But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11 (NKJV)
God gave me this Bible verse the morning after I finished Don Piper’s book 90 Minutes in Heaven. Somehow I missed reading this book in the decade since it was published, but I’m thankful to finally have been immersed in Pastor Piper’s story.
1 Peter 5:10-11 describes Piper’s experience well…
First, he was called to eternal glory in heaven, following a terrible car accident.
Second, he was sent back to earth to suffer quite a while!
Third, through all his healing and continuing in ministry, God has perfected, established, strengthened and settled Don Piper. To God be the glory forever and ever!
This is a true story you won’t want to miss reading. It has also recently been made into a movie, but I vote for the book to avoid the gruesome scenes from the accident and medical world.
What impresses this reader most is Pastor Piper’s emphasis on prayer. The book’s dedication to his prayer warriors says, “You prayed. I’m here,” the same four words he spoke his first day back at church. It was the prayers of a passing minister who climbed into his crushed automobile to pray for a dead man that brought him back to earth. It was the prayers of his family, friends, congregation and complete strangers who pulled him through the worst pain and healing of his life. And it is prayer today that helps him continue in ministry, reaching out to others who are hurting. Certainly, this is an inspiration for all to keep praying!
Another blessing from 90 Minutes in Heaven are the beautiful descriptions of heaven. These word illustrations cause us to understand why Piper wanted to go back, and burn in us a desire to be there, as well. The first people who greeted him in heaven were his grandfather and a childhood friend who had led him to Jesus. The people kept coming; Piper describes it as “the greatest family reunion of all.” Then there was the music, the singing of thousands and millions of angels, harmonizing both old and new hymns. And just as Piper was enjoying this amazing chorus, he was called back to earth, singing “What a Friend we have in Jesus” with the praying pastor in his mangled vehicle. That’s when they realized he was still alive.
I especially value how each chapter of 90 Minutes from Heaven begins with a Bible verse, making God’s Word the focus. God’s Word is where we find our story and healing and hope for the future. The Bible is also where we find the truth about heaven and how to get there. If I could add one chapter to Piper’s book, it would be entitled, “Your ticket to heaven,” describing for readers how to make sure they also will be in heaven. And so, dear friend, I offer you a ticket to heaven today:
Today’s TEA CUPP: If you want a glimpse of heaven and the power of prayer, I highly recommend Don Piper’s book, 90 Minutes in Heaven. If you desire more than a glimpse and want to spend eternity in heaven (Yes, you do! You don’t want the alternative!), please read these Bible verses and pray to Jesus today. Welcome to heaven, my friend!
Jesus is the Ticket:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31 (NKJV)
Acknowledge your sin:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13 (NKJV)
Keep reading your Bible and seeking Jesus each day:
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
Celebrate the promise of heaven!:
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. 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. John 14:2-3 (NKJV)
…rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Luke 20:20 (NKJV)
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,“Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:3-5 (NKJV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.