Skip to comments.Atheist Professorís Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him Changed
Posted on 03/13/2012 6:33:56 PM PDT by sreastman
Atheist Professors Near-Death Experience in Hell Left Him Changed
by Mark Ellis, FaithIssues, Godreports
In some near-death experiences, people report they were drawn toward the light. But in this horrifying near-death experience for an atheist art professor, he was drawn into the darkness of hell, which dramatically altered the course of his life.
I was a double atheist, says Howard Storm, who became a tenured art professor at Northern Kentucky University by age 27. I was a know-it-all college professor, and universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are, he notes.
On the last day of a three-week European art tour he led, his group had returned to their hotel in Paris after a visit to the artist Delacroixs home and studio. As Howard stood in his room with his wife and another student, suddenly he screamed and dropped to the floor in agony.
I had a perforation of the small stomach, known as the duodenum, he recalls. At first, Howard thought he was shot, and he glanced around the room to see if he could spot a smoking gun. As he writhed in pain on the ground, kicking and screaming, his wife called for a doctor.
They said I needed surgery immediately, Howard says. Its like having a burst appendix. I was told that if they dont get to it within five hours, youre probably going to die.
Howard had the misfortune of a falling ill on a Saturday in a country with socialized medicine, and no doctor could be found. French doctors do seven surgeries a week, and after they do the seven surgeries, they take the weekend off, he discovered.
They placed him on a bed without sheets or a pillow and offered no pain medication. He waited in the room for 10 hours. I was just lying there going south, Howard says. Meanwhile, intestinal contents were leaking into his abdominal cavity, which would soon lead to peritonitis, septic shock and certain death.
At 8:30 PM a nurse came in and said they were still unable to find a doctor, but they would try to find one the next day, Sunday.
I had been struggling very hard to stay alive, but when she said there was no doctor, I knew it was time to stop fighting, Howard says.
Yet the thought of death scared him. I was terrified of dying because it meant lights out, the end of the story, he notes. It seemed horrible that at 38 years-old, when I felt powerful and successful in my life, it would all come to an end in such a ridiculously pitiful way.
Howard made an impassioned farewell to his wife, and told her to tell their friends and the rest of his family goodbye. Then he lost consciousness.
It wasnt long after he lost consciousness that he had a very unusual out-of-body experience, and found himself standing next to his bed, looking at himself lying there. As he stood there, he noticed he didnt feel the pain in his stomach. He felt more alive than ever, and his senses seemed more heightened than usual.
He tried to communicate with his wife and another man in the room, but they didnt respond, which frustrated him. I was glad I didnt have the pain, but also I was very confused and disturbed by the situation.
I saw my body lying on the bed, but I refused to believe it was me. How could that be me if I was standing there, he wondered.
Suddenly he heard people outside the room calling for him by name. They spoke English, without a French accent, which seemed strange, because everyone in the hospital either spoke French or heavily accented English.
Come with us, they said. Hurry up, lets go.
Howard went to the doorway. Are you from the doctor? he asked. I need to have surgery. Im sick and Ive been waiting a long time.
We know all about you, one said. Weve been waiting for you. Its time for you to go. Hurry up.
Howard left the room and started to walk with them down a long hallway, which was very dimly lit almost dingy. They took me on a very long journey through a grey space that got increasingly darker and darker, he recalls.
They walked a long time, and Howard wondered why he was not tired when he had just suffered the worst day of his life.
Where are we going? Howard asked. How come its taking so long? What is the doctors name?
Shut up, one said. Be quiet, another said. Dont ask questions.
Howards fear and apprehension grew at the same time he lost trust in his guides. Finally it was so dark I was terrified and I said, Im not going any farther. I want to go back.
Youre almost there, one replied.
Howard dug in his heels. Im not going any farther, he said firmly.
His guides began to push and pull at him. Howard fought back, but he was horribly outnumbered.
We had a big fight and the fight turned into them annihilating me, which they did slowly and with much relish, he says. Mostly they were biting and tearing at me. This went on for a long time. They did other things to humiliate and violate me which I dont talk about.
When Howard was no longer amusing to them, he collapsed on the ground, ripped apart, unable to move.
He lay there motionless for a few moments, completely spent. Then he was surprised by a small voice inside his head that said, Pray to God.
He thought, I dont pray. I dont even believe in God.
Then he heard the voice a second time, Pray to God.
But I wouldnt know how to pray even if I wanted to pray, he thought. Whose voice was this, he wondered? It sounded like his voice, but the words were completely foreign to his own thinking.
Then he heard the voice a third time repeat the same message. His mind drifted back to his days in Sunday school as a child. I tried to remember things I memorized when I was very young, he says. He struggled to think of something he could pray.
Then he managed to blurt out, The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want
When the people around him heard his attempt to pray, they became enraged. There is no God and nobody can hear you, they cried, along with other obscenities. If you keep praying we will really hurt you.
