Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Ian McCormack Views Heaven
The shiftless young man was on an island hopping tour of tropical waters, working at odd jobs, surfing, diving, fishing, sailing, doing drugs, taking in the fun spots.
Ian was a native of New Zealand and very comfortable in the water. He was visiting the island of Mauritius off the east coast of Africa (1980). Some new-found friends invited him for night snorkling and fishing.
Unfortunately in his delightful wanderings underwater by flashlight, he was stung by a venomous box jellyfish, and then another and another...five in total. It is reported that one sting has the potential to kill. His mates gradually understood the cause of his falling behind and dragged him to the boat and headed to land.
The tale of his transport to medical care includes clumsiness, abandonment, misunderstanding and refusal to act on the part of several individuals who thought "that he was strung out on booze or drugs, or something. Why, look at the track marks in his arms!" (toxic stings)
Eventually at the hospital Ian was told that it was dangerously late for the anti-toxin. He dare not fall asleep. But the pain and the long night and the anxiety were taking their toll. Death was calling. Earlier in the ordeal he had struggled at prayer. But what to pray? He could only think of the Lord's Prayer taught to him by his Christian mother years before.
Starting with "Our Father, which art in heaven...", he immediately faltered, but then an image appeared before his inner eyes of the written text, "hallowed be thy name," and so on to the conclusion of the prayer. Was this God? Was he dying?
A liberty to plead had sprung out of the prayer. Now as he felt himself drifting away, he put his case before the Lord. "God I don't want to die. I don't want to go to hell." Then a voice, "I can save you son. Just ask me. But are you ready to forgive? You ask me for forgiveness. Will you forgive the ones who insulted and refused to help you this evening? Will you turn your life over to me?"
"Yes, Lord, definitely, yes!" Then darkness, and a knowing that he had died. For just an instant there was a sense of terror, of being lost, of being out of body, of being surrounded by miserable, hopeless prisoners of sin. But then a drawing light in the distance. He felt compelled to approach and the light and the warmth increased until he realized that he was in the presence of Jesus.
To hear Ian describe it now, you have to believe, you must believe, that in all sincerity of heart and joyful wonder he is relating a true encounter. The conversation is told in detail on the website.
Jesus asked if Ian were ready to go to heaven. Would he like to see it? Most definitely. At that point Jesus simply stepped aside and a circular portal was visible. Did not Jesus call himself the door? (John 10). Ian looked at a verdant country scene with meadows and streams and mountains. It was wonderful and apparently meant for him. He enjoyed the assurance of salvation.
"Now Ian before you enter, can you honestly tell me that you will do so without regrets?"..."No sir I can't. I am concerned for my mother. She has been praying for me for years. This wild trip of mine was yet another disappointment for her. The news of my death, unsaved, would probably kill her. I can't have that."
"Very well son, you will return to tell your mother and others of your journey, and of your discovery of judgment, salvation, heaven and me. Go with my blessing. You will be back another day."
Then the hospital bed, the attending staff, the gradual recovery of consciousness and the beginning of the difficult trip home.
Thus began the new life of evangelist/teacher Ian McCormack. Visit his website at www.aglimpseofeternity.org