I’ve just been reading a book containing stories of people who have become followers of Jesus Christ from other religions, and I’ve come across a wonderful story of a nurse who saw death. She was working one night when she smelled a horrible smell – that of death. When she got up to walk down the hospital corridor she saw a black shape drifting into a patient’s room; the black shape reminded her of demons she had seen as a child. She followed ‘death’ into the patient’s room. The patient (a man) had clearly died – his monitor showing all his vital functions was flat-lining. The nurse prayed for him in the name of Jesus to come back to life.
Another nurse rushed into the room, concerned because the monitor at the nurses’ station had showed the patient flat-lining as well. But as they both looked at the patient, they saw his heart start beating and him breathing again. They checked his leads and they were all connected correctly.
The next day, the man’s wife told the nurse that the night before she had heard a hideous laugh and heard a voice saying, ‘I’m going to take your husband’s life tonight.’ She prayed desperately to God that He would send a Christian nurse or doctor to her husband’s room.
When her husband was able to talk, he told his wife that he had died and had met Jesus. Jesus told him to go back because a nurse was praying for him. And when he regained consciousness he heard the sound of someone praying for him.
Wow. Jesus’ compassion and care for people is truly amazing. It’s the best thing ever to know Him personally and to be able to really look forward to being with Him in Heaven. What a privilege not to be scared of death, because Jesus has defeated death.
On Wednesday I had the great privilege of hearing Ian McCormack tell how he was stung by a boxer jellyfish (100% deadly – most people die within 15-90 minutes), died and was laid on a slab in the hospital morgue, and then came back to life. Wow. It was amazing. Before this experience he was an ‘intellectual atheist’. But, lying in the ambulance with the jellyfish’s deadly poison coursing through his body, he heard a voice telling him to say the Lord’s prayer. When he got to the part ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’ he was challenged to forgive certain people who hadn’t helped him in the immediate minutes after the jellyfish attacked. Only when he forgave those people, did he know he had God’s forgiveness.
Ian died. He met the Lord Jesus Christ – in all His glory. On looking at Him, Ian knew He had the authority to bring worlds into being just by speaking (Col 1:16 – For by Him all things were created…; Heb 1:3 – …He upholds the universe by the word of His power). Ian experienced love, joy and peace. He saw that God is light. And He saw that Jesus is the only door into Paradise (John 10:9 – I am the door; John 14:6 – I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.) Beyond Jesus, at the beginning of Eternity, Ian could see grassy meadows, beautiful flowers and a crystal-clear river flowing.
Jesus gave him the option to return home. This does not happen to everyone, it very rarely happens. But Ian is one of the few exceptions to the rule. Why? Because Jesus had a job for him to do. As Ian looked away from Heaven behind him, he could see millions of people. Jesus asked him to go and share his story so they would have a chance to ask God to forgive them for rebelling against him and asking Jesus to be the Lord of their lives so that they could spend all Eternity with Him. So Ian came back.
Read his story. Click on the link A Glimpse of Eternity. You won’t regret it.
It’s both natural and biblical to want to meet each other again in Heaven. Dr Bavinck writes: …though it is true that the joy of heaven consists primarily in fellowship with Christ, it also consists in fellowship of believers with each other. And even as on earth the latter type of fellowship, though here always imperfect, does not detract from the believers’ fellowship with Christ but strengthens and enriches it, so it will also be in heaven. …Jesus Himself pictures the joy of heaven under the symbolism of a banquet where all will sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
There are so many things we have to look forward to when we leave this earth and are ‘present with the Lord’. Here are a few of them:
- We’ll have rest (Rev 14:13).
- We’ll see Christ’s face (Rev 22:4). ‘…in heaven our Lord will be the very centre of interest and attention, for He will be all-glorious, and we will no longer be self-centred. We will not be able to turn our eyes away from Him.’
- We’ll hear all the wonderful ‘choruses and anthems’ of heaven.
- We’ll work. ‘It will be willing service, gladly rendered’.
- We’ll rejoice. ‘Because every task will be so thoroughly satisfying and refreshing, the redeemed will sing while they work.’
- We’ll live. ‘…they live and rejoice in an abundant and glorious fellowship. Moreover, it is with Christ that they live. Wherever you find Him, you will find them. Whatever He does they do (in so far as it is possible for them to do). Whatever He has, He shares with them. (See Rev 3:12, 3:21, 4:4, 14:14, 14:1, 19:11, 19:14 and 20:4).’ He will give us a crown, a throne, a new name and a white horse.
- We’ll reign. ‘They share with Christ in His royal glory.’
This is something to be excited about! This is real. And we’ll be there before we know it.
Quotes are from William Hendriksen’s book ‘The Bible on the Life Hereafter’.