Are they real?
You know, the ones where people die and then come back to life.
Many people who have those experiences say that they’ve gotten a glimpse of what heaven is like, and it’s AMAZING!
You may have read articles about near death experiences, or seen videos of them before.
But I promise you that what you’re going to see today is different and unique.
This is a story of a near death experience with a twist.
What Makes This Story So Stinkin’ Different?
Sure, you might have seen a video interview with someone who claims that they died and went to heaven.
But have you ever seen a video of a scientist with a Ph.D. say that he has scientific evidence that heaven is real?
Yeah, see, I didn’t think so.
Dr. Jeffrey Long is a radiation oncologist. He conducted a study of more than 1,300 people who made claims that they had near death experiences.
His findings were that they all had similar stories about what they saw in heaven.
So then this brings up a couple of objections:
- Maybe those people who had near-death experiences were affected by certain memories
- Maybe those people who had near-death experiences were affected by other people talking about their own near-death experiences
To overcome these objections, Dr. Long did research on children who were blind from birth, and whose ages were 5 years and under.
That way, he could study children who had no idea what a near-death experience is.
What were his findings?
Watch the video.
But One Crucial Thing Before You Watch The Video
I’m not trying to convince you that near-death experiences are real.
And I’m not trying to convince you that people can go to heaven and come back to talk about it.
In fact, there have been scandals in the past about people making up stories that they went to heaven when they didn’t.
Christians are divided on the subject on whether God would ever allow someone to go to heaven in the spirit, and then to come back.
Some Christians think that a visit to heaven was only reserved for the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2–5), and no one after that.
Other people think that it’s possible for someone to go to heaven and then come back to tell us about it.
But what I am trying to do is share a fascinating story with you that’ll get you thinking about heaven.
So watch the video.
After that, leave a comment of what you think about near-death experiences because it would be a cool thing to talk about.
Do you think someone can have a near-death experience? Leave a comment because it would be an interesting discussion to have.
I’m not sure if someone can have a near-death experience, go to heaven, and come back. I can’t think of any scriptures that would say that it’s not possible.
It’ll be very interesting to hear your thoughts on the topic.
I know my mother very shortly before she died. She was completely lucid, and talking. Her eyes kept looking at something on the ceiling. We would talk to her, and say “Mom, what are you looking at?” and then she would say how nice the curtains were that were hanging in the hospital room. She would talk with us again, and then her eyes again would be on the ceiling. She was not scared at all. It must have been so very beautiful. Maybe it was angels surrounding her, or even the face of God. She died the next day.
Wow, that’s amazing Crystal! How long ago did she go home to be with the Lord?
WOW Crystal. Hope is a beautiful thing. I am glad your mum is in a place of eternal Joy. It is rare that people feel like your mum did. I have known people who love and fear God and have lived their lives in submission to God and before their death they new their time is up. It is a blessing to know such people. God is the Only Faithful One. Thanks for sharing.
40 years ago, shortly after my wife and I were married, a retired teacher from a local seminar spoke on grace. He recounted a time when he was a child, standing around his dying grandfather’s bed with his parents, siblings, aunt & uncle and his cousins. His grandfather was very peaceful when he spoke his last words; “Harold, I didn’t think I would see you here”. He then calmly passed away.
That experience obviously had an effect on you, Paul, since you still remember it after 40 years. Wow, now that’s powerful 🙂
I have not experienced a NDE, however, this summer I did watch a new TV series I believe was on TNT called “Proof” which attempted to study the validity of NDE. As TV shows go, it was interesting and I hope they bring it back for a second season.
This Doctor’s research is interesting in that he attempts to eliminate contamination of life experiences and influences from others by selecting young children who were blind.
The Apostle Paul’s experience as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:2–5 has always been a puzzlement to me as well as John’s visions in Revelation and several others in the Tanakh.
Suffice it to say that God is God and He can do anything He wants within His own constraints based on His character. Consequently, I don’t have a problem with people describing their own NDE. After all, by Faith, I do believe in Heaven.
Amen to that, Don. I found your comment to be very well-balanced and very thoughtful.
I’m going to have to look up the TV show, it sounds really good 🙂
Thanks Don, God bless you always my friend ?
The only scripture I could think of that may contradict NDE’s would be Hebrews 9:27 – “…each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgement…”. However, this verse is not really talking about NDE’s. It’s about Christ’s sacrifice and how his death once was good enough to atone for the sins of many. I’m not sure that it could be used in the context of NDE’s.
That’s an excellent passage that you bring up Trawlings! I agree with you that it may not necessarily be applicable to NDE’s but it’s still a verse that we should think about.
Thank you for giving me something to think about 🙂
I question NDE’s because many (most) of them do not reflect the urgency for a person to have a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. The Bible is replete with scriptures encouraging us to believe in and live for Christ and to receive His gift of salvation. The accounts of NDE’s direct people to be good…there is no requirement for salvation encouraged from whoever they meet after the light at the end of the tunnel.
I agree with you Rick that the most important decision that one has to make is that of receiving Jesus Christ for salvation.
One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is the path to conversion. So imagine you’re standing in front of a pond that’s 50 feet wide and you want to cross the other side. If you try jumping across, you’re going to fall into the pond for sure.
But now imagine that someone comes along and puts five stepping stones across the pond. Now it’s easy for you to take one step at a time and go from one side to the other.
I’ve lately been thinking that salvation is like a pond with stepping stones. God knows our hearts and He takes us one step at a time moving us one step closer to salvation through belief in His Son.
If this is the case, then maybe it’s possible that NDE’s are one of those stepping stones? What are your thoughts on this analogy, Rick?
I like the analogy of the pond. My concern is that the NDE encourages the person involved, and those they share their experience with, to be comfortable staying on the first stone. There is no urgency to cross the pond (the world) to reach the point of salvation (the other side).
I consider my 21 year old daughter who believes the Bible too strict, and would rather live as a good person and trust that she will make it to heaven on her good works. In reference to these NDE’s, she says it confirms that God welcomes people into heaven because God is love. She doesn’t recognize that He is also a just God, who cannot wink at sin.
This is a challenging topic…and I’m not sure there is a “right” answer.
My 2 year old sister died when I was 5. She had been blind and left mentally retarded by meningitis when she was 6 months old. I do remember the day she died but mostly I remember my mother talking about how my sister opened her eyes like she was seeing something and smiling immediately before she went.
Wow, it gave me chills when I read your comment, Mark. Thank you for sharing that story with us. It must be comforting to know that one day you’re going to be reunited with your sister 🙂
Ive actually starting reading his book recently and find it interesting. I wouldnt rule out NDE at all unless there was biblical proof that there would not be. Our God is all powerful and in a nutshell he can do what he wants so why wouldnt he come to people if he wants to. There will always be an eliment of God we just cant understand yet. I love this site and thanks Peter for all your posts!
Thanks Glen for your thoughts about NDE’s. Part of the reason why I posed this question and asked for people to comment is so that I can find out if there is any kind of scripture that I’m missing here.
Some people have emailed me privately instead of commenting on the blog post. Those people say that they don’t believe in near-death experiences because of the Bible. But so far, they haven’t been able to produce any verses that refute NDE’s.
Oh and by the way, thank you very much for your kind words about Not Ashamed of the Gospel. It’s having warm, kind, and intelligent people like yourself that makes it such a pleasure to write on this blog. God bless you, Glen 🙂
no problem at all I am very greatful for all your help. I dont proclaim to know the bible inside out so without being offensive I would be interested if anyone knew of scripture that suggests it other than the post a little further back “to die once and to be judged”
In the NDE book certain people have died and when they came back round they have told about things going on in and around them, even in other rooms and conversations with detail. This isnt the first time too I have heard this. They may have been clinically dead but where they spiritually dead? who knows maybe God wanted to see and believe before it was too late. I think again unless there is scripture if we out right say no way then are we not saying we know for a fact what God would do or not do in this instance? I understand a lot from learning through the bible and study of other non biblical proof of God but I would never confess to knowing his every move. I think maybe God knows in our hearts we are all different and in order to help us he comes to us in different ways. I am sure they are many fake claims but there is enough research and proof to surgest otherwise and other possibilities!
I don’t know what to do with NDEs. On the one hand, there seems to be plenty of evidence that the experiences are real. On the other hand we’ve got scriptures such as Eccl 9:5-6, and Ps 146:3-4 that say that the dead are totally unaware of anything at all. They are, as Jesus intimated, asleep. (Jn 11:11) So, here are several possible explanations (all of which may fall short of the TRUTH): 1) Given that the dead “know nothing”, the one having the NDE isn’t actually dead, but is being fed a vision by a demon while his/her body has stopped functioning. The demon could know all the relatives and history surrounding them. But the relatives are not talking with the newly “dead” because according to Eccl 9:6 (MKJV) “…neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” 2) At Acts 2:29, 34 Peter pointed out that King David had not ascended to heaven, though dead and buried. That was because as Martha had said (Jn 11:24,) the dead wouldn’t be resurrected until “the last day.” So, re the NDE, possibly Jesus gave the newly “dead” a vision of what is yet to come, according to our thinking about the linear nature of time. That might be supported by Paul’s description at 2 Co 12:2-4, where he writes about a man who “was caught up into the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know…” So, who makes NDEs possible – satan or Jesus? Maybe some Jesus, other’s by satan. I don’t know. It would be interesting to get the history of those who have been affected by NDE. Has he or she been a more loving person, more intent on carrying out the Great Commission, proclaiming God’s kingdom? (Mt 28:19-20?) Did s/he become more determined to know our Shepherd personally so as to be a better follower of His voice? Jn 10:11, 4
Good points, Terry. In addition…I’ve noticed that a few of the NDE experiences are from Christians, while others are from non-believers. I can’t imagine that God would address both believers and unbelievers in the same way, but we know the enemy attempts to deceive both believers and unbelievers in the same way. I’m a skeptic at best.
I agree with your comment Rick ?
Peter, Thanks for sharing the post on this topic. I am gonna discuss with my friend whose companionship has been a blessing to me and influenced my thinking to develop a more God centric life and thoughts.
Sounds good Deeps. If your friend shares with you any insights, please consider sharing them on the blog.
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Hi Peter, Very fascinating topic. I used to be skeptical about NDEs until I heard a nurse describe her 5 year research study, involving a number of her ICU patients. One thing that stuck out in my mind is that when the patients were going through near death experiences they had flat lines on heart and brain monitors. There was zero electrical activity in the brain! How could they be seeing all this when there was no evidence their brain was working at all? Unless their spirit left their body and the spirit was seeing and experiencing these amazing things? Also, a lot of patients saw and heard things in distant areas of of the hospital they had no prior knowledge of. There’s a DVD called ‘Purgatory’ where Dr. Jeffrey Long is one of the people being interviewed. It’s incredible the amount of detailed research he had on thousands of people around the world who had experienced NDEs. He said that after these people had their NDEs, they had profound changes in their personalities and life- styles (greatly for the better). Some became Christians and entered full time Christian service.. I plan on getting his book. Keep up the good work Peter.! Best wishes , Thea Brescia
Thanks for sharing Thea. if you do end up reading his book, please come back and share your thoughts 🙂
The bible says the dead are conscious of nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5). But God is awaiting a time when he will resurrect all who have died (John 5:28,29). If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned then mankind would never have had to experience death. Death is unnatural, the punishment for sin. Mankind only experiences it because of the first human couple’s disobedience. He created humans to live forever on earth, to take care of it and fill it with happy, peaceful people (Genesis 1:28)(Psalm 37:11)(Isaiah 45:18). God’s purpose hasn’t changed, he is working towards it’s fulfillment. Although it may seem long to us we shouldn’t think God is slow (2Peter 3:9). God has promised a new heaven and a new EARTH! (Revelation 21:1). Many pray for God’s Kingdom to come, his will to be done, on EARTH, as it is in heaven. God promises these wonderful things – in Revelation 21:4. He has provided the ransom sacrifice of his dear son so that all mankind can have the chance to regain everlasting life on earth as he originally purposed. We just have to put our faith in Jesus, follow God’s guidance in the bible and share this hope with others. Please read these verses and meditate on them.