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Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  39 reviews
What if you woke up one morning knowing that 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.
Paperback, 95 pages
Published February 20th 2015 by Christian Focus
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  181 ratings  ·  39 reviews


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Rebecca Jane Brown
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book you can read in just over an hour if your mindset is on track. The size of the book is misleading as the writing itself is fairly large.

It's a short 'story' written from the perspective of one of the thieves who was crucified alongside Jesus and through this book, the author intends to convey the basics of Christianity.

Unfortunately, I did not find this as inspirational as all my Christian Church family told me it would be. There are many good things which I was caught by, but
...more
Jeanie
I tell you; today you will be with me in Paradise.

The example of the thief on the cross that hung next to Jesus is a one that should give us all hope. It is a testimony of hope and redemption and the love of God. The narration is unique and one when it comes to biblical accounts I tend to be wary of however, it was done with integrity to the word and to the Gospel. It begins with having breakfast in a matter of speaking with the devil and in the end being at the banquet with Christ. There were
...more
Faith Spinks
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short little book, and so simple too. And yet it was so much more.

I've grown up hearing the Easter story and so I know the details of the story well. I know what Jesus did, and I know what he said on that last day as he hung on the cross dying. I know that while the crowd and one of the criminals dying alongside him mocked Jesus, the other criminal saw something different and was promised to be with Jesus in paradise that day. But knowing doesn't mean that there isn't so much more to grasp of
...more
Ryan Hawkins
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the endorsers, Colin Hansen of TGC, says this of the book, “I’ve never read anything like this! 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.”

I can’t say it much better than that. The book is unique, stirring, and most important, beautifully Christ- and gospel-centered. It’s brief, with 90 pages, but abnormally large font—so, it’s very easy to read in one sitting. But it’s jam-packed
...more
Julie Reynolds
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a beautiful book. It is only short but bought me to the point of tears. It was recommended by a dear friend of mine. The premise was very simple but the message was immensely powerful.

Well worth reading.
Create With Joy
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Whenever I read the New Testament passages about Jesus's crucifixion (Luke 23:16-43), I am always fascinated by the story of the two thieves on the cross.

One hardened criminal remains unrepentant for his crimes to the very end. He mocks the Son Of God with his dying breath.

But the penitent thief confesses his sin and asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. Jesus responds by saying:

I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

If you are looking for a unique
...more
Jonathan Roberts
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, own
This short little book was amazing. What a great idea! What nearly perfect execution of that idea by the author Colin S. Smith! To take the perspective of a relatively unknown individual from the Crucifixion story and tell the tale from his perspective was genius. As a Bible teacher I have used the thief on the cross countless times as an example of simple faith without all the added religious baggage. But not once did I stop and think through what he must have been thinking, and Smith's book ...more
Ho Christopher
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With the many books about people who has got to heaven and come back, why is there a need for another one? I guess the answer to this question is simply far too many such books are not biblical at all. And here is one that wants readers to be educated and taught about how one really can enter into heaven.

Colin Smith has written a book covering the perspective of the thief who’s crucified next to Jesus. I must say I’m not a fan of speculative stories especially historical biblical stories, but
...more
Marianne
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a creative and thought-provoking fictional account of the story of the thief on the cross. It takes the real life Biblical account and makes up some facts in order to tell a story. Although fiction, it draws on the historical account and real emotions that could have been part of the thief's story.
Gafortiby
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I respect Colin Smith and believe the message he is giving in this book. However for me this book ended up being a missed opportunity.

The narrative moves as a retrospective, with the antagonist explaining things from his heavenly perch. Because of this perfect hindsight perspective, the book often reads like a sermon disguised as a story. Many good points are made and I think I would love this as a sermon but it felt odd as a book.

There are other books in this “imaginative retelling” genre
...more
Mr Muir HSoG
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I read this over the Easter weekend - it seemed appropriate. The story describes Jesus’ crucifixion from the point of view of the “penitent thief”, that is the man to whom Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

I thought this was an intriguing premise but, I got pulled out of the world of the story a few times by some clumsiness in the writing. For example, in the opening page of the book, a first century Jew, writing from heaven, exclaims, “Looking back, the entire day and how it
...more
Charla
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
My pastor recommended this book because of its perspective. This book falls under the genre of Creative Non-Fiction, in my opinion. It is a "first-person account from a heavenly perspective" according to Collin Hansen.

Colin S. Smith tells the story of the thief on the cross (the one who surrendered his life to Christ) as if he is speaking from heaven.

