Kerry Shook (Joined by Don Piper): Is There Life After Death?


This broadcast is sponsored
by the friends and partners of Kerry Shook Ministries. We thank you for helping to
spread the love of Christ throughout the world. Kerry: Do you ever wonder
what happens one second after you die? Today we’re
gonna talk about that. We’re gonna answer that
question because Heaven is real. And we’re gonna
be looking at God’s word in a very important message so
I’m so glad that you tuned in because there have been a lot of
books and a lot of talk recently about Heaven and the afterlife
and is there eternal life? What happens after we die? We’re gonna tackle those
questions today and we’re gonna look at what God’s
word has to say and it’s gonna be so encouraging so I’m
glad you tuned in. This may change your life forever and it
may change your eternity forever. Also we’re having a
very special quest today. He’s someone who’s been
to Heaven and come back. His name is Don Piper,
he’s the author of the best selling book, “90
Minutes In Heaven”. Don was actually declared
dead. He was killed in a car accident, they covered up his
body, he had no pulse but ninety minutes later he came back and
the story that he tells has now become a best selling book, a
real phenomenon. So many people want to hear his story of his
experience and you’ll get to hear that today. So, I hope
you’ll call friends and let them know and tune in because the
question that I’ll be answering today from God’s word is, Is
there Life After Death. And then you’ll be hearing from Don Piper
as I did a special interview with him. But, get ready to
experience encouragement from the Lord be because I want you
to know, Heaven is real. You’re watching a presentation
of Kerry Shook Ministries. [♪♪♪] [♪♪♪] We’re going to ask some
very deep and important questions like: Is
heaven a real place? What is heaven like? Will I recognize my
loved ones in heaven? Are angels real? But, probably the most
important question is: Why study heaven in
the first place? Well, the reason is because
most of us aren’t too excited about heaven. We’re real
interested in this earth, but we don’t think too much
about heaven because the truth is even though we know
it’s broken down here and there’s pain and problems and
tragedy, really we think broken is better than boring, because
usually when we think of heaven, we think it’s going to be boring
like one guy said: When I think of heaven I think of one long
boring church service for all eternity — like the church I
grew up in as a kid. But the Bible says heaven is anything
but boring. It’s not all white and cloudy and mystical. It’s a
real place. You’re not going to be an angel in heaven sitting on
a cloud. God already has enough angels. You’re not going to be a
chubby cherub. Don’t worry about that. You won’t be playing a
harp. Heaven is anything but boring. It’s the most exciting,
fulfilling, adventurous place — the most beautiful place we
could imagine. And, that’s the problem. We can’t really imagine
it, it’s so beautiful. I want you to open up your Bibles to
our key verse: Col. 3:1. “Since you have been raised to new life
with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where
Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and
power.” Now I want you to underline that phrase: the
realities of heaven, because in this series we’re going to study
the realities of heaven — not what Hollywood would have us
think about heaven and not what our misconceptions are of
heaven, but the realities of heaven. But, today, we’re going
to ask a really important question: Is there life after
death? Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He (God) has planted eternity
in the human heart.” God has planted deep within every human
heart this knowledge that there’s got to be more to life
than the here and now. We can’t see it, but we can all sense it,
and whenever I speak to an atheist or an agnostic, and I do
all the time, I always keep this verse in mind because I know
that deep down in their heart they know there’s got to be more
to life than what’s here on this earth. It may be buried really
deep down, but somewhere deep down, they have a sense that
there’s got to be more than living sixty, seventy, eighty
years. That’s it? It’s over? There’s got to be more than
this. And we all know it in our hearts. God placed that there.
In 2 Corinthians 5:1 it says: “For we know that when this
earthly tent we live in is taken down — when we die and leave
these bodies — we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body
made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” Underline
that word tent. The Bible uses the word tent to describe our
bodies here on earth, and that’s because a tent is temporary, and
our bodies here on earth are temporary. I have a friend who
calls our bodies our earth suit. He says we’re only going to need
them down here on this earth. It’s just our earth suit, and
one day we’ll trade in for a new body, but we spend an awful lot
of time on our earth suits, don’t we? But, we’re not going
to need them forever. Sometimes people ask me: Kerry, will I
recognize my loved ones in heaven? Of course. You’ll be the
same person in heaven. You’ll just get a new, glorified body
the Bible says. That means a new, perfect body. That’s why
there’ll be no needs for health clubs in heaven because you’ll
have a perfect body. Now, I said you’ll be able to recognize your
loved ones in heaven, but for some of you, you’ll have to take
a double look. You won’t recognize them at first because
it will be like — whoa! You’re seventy pounds lighter and
BUFF! Wow! [Laughter] I didn’t recognize you! Pastor Kerry? I didn’t recognize
you with all that hair! Wow! [Laughter] I’m kind of excited about that. We’ll get a new, perfect
body in heaven. You’ll be the same person.
You’ll just get a new perfect body. And in heaven,
it’s a place of total fulfillment. We’ll have
activities to do that bring total fulfillment and adventure
and excitement into our lives as we rule and reign with Christ.
And, we’re going to talk about that more in this series; but,
what I want to point out today one moment after you die you’ll
either experience the greatest separation ever or the greatest
celebration ever. Some people will experience separation for
all eternity. A recent survey showed that more Americans than
ever believe in a real heaven and a real hell. More Americans
believe in a real heaven and a real hell than we even did
in the conservative 1950s. Whether you believe it or not,
it’s still real. Look at this next verse in 2
Thessalonians 1:8. “He will punish those who
do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our lord
Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction
and shut out from the presence of the Lord.” Hell is a real place. Jesus Christ believed in hell.
Jesus talked about hell more than He even did about heaven.
And, I wish I could just talk about heaven today and all the
good news, but when we talk about what happens the moment
you die, I’ve got to tell you the whole story, to be honest,
that there is a place called hell. There’s heaven and hell,
and one day your tent, your earth suit will die, but you
won’t. You’ll live forever in eternity. And I wish I could
just talk about heaven. I love to talk about heaven, and we’re
going to do that all through this series. But, I also have to
tell you the full story, to be honest, that hell is a real
place. The Bible calls it a place of suffering. First, it’s
a place of physical suffering. The Bible uses the words fire
and torment to describe it. It’s a place of physical suffering
for all eternity, but it’s also a place for emotional suffering.
The Bible uses the words weeping and gnashing of teeth many times
to describe hell. They say it’s this place of deep emotional
suffering — emotional regret. It’s the kind of regret you have
when you make a bad decision and you have to live with it. But,
here on this earth, there are some things you can do to lessen
the ramifications of a bad decision. Many times you can
make up for it, but in hell you can’t make up for it. It’s
regret — deep, emotional regret for all eternity — and there’s
nothing you can do to change it. But, it’s also a place of
relational suffering. Every once in a while someone will say to
me: Pastor, I don’t think I’ll mind hell too much. All my
buddies are going there anyway. [Laughter] It’s sort of like
hell is this huge pool hall where you’re going to hang out
with your drinking buddies and party for all eternity.
[Laughter] But Jesus said it’s a
place of utter darkness, utter loneliness, relational
separation for all eternity, relational darkness. C.S. Lewis
said, “Hell is nothing but yourself for all eternity.”
Nothing but yourself for all eternity … . Total relational
loneliness and isolation. Relational separation. But worst
of all — it’s a place of spiritual suffering. I want you
to underline that phrase in that verse: shut out from the Lord’s
presence. You see, God’s presence on earth provides all
the good things that we have — all the compassion, all the
creativity, all the goodness, all the love, all the kindness,
all the patience that we experience in our world today
comes from God’s presence. Now on earth, we also have pain
and tragedy and sin and evil. But all the good things come
from God’s presence and you take God’s presence out and you
lose all the creativity and compassion and excitement and
adventure and goodness and love. Hell is complete separation from
God’s presence so there’s no compassion. There’s no love.
