What if you woke up one morning knowing it was your last day on earth?
That’s what happened to the thief on the cross, who died a few feet from Jesus. Heaven, How I Got Here is his story, told in his own words, as he looks back from heaven on the day that changed his eternity, and the faith that can change yours.
• The Book • The Audiobook • The Play
Heaven, How I Got Here (the book) was inspired by the story of the thief on the cross, found in chapter 23 of Luke’s Gospel. In writing the book, Pastor Colin tried to imagine the thief looking back on the last day of his life on earth from the perspective of his new life in heaven.
The story weaves together what we know from the Bible about the events of that day and views them through the eyes of the thief as he would have experienced them at the time, and as he can understand them now. If Jesus could save the thief a few hours before he died, there is lasting hope in Jesus, even for a person coming to the end of his or her life.
Heaven, How I Got Here (the audiobook) is an exciting partnership between Unlocking the Bible and X3Media, two organizations passionate about reaching people with the gospel using contemporary media platforms.
Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin and radio host and business partner Kevin McCullough were approached to record the 11,000 word audio version of Heaven, How I Got Here. They were compelled to engage because of their passion for sharing the gospel worldwide and their belief that this particular story could have real impact where other evangelistic works have fallen short.
The audiobook was recorded in New York City and is voiced by Stephen Baldwin.
Heaven, How I Got Here (the play) is an adaptation of the book aimed at providing the local church with a unique evangelistic event to reach their communities. The initial run of the play at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in 2015 featured Stephen Baldwin and was adapted and directed by Timothy Gregory, Founding Artistic Director of Chicago’s Provision Theater Company. Nearly 5,000 people were impacted by the play then, and many thousands more will experience it as it runs in successive years at The Orchard.
Heaven, How I Got Here (the book) is available in the following languages:
Colin S. Smith (Author) is Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church and teacher of the daily radio program, Unlocking the Bible. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Colin was raised in a Christian family and felt the call of God to pastoral ministry from an early age. He trained at London School of Theology where he received a B.A. in Theology and later a Master of Philosophy. Colin was Pastor of the Enfield Evangelical Free Church in North London for sixteen years, transitioning to serve at The Orchard in 1996. Colin met his wife Karen while studying at London Bible College. The Smiths now live in the Chicago area and have two grown children and four granddaughters.
Stephen Baldwin (Actor) landed his breakthrough role in “The Usual Suspects” in 1995. Baldwin’s next role was in “Bio-Dome” (1996). In 2000, he played a buff Barney Rubble in “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.” From January–March 2008, Baldwin appeared on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice, Season 7” on NBC. He was a contestant on the 2009 NBC reality show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!” On the second episode, Baldwin baptized “The Hills” actor Spencer Pratt.
In September 2006, Baldwin released his book entitled The Unusual Suspect, which details highlights from his personal life, career, days of drug abuse, and ultimately, his turn to becoming a born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks. From 2008 to present, Baldwin has teamed up with conservative talk-radio host Kevin McCullough in a Saturday radio show called “Baldwin/McCullough Radio” through X3Media.
Social Media Resources
Help us to spread the word about Heaven, How I Got Here by sharing the news on social media. Use the tweets provided below, or write your own! Please include the link to https://unlockingthebible.org/heavenbook.
- What if you woke up one morning knowing it was your last day on earth? [TWEET]
- Heaven, How I Got Here – A compelling story by @PastorColinS. [TWEET]
- Ever wondered how to get to heaven? Read this book by @PastorColinS. [TWEET]
- “Heaven does not depend on what you do for Christ but on what He has done for you.” [TWEET]
- “No one gets into heaven automatically. It’s Jesus who gets you here.” [TWEET]
- “Jesus Christ can rescue you from the brink of hell and bring you into all the joys of heaven.” [TWEET]
- Discover what it takes to get to heaven in this book from @unlckngthebible. [TWEET]
What People Are Saying
“Here is a gripping account of God’s amazing grace that comes alive as recounted from this unusual and really helpful perspective.” —Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor of Parkside Church
“How I wish that every skeptic and every believer would read this book – it takes us back to the cross, retelling the story of the thief who by experience learned that the gift of salvation comes by faith alone by grace alone through Christ alone.” —Erwin Lutzer, Senior Pastor of Moody Church
“I’ve never read anything like this compelling first-person account from a heavenly perspective helped me understand and appreciate what Jesus endured on the cross and why he did it.” —Collin Hansen, Editorial Director of The Gospel Coalition and Author of Blind Spots
“…brilliant idea beautifully executed…combines pastoral wisdom and narrative skill to help us get inside the heart and mind of the thief on the cross, crucified next to the Christ on Calvary.” —Justin Taylor, Managing Editor of the ESV Study Bible
“…fuses together profound theology, historical veracity and gospel integrity with a vivid and dramatic writing style which is compelling on every page. This book is genre defying.” —David Meredith, Minister of Smithtan Free Church of Scotland
“I was gripped by the thief’s play-by-play of the passion story as it unfolded and how he saw the gospel implications of Jesus’ actions to those all around him – himself, the ones who crucified Jesus, and even Jesus’ own mother. This book oozes gospel truth.” —Kevin Halloran, Christian Blogger and Content Strategist of Leadership Resources International
Interviews with Colin S. Smith
“Conversations About Heaven” Web Series
See previous episodes on our YouTube channel.
EPISODE #7: How to Get to Heaven
My Faith Radio – Connecting Faith: “Learning from the thief on the cross” (April 1, 2015)
The Janet Mefferd Show: “What would the thief on the cross say about Jesus’ free gift of salvation?” (March 31, 2015)
My Faith Radio – Live the Promise: “How a thief came to faith in Jesus” (March 17, 2015)