But Howard noticed something curious. The more he prayed and began to mention God, the more they backed away from him.
Emboldened, he began to shout out bits and pieces of the Lords Prayer, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and God Bless America. Finally, he was screaming any fragments of Gods truth he could muster from the moldy recesses of his memory bank.
It seemed to work! Even in the darkness, he could tell they had fled, but not too far away.
As he lay there, Howard began to review his life. I came to the conclusion I led a crummy life and I had gone down the sewer pipe of the universe. I had gone into the septic tank with other human garbage. I was being processed by the garbage people into garbage like them.
Whatever life was supposed to be about, I missed it, he thought. What I received was what I deserved and the people who attacked me were people like me. They were my kindred spirits. Now I will be stuck with them forever. Feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness filled his mind.
His thoughts floated back again to himself as a nine year-old in Sunday School, I remembered myself singing Jesus Loves Me, and I could feel it inside me. As a child, I thought Jesus was really cool and he was my buddy and he would take care of me.
But even if Jesus is real, why would he care about me? he thought. He probably hates my guts. Im not going to think anymore; Im going to ask him.
Ive got nothing else to lose. Ill give Jesus a try.
Then he yelled into the darkness, Jesus, please save me!
Within an instant, a brilliant light appeared that came closer and closer. He found himself bathed in a beautiful light, and for the first time he could clearly see his own bodys miserable condition, ghastly for his own eyes to behold. I was almost all gore.
Immediately he recognized Jesus, the King of Kings, the Rescuer, the Deliverer. His arms reached down and touched me and everything healed up and came back together, he recalls. He filled me with a love I never knew existed.
Then he picked up Howard, like one football player picking up a fallen teammate on the field, put his arms around him, and Howard cried like a baby in His arms. He carried me out of there and we headed to where God lives.
In his mind, Howard began to think that Jesus made a terrible mistake. Im garbage and I dont belong in heaven, he thought.
They stopped moving, and both Howard and Jesus were hanging in space, somewhere between heaven and hell. We dont make mistakes, Jesus said tenderly.
He could read everything in my mind and put His voice into my head, Howard recalls. We had very rapid, instantaneous conversations.
Then Jesus told Howard He had angels who would show him his life. It was a terrible experience because my life deteriorated after adolescence. I saw I became a selfish, unloving person. I was successful, a full tenured art professor at 27, the department head, but I was a jerk.
In this replay, he saw his heavy drinking and adultery. I cheated on my wife proudly. It was horrible.
For the first time he realized the way he lived his life hurt Jesus. I was in the arms of the most wonderful, holy, loving, kind person and were looking at this stuff. Embarrassing doesnt even begin to describe it.
As they watched together, Howard could see the pain and disappointment on the face of Jesus. When I did these things it was like sticking a knife into his heart.
Do you have any questions? Jesus asked.
I have a million questions, Howard replied, and proceeded to unburden himself of anything and everything he could imagine asking an omniscient being. Jesus answered Howards questions kindly and patiently.
When Howard couldnt think of anything else to ask, he said, Im ready to go to heaven now.
Youre not going to heaven. Youre going back to the world, Jesus replied.
Howard began to argue, but it was to no avail. Jesus told him to go back and live his life differently.
At 9:00 PM, Howard was back in his hospital room in Paris. Less than 30 minutes had elapsed since he lost consciousness.
As Howard opened his eyes, he heard the nurse say, The doctor arrived at the hospital and youre going to have the surgery.
As they wheeled him out of his room on a gurney, he saw his wife in the hallway. Everything is going to be really good now, he said to her. When she heard him, she cried, thinking they were brave words.
When Howard emerged from surgery, with the effects of the anesthesia wearing off, he spoke to his wife. Its all love, he told her. You dont have to suffer anymore.
You need to sleep, she replied, thinking he was slightly addled from the drugs. Then he awakened again and began to tell her about Jesus and the angels and heaven and hell.
She was an atheist and she didnt like it. She thought I lost my mind. Sadly, Howards marriage ended in divorce after she left him many years later.
When his strength returned, Howard began to devour the Bible. Since none of my atheist friends believed me, I started memorizing verses and I would give them Bible lectures, but that didnt go over very well, he recalls.
He grew desperate for fellowship in a church, and began to attend Christ Church in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, part of United Church of Christ. Howards pastor worked with him patiently, and after three years, Howard was ordained as a lay minister in his church.
Sensing a deeper call into ministry, he attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and later pastored a church in Covington, Ohio.
He also wrote a book about his experience, My Descent Into Death, which he says was written primarily to non-believers.
Howard and his second wife, Marcia, a strong Christian, are both involved in missionary work in Belize. He maintains a passion for painting, with much of his art devoted to spiritual themes.
The Lord knew he would be reached this way. Others would have proudly stepped into hell rather than call out to the Saviour.