There’s no patience, no kindness, no adventure, no
creativity because that all comes from God’s presence. Well,
the real question is: How can a loving God send someone to such
an awful place? How could a loving God ever send someone to
hell? The answer’s found in 2 Peter 3:9. “He is patient with
you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to
repentance.” You see the answer is: God doesn’t send anyone to
hell, but people choose to go there. God doesn’t want anyone
to go there. He wants everyone to come to know Him. And, hell
was not made for us, the Bible says. It was made for the devil
and his demons. But, whatever decision you make on this earth,
it’s magnified for all eternity. For example, if you choose to be
close to God here on this earth, and you choose that you want
Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be in your life, and
you want to follow Jesus all your life, and you want to be
close to Jesus, and you want to walk with Him, then in eternity
that’s magnified and you’ll be in the presence of the Lord
forever. But, if you choose that you don’t need God in your life,
and you don’t need Christ’s forgiveness, and you don’t want
to be close to Christ, and you don’t want to follow Christ, and
you don’t want to walk with Him, you don’t want to be close to
Him here on this earth — that’s magnified in eternity and you’ll
be separated from Him for all eternity. Whatever decision you
make on this earth is magnified in eternity. And, so we get to
choose, and the decision we make on this earth will be magnified
for all eternity. God doesn’t send anyone to hell. People
choose to go there. Well, when you die, you’ll either enjoy the
greatest separation or you’ll enjoy celebration in eternity,
and that’s what I want to talk about because heaven’s the place
where the party’s going on. Heaven’s the place of
celebration. The very moment you die, you’ll be right there in
the presence of God in heaven. The Bible talks about heaven and
uses human words to describe what is humanly impossible to
describe. The Bible describes heaven as having streets of gold
and gates of pearls, and that’s because God wants you to know
that heaven is a real place that you can touch. It’s more real
than this auditorium we’re in right now. It’s this place of
ultimate meaning, and we’ll have activities to do that will bring
total excitement and adventure to our lives as we rule and
reign with Christ. The reason why we don’t know a lot about
heaven? It’s because none of us have been there. But, today
you’re going to meet someone who has. Many of you have read the
book 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. Over three million copies
have been sold. He’s been all over the media sharing his story
recently because several years ago Don was killed in an
automobile accident. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He
was covered up. He had no pulse for ninety minutes, and he
claims he went to heaven, and the way he describes it is so
vivid and so powerful, and he has such a great message to
share, and I sat down with him recently and interviewed Don.
The words he says are so powerful and so important
for us to hear, Just watch. KERRY: Hey, we’re in for a
real treat because as we talk about heaven and what heaven
is like we have someone who has actually been there. Don Piper is our guest and
Don has written the New York Times Bestseller, “90 Minutes in
Heaven.” This book is just amazing. It talks about your
story, Don, and it’s just spreading all over the country.
There are over three million copies now. It’s just
amazing what God has done. It’s great to have you here. DON: Thank you for letting me
come. I’m honored to be here. KERRY: You’ve got to tell us the
story because, if you think about 90 minutes in heaven,
you actually spent 90 minutes in heaven. Tell us
what happened. DON: Well, I was on my way
home from a conference in East Texas. I attended the
conference. I was serving a church south of Houston in a
little town called Alvin and I was on my way to the church. The
conference ended on a Wednesday morning and I was headed back to
church. It was about 100 miles away from Trinity Pines on the
north shore of Lake Livingston. It was a cold, rainy January
morning in 1989. I pulled out of the gates and actually made
a crucial decision before I did that. I decided to
go home a different way. About 30 feet from the end of
the bridge coming the opposite direction is an 18 wheeler
tractor trailer truck owned by the Texas Department of
Correction. He came down the hill at a high rate of
speed and couldn’t stop. There was a slow-moving car in
his lane. He made a decision. Mine was to go that direction.
His was to go around the car hoping no one was coming from
the opposite direction. Somebody was. It was me and he hit me
head on. The nine wheels on the driver’s side of the truck
rolled over my car and just crushed it and shoved it up
against the railing of the bridge. He rolled off the back,
hit the car he was trying to miss, hit one more car and he
brought the rig to a halt there on the bridge. So it was a
four-car accident on the Trinity River bridge. Fortunately
everybody else was fine. The drivers of the
other two cars. The truck driver was unharmed. When all those EMT’s, the four
that were sent to the bridge, examined all of us they
determined that I was a fatality. I didn’t make it. I
was dead on the scene. I was covered up with a water-proof
tarp to keep anybody from looking at the body and the rain
from falling on me in the wreckage of the car. They waited
for a county official to come and sign the paperwork so the
body could be transported away. Meanwhile I’m not aware that
any of this is going on. The instant, the instant the
truck struck me I was standing at the very gates of heaven,
absent from the body, present with the Lord. KERRY: So you actually died
and they said you were dead. They cover you up, but
you’re in heaven. So, what is heaven like? That’s what
we all want to know. DON: Oh, it’s just ahh…one of
the most frustrating things to talk about heaven is you have
to do it with earthly words. Even the people in scripture
that try to talk about it usually apologize. It’s like,
here it is, but it’s better then this. It’s because it’s not
here. It’s anything but here. Heaven is the most real
thing I’ve ever seen in my entire existence. I was
surrounded by people I have known and loved in life
immediately so that when I saw them I knew where I was.
