This movie is based on the true story of Pastor Don Piper. While driving home from a conference in the rain, he is involved in a terrible car accident. Responders to the scene find no pulse and wait for the coroner to arrive and pronounce him dead. After 90 minutes, a pastor arrives and asks if he can pray for the dead man. As he prays and sings a hymn, he is startled to hear Don singing softly along with him! Most of the movie is spent detailing Pastor Piper’s long and difficult recovery. Confined for months to bed with a fixator attached to his leg, he battles with depression, and learns to accept help from others. He also struggles with whether to reveal an amazing experience. While he was dead, he visited heaven! Finally he describes this event to his best friend, who encourages him to share ut with others.
If you’re looking for a lot of details about heaven, you won’t find them in this film. Pastor Piper does describe a happy reunion with many who had preceded him in death, beautiful music and a peaceful sense of God’s presence. He no longer had any concern or anxiety about the life he left behind. He did not want to return.
Convinced that he was sent back to reassure and comfort others, he has spent years traveling to churches and telling his story. There is a short clip of the real Don Piper at the end.
VERDICT: 4 STARS. His story is very believable, but the movie drags at times.
P.S. There is also a book written by Pastor Piper with the same title, if you would rather read about his experience. The movie follows the book quite closely.
For more about heaven see these posts: