Author Richard Sigmund recounts his experience
Richard Sigmund says the extensive details about the eternal realm in his book My Time in Heaven stem from his photographic memory and from taping his recollections. The latter he did upon being released from the hospital after an October 1974 car crash that he says sent him to heaven.
“It was so real,” says Sigmund, whose first book on eternity was titled A Place Called Heaven. “You don’t forget.”
Among the more moving encounters he relates is seeing his name written in the Lamb’s book of life (see Rev. 21:27) in 3-inch-high golden letters outlined in crimson. He also saw his name engraved on a chair for the marriage feast of the Lamb (see Rev. 19:9). Jesus told him that it wasn’t time yet to be seated.
The Iowa-based evangelist says far more could’ve been told in his book. “Did I get to see Jesus? The answer is yes. Will I tell about it? No. Some things are just private. Did I see angels? Yes—it still happens; but I don’t talk about it much. People think you’re off the deep end.”
One thing he will say is that heaven will be a place of vibrant activity. He describes seeing thousands of houses, some still under construction; people painting; people creating flawless furniture. Sigmund also saw the new Jerusalem, the jeweled city described in Revelation 21-22, although he says he went only to the edge of it.
Today, thoughts of returning to heaven dominate the mind of the aging evangelist, who must stay close to his home to take kidney dialysis three times a week. “I get up every day thinking, Is this the day I go back?” Sigmund says. “I have a lot of aches and pains because of dialysis, but the things of life grow mighty dim next to heaven. It’s very real to me.”
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