New movie depicts pastor’s 90 minutes in heaven

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

“War Room,” a movie about the power of prayer, went to number one at the box office recently.  And, another faith-based movie was released in theaters last week.  It’s based on the New York Times bestseller, 90 Minutes in Heaven.

The book and movie tell the story of Pastor Don Piper, who died January 18, 1989, when an 18-wheeler crushed his car.  He was traveling after having attended a church conference when he was hit head on.

Piper was pronounced dead by four sets of EMTs, and a tarp was placed over his body.  “Shortly after the accident, a pastor from the same conference arrived on the scene and began praying for ‘the man in the red car,’” the movie website states.

Piper describes the 90 minutes he spent in heaven and the “love, joy, and life” he experienced before returning to his body. He tells of the unique insight into eternity; he also tells about the excruciating pain and emotional turmoil of his long recovery.

“To date, 34 surgical procedures have taken place,” and he ministers to others going through suffering.

Whether or not you and I believe Piper’s story about going to heaven, there is no doubt that heaven is a real. The Apostle John saw it and wrote his description in the book of Revelation. Jesus promised to prepare an eternal place for those who love Him.

Someone once said, “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.” Christians have the confidence and full assurance of hope when this life ends that heaven is real.

In the past couple of years, friends and family members have battled health problems; some loved ones have gone on to that beautiful, eternal home. Romans 8:18 reminds us that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

I once heard a story about a little boy who asked his dad an important question. One morning, he wanted to know what heaven will look like. The father replied, “This afternoon while you are under the deck playing with your trucks, look up and see what is underneath that floorboard.” The youngster did what his father asked. When he looked up, he saw nothing but spider webs and dirt dobbers’ nests.

When his father returned home from work, the son told him he had done what his dad had told him, but he didn’t understand it. His father promised he would give him the answer after supper. By then the stars sparkled in the sky. The father and son stood still beneath the moonlit night.

“Remember I told you to look up while you were underneath that deck and see what lies beneath the floorboard? I want you to look up now. You see how beautiful that night sky is? I can’t tell you what heaven looks like, but that, my son, is just the floorboard.”

Billy Graham has said, “The most thrilling thing about heaven is that Jesus will be there and I will see Him face to face.”

-Jan White is an award-winning columnist.

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