I enjoyed this book for the perspective from which it was written. However, I cannot say I enjoyed the writing. I confess my desire for thoughtful
...more
James
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short but gripping read about the crucifixion of Jesus, but told from the perspective of the thief on the cross next to him.

As others have said, you could read the whole thing in one sitting but I chose to read a chapter at a time and pause to consider he depths of what Colin Smith portrays in the monologue.

Thanks to the conversational style of the story, he manages to pack a lot of theology into the narrative that anyone would be able to grasp and that makes this a perfect book to share with
...more
Emily Zell
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Y’all! Everyone needs to own multiple copies of this book. It is seriously the perfect resource for someone who is needing a basic understanding of Christianity. I seriously want to go get more copies to be able to hand out as needed. Also, even as someone who has been a Christian for awhile, it was sweet to go back the the cross and be reminded of the incredible sacrifice through a new lens such as the thief’s. Succinct yet creative. Well done.
Kj
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I took a long time to get back to this book. I enjoyed it. I truly believe it's encouraging for believers. It's touching, however the state I've been in lately I wonder how t would touch a cynical non believer. I did enjoy it. I'm not so sure how helpful this review will be I'll update I plan to read it again.
Dan Gill
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting piece of Biblical based fiction. I would call it a midrash on the thief on the cross.
ken whitsitt
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only way to heaven is thru Jesus Christ.

What a book! Short and sweet
.Every one should read this book and do what it says! They would be sure to go to heaven!
MJ Hancock
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent meditation of the thief on the cross.
Nancy
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
Lost? Seeking? Anxious about your eternity? READ THIS!
Karen Kneller
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
so moving, read it! it will change your life!
Kevin Halloran
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Review originally published at TheGospelCoalition.org

I’ve learned something interesting about unbelievers after several years of engaging them with the gospel: while many feel uncomfortable discussing sin, the exclusivity of Christ, or eternal punishment, most don’t mind discussing the afterlife.

This fascination with the afterlife can be a great inroad to gospel conversation. Heaven is often seen as non-threatening and profoundly interesting—one of the reasons so many I-went-to-heaven-and-back
...more
Dana Perkins
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would classify this book as creative nonfiction. As such, anyone thinking they are sitting down to a good novel, will be disappointed. A good novel communicates truth by showing it to us. Creative nonfiction is telling something, rather than showing something, using a fictional story. Lee Gutkind, a pioneer in creative nonfiction says “Ultimately, the primary goal of the creative nonfiction writer is to communicate information, just like a reporter, but to shape it in a way that reads like ...more
Mandy
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the story of the thief on the cross by Colin S Smith. It is a short book based on part of Luke’s account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The book opens at 6 am on the day the thief was to be executed by crucifixion. Each short chapter is based on a period of time – one gripping chapter is about a single minute – during Good Friday.

The author imagines the thief’s background and childhood, explores how the condemned man might have felt on execution day, and his changing reaction to
...more
Mark A Powell
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Little is known about the men who died with Jesus, but the Bible records that one of them came to believe in Christ. Using the scant biblical accounts as a springboard, Smith has written a brief, speculative work introducing us to this thief. What lies behind his story, however, is a clear expression of the salvation that Christ’s death accomplished. Though it overreaches at times, Smith has provided a fresh and creative look at timeless truth.
Melissa
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
I was excited to get my hands on this one. From the perspective of the thief's eyes - Jesus's final days on the cross. Brilliant idea. Although it was short and then got a bit preachy at the end; it was still a good read.
Blake Western
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a little book with a big message, the Gospel. This would be a good book to share with a seeking friend. It is written as the first hand account of the repentant thief's time on the cross and his going to Heaven.
Thom Malone
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow.. I have not read a book that made me think like this one has, made me research, pick up my Bible and read... made me really look at what Jesus did on the cross ... this is one of those books I will be reading over and over again
Paul Pompa
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Meant for people early in their walk. Great story about the thief on the cross, and how it applies to Christianity in general. We are justified through faith alone, and on that day we could be glorified. It's a great reminder that we gain nothing through works.
Dean Wood
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
Simple, powerful story of the death of Jesus Christ and telling of the gospel from the perspective of the thief who hung on the cross next to Jesus and was promised paradise.
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Colin Smith was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He came to personal faith in Christ at the age of six, and sensed God's call to pastoral ministry early in life. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Master of Philosophy from London Bible College. Before coming to the States in 1996, Colin served as the Senior Pastor of the Enfield Evangelical Free Church in London for 16 years. While in ...more
“Faith does not rest on your ability to feel God’s love, it rests on His ability to keep His promise.” 1 likes
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