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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

A Man Sees Hell and Lives to Tell

Fr. Scott Haynes



Today it is unusual to hear sermons about the fires of hell. People prefer to hear about the love and mercy of God preached from the pulpit. While the Lord is full of loving-kindness for us, He also calls us to loving and obedient hearts:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).


At the time of death, many people assume everyone make a direct entrance into heaven. But we must recall that evildoers "will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46). While certainly no person can choose evil in and of itself, everyone is prone to fall prey to the allure and enticement of sin. St. John sobers us as he writes:

“The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8).


Over the centuries, we hear testimonials of Christians who have seen the fires of hell and returned to tell. In our own times, a man from Michigan claims he visited hell when he died from a heart attack in 2016. Gerald Johnson claims that he died of a heart attack and that what he saw and, more importantly, heard was horrible. Johnson claims that he witnessed horrific, gory scenes of torture and anguish and heard music tailored to induce maximum trauma.


Johnson described his experience in an online video and claims that instead of going directly to Heaven as he hoped, he descended into the fires of Hell. He stated:

"I thought I did so much good during my life and that I helped so many people, but even so, I went down [to Hell]."


Johnson claims to have witnessed demons enslaving humans, as well as one man "walking on all fours like a dog and getting burned from head to toe. His eyes were bulging and worse than that: He was wearing chains on his neck. He was like a hellhound."


He asserts that Hell was significantly worse than he had ever imagined. Johnson states,

"I entered the very center of the Earth. The things I saw there are indescribable. It brings up so many difficult feelings when I talk about it. I was there and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I don't care what he did to me. No one deserves that."


According to Johnson, there is an area of Hell where music is played, albeit very poorly. He attests that he heard Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" being used as torturous weapons. To make matters even worse, the demonic choir playing these songs performed them badly on purpose to maximize the suffering of souls, as he further explains:

"Every word of every song was made to torture you for the fact that you didn't worship God through music while you were on Earth."


Johnson claims God returned him to his physical body, but will never forget what he witnessed, stating:

"I was angry with God because I did so much good in my life and ended up in Hell. I rose up out of Hell and returned to Earth — and God spoke to me. He said, 'You were secretly angry with people who harmed you, you hoped I would punish them. These are not your people. These are my people. I just want you to focus on the task I give you.' Even though I did good, the thing I had in my heart was a lack of forgiveness for the people who wronged me."


The Scriptures remind us that “the measure you measure out will be measured back upon you.” (Luke 6:38). If want to experience the perfect peace of heaven, we must, therefore, follow the advice of St. Paul, who says:

“Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

If we struggle to forgive, we ought to remember that it in Christ that all forgiveness is found. Do not forgive your enemies in your own name, but rather forgive them in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


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