The '90 Minutes in Heaven' film is the stirring story of Don Piper, who died in a highway accident, experienced heaven and returned, hits theaters Sept. 11, 2015. In a recent interview Piper described his experience in Heaven.
The faith-based film is based on Piper's New York Times best-selling book of the same name with more than 7 million copies sold; the picture premieres in 800 theaters across the country on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015.
See below what Piper told BREATHEcast about his emotional 90 minutes in Heaven.
"The moment the truck struck me on the bridge I was standing at the gates of heaven there. 12 of them of course according to revelation, and I was at one of them surrounded by people I had known and loved in life and preceded me in death. The first astounding experience was these people I had loved and lost for a little while, they were there to greet me. I often say you don't sneak up on Heaven. Every one there knows who's coming so they were prepared for my arrival. Grandparents, friends, teachers, relatives and I was greeted by them and they were literally in perfect condition. Many of them had died in old age here but they were perfect and healthy there. So we're going to look good in Heaven, which is something to look forward to," he explained.
Piper detailed what those people meant to his life on earth. "I was greeted by the people who literally helped me get to heaven myself. They had played a role in my spiritual life. They had done literal things like - they had read the Bible to me, or gave me a Bible or took me to church," he said.
Many Christians believe what the Bible says about Heaven and Piper confirmed most of the Biblical accounts. "I was surrounded by a century explosion of things, the colors the brilliance of it all, the streets that was gold, the gates that was pearl."
"I did see thrones through the gate high and lifted up, I did see the river of life, I did see the tree of life, I did see all those things that you would expect to see," he noted.
The minister/author did however highlight an aspect of Heaven that the Bible did not go into specific detail about. He seemingly still amazed by it says, it's the most vivid memory and is still with him.
"The music, that was my most vivid memory. There were so many thousands of songs at the same time without any sense of chaos. They were all glorying God of course but there was no chaos amongst the songs even though they were all being offered at the same time. You could hear each one of the songs with your ears, heavenly ears. That music kinda [sic] penetrated me, it kind of invaded me to the point that I came back with it and I can still hear it today. It's the one portable thing that I returned with."
Piper described Heaven as being more tangible than reality.
"Being there was my most real thing that's ever happened to me. Nothing here, even though I came back to just a brutal period of surgeries and recovery, that was not even as real as what I saw in Heaven. So Heaven became my reality and the journey here that we're all living on earth became just what it is. Which is a trial heat," he said, "The life here on earth is a twinkle in the eye of God it's a vapor and I think we kinda know that deep down cause it passes so quickly but in Heaven you really know that this here is such a temporary existence and that that there is a completely eternal existence."
Piper died Jan. 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, his body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. He was in Heaven but when another pastor's prayers helped bring Piper back to life, he wished it had never happened. Heaven's bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.
"You could imagine when I laid there in the hospital bed for all those months and I was asking the question 'Why did you send me back to this?'" Piper told BREATHEcast. He believes he now knows the answer to that question and went on to say, "I think it was in some part at least so that I can tell people it [Heaven] is real and you have to be ready for it. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people so you have to ready for it and we're trying to get people prepared for it and this movie is a perfect example of just that very thing."
'90 Minutes in Heaven' is presented by Giving Films. It stars Hayden Christensen (Star Wars) and Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) as Piper and his wife Eva.
Piper concluded his recap of Heaven by bringing back to the film and it's importance in this day and age.
"Why would anybody go through the trouble of having their lives played out on a screen which was a very excruciatingly difficult part of life? Well the reason we would go through it is because we want people to see Heaven is real, it's a better place and you can actually live a better life then the one your living on the way to that place," he stated.
Stay tuned for out BREATHEcast interview with both Don and Eva piper and view the movie's trailer below: