Doorway to Eternity

A Glimpse of Eternity Changed His Life Forever

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries9 Minutes

What would it take to transform a cynical atheist into a zealous evangelist? For Ian McCormack, it took a descent into hell, an encounter with divine love, and an escape from death itself.

The transformation began in the dark depths of the Indian Ocean on a night dive for lobsters where Ian found himself surrounded by a swarm of box jellyfish.

Something smashed into my forearm like thousands of volts of electricity,” recalled Ian. “I couldn’t see a cut or anything, so I decided to continue my dive. Divers can’t panic about things.

Within minutes, though, Ian was stung again, and this time he saw the jellyfish. Realizing the possible danger, he sought out a fellow diver and then received two more venomous stings. Simon, a local, knew Ian was in trouble. One sting from a box jellyfish can kill someone—and Ian had been stung five times.

By the time an ambulance arrived, my body was paralyzed,” Ian said. “My life began to flash before me. As I lay there dying, I saw my mother in a vision, encouraging me to pray.

Ian, no matter how far from God you are, no matter what you’ve done wrong, if you cry out to God from your heart, He will hear you, and He will forgive you.

Ian felt at a loss. A self-described “devout atheist,” he didn’t know who to pray to or how to pray. Thoughts flooded his mind: Do there is a God? There are thousands of gods. Buddha? Kali? Shiva? Yet I didn’t see Buddha or Krishna standing there, I saw my mother — and my mother followed Jesus Christ.

As the poison spread through his body, Ian struggled to recall the only prayer he had ever learned. Forgive us our sins. An overwhelming awareness of his sinful, self-centered living, fell upon Ian. In deep regret, he begged God for forgiveness and cried out for mercy.

He breathed easier when Forgive those who have sinned against you popped into his mind. “I don’t hold grudges, so that felt easy. But then the faces of those who refused to help me get to the hospital came to mind, and I thought, You must be joking!”

But with his resistance to forgive others, Ian’s mind stayed blank. When he released his bitterness, Thy will be done floated to mind. As his heart agreed with those words Ian felt as if he was released from his body.

I didn’t feel dead; I was fully aware of being in a terrifying darkness that held a cold, evil presence. Weeping, I cried out to God, Why am I here? I’ve asked you for forgiveness. I’ve turned my heart to you. Why am I here?

Ian glimpsed a light emanating from a tunnel, then, a light that pulsed with life and power. He could look straight at the light even though it was brighter than anything he’d ever seen. The light felt like the source of everything—and he felt it draw him into itself.

Successive waves of light started traveling up the tunnel towards me. The first wave gave off an amazing warmth and comfort—as though it was a living light that transmitted an emotion. The light passed into me and filled me with a sense of love and acceptance. Halfway down, another wave of light entered me, creating a total and complete peace.

Ian realized this was what he had been seeking all his life. The foreboding darkness he first entered had been so deep he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face. Now his body was full of light, completely transparent, yet filled with peace. Uncertain of what was happening, Ian began to wonder if this was what Buddhists called the life force or karma. Then the light spoke — and called him by name.

Ian, do you wish to return? If you do, you must see in a new light.

Stunned by the experience, Ian didn’t respond. Uncertain where he was or where he would return to, he didn’t know how to reply. Then a memory of an old Christmas card began to put the pieces together. Two phrases from the card dropped Ian to his knees:

Jesus is the light of the world.

God is light, and there is no darkness in Him.

He knew! THIS is God! He is light … and He knew my name. He knew the secret thoughts of my heart and mind. I felt totally exposed and transparent — ashamed and undone.

Fear followed on the heels of those thoughts. Ian did not want to go back to the darkness or lose the peace that filled him. Then another wave of pure, unconditional love flowed over Ian pushing against the fear. He responded with a confession of sin that intensified his awareness of God’s love.

I was being washed with pure, undeserved love. It began filling me from the inside out, and I wept uncontrollably as the love became stronger. This love was healing my heart, and I began to understand that there is incredible hope for humankind in this love.

When Ian asked for God’s forgiveness, the door to His love and mercy opened wide. Drawn by the irresistible love and light, Ian found himself standing before a man clothed with dazzling robes of light whose arms were outstretched in welcome. Beyond the man, Ian glimpsed a world of great beauty … a place he had longed for and now never wanted to leave. Turning to say one last goodbye to all that was behind him, Ian saw his mother standing there.

Grief washed over him as he realized she would be certain his death delivered him straight to hell. Fearing that would destroy her, he knew he needed to return. God began to show him masses of people and told Ian to share what he had seen. Then God instructed Ian to open his eyes.

Ian obeyed, which brought terror to the medical staff who later explained he had been clinically dead for the previous 15–20 minutes. Those few minutes brought eternal change to Ian and many of the millions he has shared his story with. Returning to his parents’ home, Ian asked for a Bible and read it through in weeks. For the past 40 years, he has continued to share its truths and the love of God with all who will hear.

Will you let Ian’s story change your life? Our Love of God video can help you understand even more. Click here to watch it now: Love of God Video

Ian McCormack’s deadly encounter that brought drastic, lasting changes to his earthly life and eternal destination. He continues to minister around the world and shares his story freely on his website