>universities are some of the most closed-minded places there are
It is a pity that the same universities that used to teach people to be open minded are so close minded.
I'm sorry you feel that way and pray that you keep an open mind and heart.
Here’s what I don’t understand with this whole scenario.
Atheists, scientists et all, will, on one hand, go on and on about the mysteries of the universe and how little man really knows about it.
Psych types write reports daily about the mysteries of the mind, philosophers expend gallons of ink over the nature of consciousness and NO ONE can define what it is, how it works, including memory and perceptively how it is stored (other than ‘it’s in the brain somewhere.’
OK. Given these basic truths, How is it that these ‘brain surgeons’ can with such unflinching certainty say that things like NDEs, afterlife, yes even the well worn line GOD do NOT exist.
They admit in one breath they are clueless about a basic function of our existance, consciousness and how it works/what/where it is, and in the very next breath will tell you with total conviction that they KNOW there’s nothing after death.
Has ANYONE ever seen one of these people explain that? I mean not 100 years ago, nothing was smaller than an atom. They KNEW for a FACT it was the smallest possible thing.
The arrogance, say nothing about lack of actual science behind this grand determination astounds me.
I also recall from studying NDE’s earlier in my life that quite often NDE’S from suicide attempts are remarkedly different from ‘regular’ NDE’s, much less comforting...
Surprisingly (Or not), none of these recollections ever mention 72 virgins or the word “Allah”. The God of Abraham is the real deal.
When people have NDEs the event feels as real 50 years later as it did on the day it happened, so the event is not just a figment of the persons imagination.
Thank you for posting this story.
The best thing I’ve read in a long time.
“Lord have mercy on us, a sinful nation, and deliver us from the evil that is all around us. Deliver our country from those who seek to enslave your people. Make all their evil plans into dust. Amen”
Its all about worldview. A person who believes in the supernatural can allow for nearly all claims of the supernatural to be false without destroying the supernaturalist worldview. However, a naturalist/materialist cannot allow for even one claim of the supernatural to be true without destroying his worldview.
This is probably why they even attack ideas like the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot, because it would destroy everything they though they knew about evolution.
You should all Google this guy. He has some pretty detailed predictions that Jesus apparently told him. Many of them parrot Dem talking points. Far be it from me to question his sincerity, but let’s just say I’m just a little more skeptical than when I first read this post.
Yes, that is I have read also.
NDE can be identified thus because the thought processes are crytal clear and suffering is all gone. How can one think then even better and without any "drag" than even when not sick... at a very time of being sick and losing consciousness... It's like everything stops, the body factory rumble, and you go about and it is so peaceful and quiet. Then you start hearing voices of philosophy that immitate the voices of loved ones and what not. As I wanted to wake back up, I could not and it felt like a plastic bag was being wrapped around my head, and I kicked and screamed trying to stop going down this desert path of desolation. Then a giant hand picked me up by the hair to the side of the trail and smacked me with the last shrub of green grass around to consciousness and back to pain, fever, suffering, confusion and delirium. I later found that this giant hand is the same as the vision of Jeremiah who was picked by the hair by a similar giant hand. Mine dragged my body away from the desolate path of starvation, pulling me by the hair.
Awesome story. Thanks for sharing!
bumpus ad summum
Thank you so very much for posting this. It is nice to read something once in a while that uplifts the spirit. It also reminds that in the end, the daily troubles of this life matter little and that someday we walk through another door into His arms for wonders untold.
Anyone who thinks they are going to die and experience what comes next with a view of their lives as wonderful (some Christians I have met thing this!)...has a very serious surprise in store. :(
Fortunately, He knew this and sent Jesus to pay for our sins so we could be set free from what we have done.
I died of cardiac arrest in Aug. 2009. Was down and dead for a couple minutes. Fortunately my son had gotten me to the hospital (thru rush hour traffic- He learned to drive hard and fast in Iraq) in time where a doctor was waiting for me.
While I didn’t see any angels, lights, or anything during dead time and the two comas I was in afterwards, a lot of people were praying for me (The doctors had said that if I revived, it would be a miracle. They called it right).
I believe that God had a purpose for me to stick around - help raise my granddaughter (she’s the real angel in all this); take care of my wife and adult children if they need it; and to take Obama and his commies down!.
Still ticking after 2-1/2 years and still doing all of the above, esp. the last.
Miracles: Able to call my wife/son for help in getting me from DC to ALexandria Va hospital, and in time
- Doctor and crash cart right there when I went into clinical death
- Defibrilator worked on the second series of shocks
- Arctic Sun coma
- Normal medical coma
- Brain Seizures
6 days later, woke up watching Fox Cable News. Surprised the heck out of everyone in the room. A lot of believers where created that day.
God works in strange ways, but who am I to complain.
We’ve got work to do.
Say what you want about the French, they are not barbarians and their medicine is sophisticated. Sorry, but this part of the story does not pass the smell test.
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