British physicist Stephen Hawking, who recently explained that he does not believe in God, says the notion of heaven is a 'fairy story.'
Hawking made the remark during an interview with The London Guardian published on Monday.
The world-renowned scientist, 69, has lived with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or A.L.S., (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) for most of his adult life, having been diagnosed at the age of 21. He made the comment about heaven when asked about his fear of death.
"I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first," Hawking told the newspaper.
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven of afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark," he added.
If alive today, noted Christian author, educator and thinker C.S. Lewis might disagree with Hawking. He wrote that believing in heaven is, "Not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.”
Click here to read more on heaven and see a number of scriptures referencing an afterlife and heaven.
Want to know what heaven is really like? Young Colton Burpo says he's been there.
Hawking said he thinks instead of worshipping a God with whom one can have a personal relationship, humans should concentrate on making the most of their time while on earth.
Hawking's 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" has sold 9 million copies, and in it the physicist referenced God metaphorically as the force that could fully explain the creation of the universe.
However in his latest book, "The Grand Design," he challenges Isaac Newton's theory that the solar system could not have been created without God.
"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing," he explained.
"Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to. set the Universe going," he wrote.
But many people who have tasted the afterlife, like 11-year-old Colton Burpo, would disagree with the famous physicist.
When Burpo was 4-years-old, he almost died. His father, Todd, wrote about the near death experience in the book, "Heaven is for Real."
"I was in the throne room of God to start with," Colton said. "So I got to see what that looked like. I was upset because I didn't know what was happening. What God did was He used people or things that I liked to calm me down. From then on I felt better."
"One day we were traveling," Todd recalled. "And Colton looked up at me and said, 'Dad, you used to have a grandpa named pop, didn't you?'"
"And I said, 'yeah.' 'He's really nice,'" he continued. "So I said, 'Really?' 'Yeah, you used to play with him as a kid and fix… work with him on the farm and shoot stuff with him.' And I said, 'well yes, how do you know that?' 'Well, he told me.'"
CBN Founder and Chairman Pat Robertson recently discussed the subject of heaven when a viewer asked him if there really was such a thing as heaven, during a Bring It On segment of "The 700 Club."
"Jesus believed in heaven, and He encouraged His disciples to look forward to their eternal home," Robertson told a national television audience.
"He said, 'In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also,'" he quoted John 14:2.
"How do we know heaven exists? Not because of deathbed confessions or 'life after life' reports from people who claim to have 'died' while on the hospital operating table and then traveled down a long tunnel toward a bright light," he added. "No, we believe heaven exists, because Jesus Christ said so."