This story about Heaven is one that pastor Don Piper relates in his book, 90 Minutes In Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life. This best-selling book was published in 2004 and remained on the New York Times best-seller list for nearly four years! In it he tells of the amazing events that occurred in 1989 when he was killed in a terrible car accident.
Don Piper was driving home to Alvin, TX (a suburb of Houston). It was on a Wednesday morning in freezing cold that it happened. While crossing a narrow two lane bridge, he was in a horrific car wreck. An eighteen-wheeler struck his 1986 red Ford Escort head-on. He was killed instantly. Four sets of EMTs declared him dead at the scene. To prevent onlookers from staring at Piper’s bloody and mangled body, he was covered with a tarp.
As Don tells the story, he died and went to Heaven. While in Heaven, Don recognized and was greeted by many who had died years before. They were glad to welcome him. He felt inexpressible joy and peace and love. In heaven, everything he experienced was like a smorgasbord for the “senses”. He says that he’d never seen such beauty or felt such an indescribable feeling of warmth and “perfect love”. The colors were brilliant. While there he heard constant music and praises to the Lord. Many different songs played simultaneously, but all were in harmony.
“Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus." Revelation 5:11 NLT
Don relates in his book that another pastor, who was driving behind him on the same road, came upon the accident scene. He and his wife stopped and walked a 1/2 mile past the backed up traffic. The pastor didn’t know it was Don Piper who was in the accident. Yet, he felt strangely compelled to stop and to go to the man in the red car, put his hand under the tarp onto the severely disfigured body, and pray for the dead person lying there.
The pastor relates, “I felt compelled to pray. I didn’t know who the man was or whether he was a believer. I only know that God told me I had to pray for him.” The pastor prayed and sang, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. It was ninety minutes after the car wreck and, after the police and the paramedics had pronounced him dead, that the corpse began to sing! Later on Don recalled this and relates, “I began to sing with him”.
God performed a miracle that day. Don returned back to life, though he had a broken body. He endured thirteen difficult months of hospitalization, and years of painful therapy and rehabilitation. To date he has had thirty-four surgical procedures. The fact that he can walk is a miracle in itself and unexplainable in medical terms. The experience he had in heaven gave him a unique view of eternity and has given him a mission to tell others about Jesus Christ. He empathizes with those who are hurt, discouraged and health-challenged, as he is someone who has been there. His life’s work and goal is to minister to people who are bitter and defeated and turn them to the Lord with a guarantee of eternity.
Besides working in full-time Christian ministry since 1984, Don Piper has written other books in addition to 90 Minutes in Heaven. That book has sold more than 2.7 million copies in the United States. He speaks in pulpits around the world and is also involved with broadcast and media presentations to spread the Word. Don Piper is known as, "The Minister of Hope."
“…Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Luke 7:11-15 NLT
Source: Don Piper, 90 Minutes in Heaven (Grand Rapids, MI: Revella, Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2004).