Dr. Maurice Rawlings is a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga, and his colleagues are constantly treating emergency patients, many of whom have had near-death experiences. A study of these cases by Dr. Rawlings was reported in Omni magazine. It is no longer unusual to hear about people who have almost died who speak of seeing a bright light, lush green meadows, rows of smiling relatives and experiencing a deep sense of peace. However, Dr. Rawlings gives additional information from his patients by interviewing them immediately following resuscitation while they are very much in touch with their experience.
Dr. Rawlings says that nearly fifty percent of the 300 people that he has interviewed have reported lakes of fire, devil-like figures and other sights reflecting the darkness of hell. Rawlings says that these people later change their story because they don’t want to admit where they’ve been, not even to their families. "Just listening to these patients has changed my whole life," claims Dr. Rawlings. "There is a life after death, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die." Dr. Rawlings, a devout atheist, "considered all religion ’hocus-pocus’ and death nothing more than a painless extinction."
But something happened in 1977 that brought a dramatic change in the life of Dr. Rawlings! He was resuscitating a man, terrified and screaming. "Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration, the patient screamed, ’I am in hell!’ He was terrified and pleaded with me to help him. I was scared to death...Then I noticed a genuinely alarmed look on his face. He had a terrified look, worse than the expression seen in death! This patient had a grotesque grimace expressing sheer horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring and trembling--he looked as if his hair was ’on end.’ Then still another strange thing happened. He said, ’Don’t you understand? I am in hell...Don’t let me go back to hell!’...the man was serious, and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in trouble. He was in a panic like I had never seen before."
Dr. Rawlings said no one who could have heard his screams and saw the look of terror on his face could doubt for a single minute that he was actually in a place called hell!
(From a sermon by Ervin Kimrey "AN INTERVIEW IN HELL" 12/27/2008)
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