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When it comes to believing in hell I think of the story of Dr. Maurice Rawlings a noted and celebrated coronary care doctor, who writes of his conversion to belief in a literal hell in Beyond Death’s Door. In 1977 he was giving a stress test to a man who was having chest pains. In the middle of the test the man dropped dead in Rawlings’ office. Rawlings and several nurses began to work on him. Dr. Rawlings began external heart massage while a nurse began mouth-to-mouth. The patient would regain consciousness and then while Dr. Rawlings reached for equipment would die again. Each time he was resuscitated he would scream, “I am in hell!” Dr. Rawlings thought he meant he was in pain from the CPR but then the patient gave a strange command. “Don’t stop!” This shocked Dr. Rawlings who says when most patients recover they tell him to take his hands off them because he is hurting them. Rawlings describes the man with 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. The patient said, “Don’t you understand? I am in hell. Each time you quit I go back to hell! Don’t let me go back to hell!” (Beyond Death’s Door by Maurice Rawlings, M.D. pg. 18) This incident was so powerful that Dr. Rawlings would become a committed Christian and write a book chronicling patients who after being resuscitated told stories of demons, pits and fire. He concludes by saying, “Now I feel assured that there is life after death, and not all of it is good.”

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