum.

In his explanation in the Corinthian passage, Paul wasn’t exactly sure what happened. He didn’t know if he had a vision or if he was actually caught up to the third heaven:

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12: 2 NASV)

But Paul described it as “paradise” (verse 4), the same Greek word that Jesus used on the cross when he told the criminal that because of his faith, he would join Christ in “paradise” (Luke 23:43).

For the Jews there are three heavens, the earth and atmosphere surrounding it was one, outer space or the universe was the second and then there was the “highest heaven,” literally “heaven of heavens” (Deuteronomy 10:14) that Paul also described as the “third heaven.” It is the place where God dwells (1 Kings 8:30; Psalm 33:13-14) and where He has His throne (Revelation 4:2).

The Apostle Paul was radically transformed by this encounter with the “Third Heaven” and was willing to die for his faith. He told the church at Philippi:

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 NASV)



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