MOM’S HELL AND HEAVEN ENCOUNTER
I can still remember when my mother became spiritually ‘born again’ in 1987. She woke up one morning to tell us about a troubling dream she had that night.
At that point in her life, she was greatly dismayed with the behavior of her evangelical church members and had made up her mind to stop attending that church. There was no spiritual fulfillment in her life and she wondered whether there could still be more to Christianity in spite of all the hardships of life she was experiencing.
She wept that night and finally fell off to sleep. And behold, a godly voice spoke to her in a dream that night telling her to start attending a church called “Deeper Life”. When she woke up in the morning, she was greatly troubled by this dream, so she went out that day to find out whether such a church existed. But surprising enough, she discovered through inquiries that a new church just came into the town called “Deeper Life Bible Ministry”. And that was how she joined the church and became a committed member.
She was so happy because it was there she heard the message of salvation and gave her life to Christ, and later got filled with the Holy Ghost baptism too! (They do preach powerful messages in that church which centers on holiness and righteousness).
In 1998, exactly three months before my mother died, she fainted suddenly one particular afternoon shortly after she’d fried some ‘akara’ balls. Her neighbors immediately rushed her to the hospital for treatment, and between this short period of her fainting and later waking up in the hospital, she had a mighty vision of Hell and Heaven.
As she collapsed to the ground, she described her spirit left her body almost immediately and rapidly like a balloon which was deflated. Suddenly all her senses became sharper, her vision superb and her body felt light and free like the ‘birds of the air’.
She saw herself going down and down into absolute darkness at tremendous speed. Within a short time, it was all over, because she found herself on the floor of a hard surface. She stood up and stared into the distance. Just ahead, she saw flames of fire shooting up into gloomy darkness and millions of people screaming and shouting in great agony.
Immediately it dawned on her that she was in Hell. Lo, no one can be in such a place without feeling and perceiving the great evil odor, loneliness, gloom, darkness and grave fear that permeated the surroundings! Any step you take in Hell, you are reminded of how much that place is cut-off from the presence of God. It’s a place of doom and eternal separation from God.
My mother shared: “No lost soul can stay in Hell for 24 hours without eventually blaspheming God’s name, because the suffering in that place is totally unbearable and unbelievable. In fact, the suffering there is so terrible, so unthinkable and so painfully sickening it’s impossible to describe adequately with mere spoken words or words on paper written in ink!”
Being in the agonizing torments of hell – knowing you’ll be separated from God for eternity “that torment is excruciatingly agonizing just by itself. But to be thrown in hell with demons who hate God, and the only pleasure they find is to torment sinners who are sent there that is DOUBLY WORSE!
Whenever mother reached this point in her narration, she’d be lost for words to describe Hell, and then she would start crying uncontrollably.
At this juncture, as often as she had repeated telling her testimony to people, she’d just stop and shake her head in heart-felt agony and plead for the people to give their life to Christ to avoid going to Hell at all cost.
According to mother, it is only when one had seen hellfire that any sensible person would realize that the judgment of God is already in progress. All souls that were lost from the days of Adam and Eve to the current time are already in Hell, and that even the people currently alive are mere inches away from hell if they die without giving their lives to Jesus Christ, because once that happens, then all hope is lost.
But the shocking thing is that the people of the world are living ignorantly without knowledge of Hell and as though nothing will ever hurt them. Even many people who consider themselves Christians don’t care either!
My mother would often say, “If every Christian was literally shown hellfire, maybe that would motivate them to live more righteously and aggressively obedient for Jesus without so much compromise and shame and remorse. Maybe they’d appreciate MORE what the blood of Jesus has delivered them from and they wouldn’t take the grace of God for granted, as was the case of compromising “Christians’ who died and are now suffering in hell”.
As Mother continued marching through Hell, the sight of lost souls almost broke her heart, and the greatest thought on her mind was how she’d get out of Hell.
At the back of her mind, she wondered almost loudly: “Why am I in hell?” A still voice immediately assured her that God was only showing her the place. And she knew that it was so because she didn’t feel the heat of hellfire, and rather – the Holy Ghost actually made her feel comfortable.
The lost souls were begging and pleading for water and a chance to get out of Hell. She keenly observed that the people in Hell could hardly look straight at her because her body shone with a bright light. At one juncture, my mother noted that her own body was looking almost transparent like a spirit; it was only then that it dawned on her that she was dead.
One skeleton-of-a-man walked up to her and stretched out his hand, begging her to take him out of Hell. But she kicked the hand out of her way, more out of fear than anything else, and then turned and moved toward a place where she didn’t see any fire. Instantly she knew that this place would lead her out of Hell.
She walked for a long time and eventually came to a narrow, obscured road that went upward through rugged terrain. Then suddenly she was transported to Heaven into the presence of untold beauty and glory. Two mighty angels met her by the gate and welcomed her saying, “We have been waiting for you to come. You are welcome!”
Obviously, they seemed to have discussed something about her before she came because they were smiling and no longer looking at the book that was opened before them. For a brief moment, she wanted to sing and dance and praise God for all the marvelous things like flowers, precious stones, glorious walls and majestic gate of Heaven she was beholding. The horrors of Hell were completely forgotten and she longed in anticipation as to what lay ahead of her in Heaven.
For the sake of emphasis again, there are no words that can describe the glories of Heaven, neither can it be adequately penned down with ink on paper. Everything in Heaven was dazzling with crystal clear light like that of a very precious stone. As soon as she entered Heaven’s pearly gate and stepped onto the street of Jerusalem, she no longer wished to leave that place again. She felt like an overcomer, or like someone that has just conquered a great battle, or else how can you explain the fact that a mere mortal is taken to a place that exceeded anything in glory and told “WELCOME HOME”! Therefore she began to walk tall with happiness and gladness on the street of purest gold.
As they were going, she began to hear songs and music of worship and adoration emanating from a big building. When she looked into the building she saw women of all ages, all looking alike, shining and dazzling in glory, wearing on them a beautiful garment (which strangely reminded her of the garment her own choir uses in ‘Deeper Life’ church).
The angel looked at her; and actually it was a good thing that she was brought here, because this place and the women she saw made an everlasting impression on her soul. That is were she longed to be for ever! Lo, in Heaven everyone was happy, smiling and busy!
She was taken to a place where she now felt the urgency of the second coming of Jesus. There was great preparations going on for the coming of Jesus back to Earth, and to her surprise, she saw some mighty angels with trumpets getting ready and set to blow. They stood alert and ready as though they were waiting for God to command them to blow those trumpets in the next one hour time (That was how the angels in Heaven respond to God; they are always ready for action and to do the bidding of the Father, every second that passes).
She was told: “The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, is ready and set to come to the world for His own; Heaven is set and ready too; the saints are ready, so tell my Church that the Lord is coming soon now. All that remains is for the Father to give the command…”
There were so many things that she saw in Heaven but these very few things were written down to encourage your faith. Then she was told to return back to the earth and was escorted out of Heaven. But within a twinkle of an eye, she didn’t remember what happened next, and woke up in the hospital bed in Gboko, Benue State, in the country of Nigeria.
My mother was able to preach and testify to what she had seen and heard until the day she died, which was three months after this vision. On the night she was dying in the hospital, I overheard her saying “I want to go home; I want to go home!” and I wondered what “home” she was talking about. Now that she is dead – she died in 1998 – I now understand she was longing to go home to her Savior!