I was with my grandfather. I had been with him when he
died. I rode in the ambulance with him. It was a tragic night
for me. I was heartbroken when my grandfather passed
away. We were very close. Yet he was the first person I
saw. I was looking into his face. The last time I looked
into his face he was in a casket. Now he’s standing right
in front of me. He has his arms open wide and he said to me
something that only he would say. Welcome home, Donny. That’s
what he called me in his life here on earth. He was joined by
a lot of other people that I had known and loved in life. There
were relatives. There were teachers. There were friends.
They were all believers, but the one thing they had in common was
they all helped me get there. They were people who lived a
Christian life in front of me. They told me about Jesus. They
took me to church when I had no other way to go. Every one of
these people had been an inspiration in my life. They
helped me get there so I could only conclude that God sends
people to welcome you that you would want to see. Also, people
who have direct impact on your arriving at the gates of heaven.
So I felt so at home, so welcomed. I knew I would, but I
had no idea it would be that awesome and overwhelming. It was
the most warm and ingratiating thing I’ve ever experienced. KERRY: So you felt totally at
home when you went to heaven? I lot of people when they
think of heaven, Don, have all these misconceptions.
They think they’ll be up there strumming a harp wearing a white
gown and floating on a cloud. That sounds so boring to me. DON: It is boring. Why would
anybody want to go there? KERRY: It sounds like the other
place. So, what was it like? DON: There are so many
things going on there. Heaven is just the most
active place of all. Imagine what a great privilege
it is to greet the people who come after you. Of course it
does bring up an interesting question. Who are we going
to greet? Why are we here? So, I’m reminded of that
constantly as I try to share the reality of heaven. Not only are the people
there, but people are praising God, they are
fellowshipping with each other. We’ll dine at the Lord’s table,
not for sustenance, but for fellowship as a way of getting
together as God’s family. People sometimes ask me if the
relationships are going to be the same there as they are here.
I say no, they’ll be better, they’ll be superior. So much
interferes with our relationships here. Even the
people that we are very close to. We have misunderstandings.
We have arguments. We have disagreements. Some people who
are family members don’t even speak to each other any more. In
heaven we’ll have perfect relationships. So, there is
fellowship. There is praise. There are greetings. Heaven is
just the most active place I’ve ever seen. It’s a bustle. Things
are incredibly exciting. KERRY: That’s great. Here you
are. All the EMT’s have said you’re dead, but you’re
experiencing heaven at this very time. The book is
“90 Minutes in Heaven.” Did it seem like 90 minutes? DON: No, there is no time there.
Heaven is a timeless place. The reason we know it’s 90
minutes is because the accident happened at 11:45 in the morning
on that Wednesday morning. A man who went to the
same conference as me, another pastor, stopped and
walked up on the bridge and asked if he could be of
any assistance at all. What he really wanted
to do was pray for the victims. There were no victims
except me and I was dead so he was told there was no one
to pray for. When that happened God spoke to him in a very clear
voice. God said pray for the man in the red car and that was me.
He wasn’t nearly as interested in theology that day as he was
obedience. He just did what God told him to do. So he got
permission, got in the car and prayed over the body. The church
was also notified that I had been in an accident, but not
that I was dead. They didn’t want to tell them that over the
phone. So all they knew was that I had been in an awful accident.
All my family knew was that I had been in a terrible accident.
So they did the only thing that they knew how to do and that was
pray also until they got further information. So they started
calling other churches. In a very short period of time
literally thousands of people are praying for me. They don’t
know I’m already dead. One man knows I’m dead. He’s in the car.
He’s now singing hymns and he’s singing the great old hymn,
“What a Friend we Have in Jesus” and as he sings that hymn under
the tarp at 1:15 in the afternoon, 90 minutes after the
truck struck me. As he’s singing “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”
under the tarp suddenly I started singing the hymn with
him and I was back on earth. So that’s why we know it
was 90 minutes in heaven. It was really 90 minutes
away from earth. There is no concept
of time in heaven. It’s linear. It’s propelled
forward. There’s activity and action, but there is no
sense in the passage of time. It could have been 90
years. It could have been 90 seconds. There just simply is no
time. It’s eternal. It’s hard for us to wrap our human brains
around because we compartmentalize hours and
minutes and seconds, but heaven is eternal. It just goes on and
on and on forever and ever. KERRY: What did the paramedics
and all say. Here you are all of a sudden singing and
you’re covered up. I hope they noticed you. DON: The first thing that
happened was this pastor jumped out of the car obviously. “The dead man is singing.” That’s what he told the police
and they thought well that’s preposterous. He’s dead. He went
over to the last remaining ambulance, the other ones had
left, there was no one to transport and he said you need
to go and check on this guy in the red car. He’s alive and they
said well no, we’ve already checked on him repeatedly. Not
only is he dead, he’s been dead for a long time. He became very
frustrated at that point because he knew he heard me. So he went
around and stood in front of the ambulance and said if you leave
here without him in that ambulance I’m going to lie down
on this bridge and you are going to have to run over me. I’m not
leaving until you check on him. So he came back over and lifted
up the tarp one more time and low and behold I was alive. Not
very, but alive and they proceeded to get me out of that
car. It was a real struggle because I was just crushed in
the car and surrounded by twisted metal and broken glass.
