“Have you ever seen someone die?” Ian McCormack asked the audience.
McCormack, originally from New Zealand, came to Ferris from England on Sept. 24 to share his story entitled “A Glimpse of Eternity: Do Heaven and Hell Exist?”
The event, hosted by the Coalition of Mecosta and Osceola Community Churches, began with 20 minutes of worship. McCormack then took the stage and began his personal story about death and eternity.
While diving for lobster off the coast of Mauritius, McCormack was stung on his arm by five adult box jellyfish, also known as sea wasps.
“I had enough poison in my body to kill me 50 times over,” said McCormack. “Men stung by the box jellyfish typically die within the first three minutes.”
A local brought McCormack to the beach where he immediately collapsed. The local then instructed him to urinate on his arm, which he quickly did.
“The boy that brought me to the beach could see I was literally dying right there in front of him,” said McCormack. “I began drifting into a place of sleep. I heard someone tell me, ‘Son, if you close your eyes, you’ll never wake up again.’ I opened my eyes and there was absolutely no one around on the beach.”
McCormack’s body became completely paralyzed and necrosis had begun to set into his bone marrow by the time an ambulance arrived.
“I began to experience ‘death rattles’ and knew I was on the edge of death,” said McCormack.
On the way to the hospital, his life began to flash before him.
“At this point of my life I was an atheist, but I knew I was nearly dead and I didn’t know if there was life after death or whether there was just nothing,” said McCormack. “I cried out to God and asked him to help me pray; for the first time in my life, I prayed from my heart and gave my life to the Lord.”
When McCormack arrived at the hospital, he “died” for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, he found himself “in a very dark place, thinking it was the hospital” with the lights turned out.
McCormack went on to describe his experience of heaven, hell, and eternity. Among the things he witnessed were men’s voices screaming, beams of light, a long narrow el, and God’s presence.
McCormack said God told him he could return to earth if he agreed to see things in a new light and to tell people about his personal experiences and God.
“I awoke in a morgue with an Indian doctor stabbing my leg,” said McCormack. “I was a dead piece of meat opening my eyes.”
McCormack should have been paralyzed for life and living on a machine after his encounter with the jellyfish, but he asked God to heal his body.
“The power of God went through me like electricity, healed me, and I walked out of the hospital the next day,” said McCormack.
McCormack now travels around the world telling his tale of death and God, hoping to inspire both atheists and Christians alike. He is scheduled to speak next in London on Sept. 29.
For more information about McCormack’s experiences, visit his Web site at aglimpseofeternity.org.