NEW YORK, April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Actor Stephen Baldwin brings to life the powerful story of the thief on the cross in a new unique filmed stage adaptation, "Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross," available for digital download on ChristianCinema.com beginning April 4.
Unlocking the Bible and LIGHTBEAMedia, a contemporary Christian content provider founded by Baldwin and Mike Lindell, inventor of MyPillow®, have partnered in the development of this extraordinary 60-minute film. The one-man performance shares a deeply moving narrative based on Pastor Colin Smith's book, "Heaven, How I Got Here: The Story of the Thief on the Cross."
A special sneak peek of the film will debut April 4 at 8 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. CDT during the premiere of "National Bible Bee Game Show" hosted by Kirk Cameron, available on Facebook Live at ChristianCinema.tv and on Digital HD at ChristianCinema.com.
Set 2,000 years after his death, Baldwin captivates audiences in "Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross" with an emotionally compelling first-person account of one individual who wrestled with deep despair and shame. The production lays out the stark reality of the thief's salvation: he never went to church, he never made a contribution in the offering plate, he never memorized a Bible verse, and he never served the poor. He hung on the cross at the brink of death, and in an act of desperation he called out to Jesus and was saved.
"I have done many performances throughout my career but perhaps none has so personally impacted me as my role as the thief," said Baldwin. "Pastor Colin Smith's masterful story of the real-life struggles and thoughts of a man that ultimately found himself dying just a few feet from Jesus will leave viewers walking away considering their own life. If Jesus could save the thief just hours before he died, there is hope for anyone, no matter what their circumstances might be."
Based on the story of the crucifixion of Jesus found in Luke 23, this poignant account of redemption and grace weaves together the biblical events of the crucifixion and imagines the details of the life of the thief. He recounts the events of that day as he experienced them then, and as he looks back later from the perspective of his new life in heaven.
The performance invites viewers into a believable environment as temporary "visitors" to heaven. One of Baldwin's most powerful lines of the play says it best: "I did a lot of 'stuff' on earth; and yet of all the people here (in heaven), Jesus chose me as your tour guide…up here, we all have a story; on that (last) day, I had breakfast with the devil and supper with the Savior."
Baldwin plays multiple characters in this narrative, each one unique, moving and entertaining. He performed the initial run of the one-man play in 2015 at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to sold-out crowds of over 5,000. The enactment was adapted and directed by Timothy Gregory, founding artistic director of Chicago's Provision Theater Company. Initial reviews claim Baldwin delivers "the performance of his career."
The digital download of "Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross" is available April 4 on ChristianCinema.com for $9.99. For additional information, visit https://www.christiancinema.com.
Stephen Baldwin landed his breakthrough role in "The Usual Suspects" in 1995. His subsequent roles included "Bio-Dome" (1996) and Barney Rubble in "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000). From January to March 2008, Baldwin appeared on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice, Season 7" on NBC. 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. Baldwin can most recently be seen in the faith-based films, "God's Club" (2015) and "The Apostle Peter: Redemption" (2016). He is also co-founder of LIGHTBEAMedia with MyPillow® Inventor Mike Lindell. Visit https://stephenbaldwin.com/ for more information.
Unlocking the Bible is a global, multi-media ministry that reached more than 3 million people in 2016 through radio, television, books, events, social media, and more. The ministry, which leverages the teaching of Pastor Colin Smith, puts the gospel within people's grasp all around the world by challenging and enabling people to consistent study of the Bible and a deepening faith in Jesus Christ. The ministry grew from a two-year journey of reading through the Bible, shared by the congregation of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in 2000 and 2001. Unlocking the Bible's daily radio program is heard across the U.S. by more than 500,000 people each week on more than 250 stations. For additional information, visit www.unlockingthebible.org.