It was a hideous sight really. KERRY: You wrote the book 90
Minutes in Heaven, a powerful book. It’s amazing how it’s
getting out. You’ve been on the Bill O’Reilly Show, Hannity &
Colmes, you’ve been on all these different media outlets. The
book is just taking off and just continues to take off more and
more. But let me ask you, Don, how has seeing Heaven affected
you and changed you here on this earth? I know you’ve got a
message to share now and you’re bringing lots of people
to Heaven with you. DON: On a personal level,
recalling the music that I heard there with is unlike,
really it’s far beyond any music that I’ve heard here and
I’ve heard some great music. The wings of the angels which
I still carry with me, the magnificent gates, the
streets that really are paved with gold. When I think of
all those things I’m driven. I’m driven to try to get
as many people there as I can. I conduct funerals
differently then I used to. I try to be encouraging and
comforting and all those other kinds of things. When I’m in a
funeral service now, I walk off the platform and put my hand on
the casket and say to be absent from the body is to be present
with the Lord. People in the audience know that I don’t just
preach that, I believe it and I experienced it. I say to people
often, I’m sorry for your temporary separation from your
loved one, but it won’t last. We’re only separated for just a
brief time. It may seem like a long time here. People lose
their children and parents lose a baby and they’re just
struggling with this. The reality of it is we’ll be
together again and next time we’ll never be separated. Earth
is a long goodbye. We’re always saying goodbye here. Heaven is a
long hello. We’re always greeting people who come after
us. That’s where I want to be and I want to take as many
people as I can to that place and I want to live in a way that
glorifies God now. I want to be positive. I want people to know
that you can have an abundant life and a joyful life now on
the way there. Even if something really awful and tragic has
happened in your life. KERRY: I hope you’re really
enjoying this series we’re in: Heaven is Real. And this whole series has
been questions that I think are on every one of our hearts. And this is an important
series to really understand, to dig into, and to
put into your life. Because when you realize that
heaven is real it changes the way you live on earth. It
changes your relationships. It changes what you do each and
every day because when you live your life in light of eternity
you realize what matters. A lot of things just seemed
some important won’t seem as important anymore and the things
that are important will come to the forefront in your life
because heaven is real. Call us right now, we want
to get this series to you. And maybe you can think of a
friend or family member who really needs some encouragement
to know that heaven is real, to know that there is a world
beyond what we can see. And this series is all about
encouragement, or maybe you know a skeptic. Maybe you
have a friend who has a lot of doubts, and maybe they’re just
not sure what they think. This can really help them.
So call us right now, we want to get this series
to you, and we want you to celebrate with us that heaven
is real. It’s just as real as the room you’re in right now.
And we want to connect with you. So call us right now and our
prayer partners are standing by to just be an encouragement and
we want to get you this series that will change your
life. Heaven is real. ANNOUNCER: When it comes
to the unseen spiritual realities around us, there may
not be a more “eye-opening” resource than Heaven
is for Real. And right now you can
receive this exciting three-message series on CD or
DVD as our special “thank you” for your best gift of support
for the outreaches of Kerry Shook Ministries. No gift is too
small to make a difference in the lives of others, but if you
can invest $65 or more, we’ll include these messages on CD and
DVD, PLUS, your own copy of Don Piper’s best-selling book
90-Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life. Please open your heart
and hand right now. You can be an active part of all
that Kerry Shook Ministries is doing to share balanced
biblical teaching and Christ’s love around the world.
And we believe these resources will inspire you and everyone
with whom you share them. ♪♪♪ ANNOUNCER: ♪Thank you for
joining us today, and being a part of the Kerry
Shook Ministries ♪

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