There is lots of attention being given to individuals who have had a "near death" experience. Each person had an experience nearly identical to the other, hovering over their lifeless body, moving slowly into a tunnel that has a bright light at the end, and when they reach the end of that tunnel, they felt warmth and love like they had never known. Some heard an entity say, "you have to go back, it's not your time." Most of these people say it was God or Jesus speaking, others heard nothing, just returned. There have been others who said they descended into darkness, and felt hands pulling and tugging at them, or heard warnings to go back, leave this terrible place. In both cases, the experience was real to the individuals, and their lives changed dramatically when they were revived.
These events can become a best selling book, or even a movie, because of the curiosity people have about life after death. I don't doubt the experience. Many do. Some skeptics have said the event is a memory of the person's birth. Others say it is the religious upbringing they have had, and they are merely dreaming. You can't tell the individual it didn't happen, it is reality to them. They have passed over the line of doubt and belief and know life doesn't end when we depart this life for good.
I knew a man some years ago that had the experience. He said he was at the very gates of heaven and heard sounds of singing like he had never heard, so beautiful that he was drawn to enter, but told to return because his work wasn't done. He said he felt tears burning his cheeks, as he asked to be able to stay, but was told not now. Another lady said she was actually there, saw the beauty, and somehow knew everyone's name around her in heaven. Her life wasn't the same. Two of my uncles were at my grandmother's deathbed. In her final hours, she was in a coma, but they heard her talking to my brother who had passed two years earlier saying, "O Steve, isn't that beautiful!" That is priceless! These are people I knew in life, and their words and experience. I know of another man who's experience was the descent into the darkness, it was horrifying!
Hearing the words and experience, really believing these people who had no reason to lie, doesn't cause me to believe or disbelieve that when this life is over, I will merely decompose in the ground. Nothing, no light, no darkness, just nothing. This is the hope of the unbeliever, literally, their hope. You see, they have to hope, or actually have faith, that nothing happens when they die. They live and die without any acknowledgement of God's reality. They must have a fervent religious belief in nothingness.The alternative is unthinkable. I believe that what is written in scripture regarding death, is reality. If I believe the Bible for my way of living, I believe it for my way of dying too.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed- in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound
and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1Cor. 15:51-52 (NKJV)
"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be
present with the Lord." 2Cor.5:8 (NKJV)
We have all lost people we have known it this life. The sorrow is measured upon our closeness to the deceased, and the grief can be unbearable. We must deal with this grief, or the possibility of never recovering looms. The possibility of using drugs or alcohol are imminent, and a great excuse to ignore helping others who are going through the same sorrow. I took me 16 years to deal with my brother's death. that only happened by God leading me out of alcoholism. I loved the self-pity, and self-loathing of grief while drinking, I was full of self. Had my brother lived, I wouldn't have been a better brother even if I knew the event would happen...but I digress. Now back on topic. Be assured, if you are a believer, when you pass, you will be with Christ...forever! This is the "blessed hope" we have in Him. The moment you trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you pass from death unto life. Death no longer has power over you. Do it right now, ask Him to come into your heart.
These people who had the near-death experience, I believe, that not all of them actually had a visit into heaven. The light, the warmth, the voice they heard, all of these seem to be in between the realm of physical and spiritual. And this is merely my opinion. I have heard that some have actually walked with Jesus, or a loved one, or even a character in the Bible, and I do not doubt them. I personally feel that if a person has been in that place of eternal bliss, they would be nearly useless here on Earth. They would want to go back, this world would be trash to them. Or, their experience would have to be really obscure. If not, how could you think of anything else?
Paul the apostle had the experience and in his words he "heard things that were unlawful to utter." He had a mission to accomplish, and was driven to stay here on Earth and complete that work. Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar. In hell, the rich man saw into paradise and saw Abraham and Lazarus whose sufferings he had ignored in his life. He asked Abraham to have someone to go from the dead and warn his brothers about hell, so they wouldn't go there. Abraham told him that if they don't believe in the law and prophets, the wouldn't believe a dead person. (Paul read 2Cor.12, Jesus' lesson read Luke 16) This is a true statement. People have this experience, people still don't believe. Faith is what it takes to believe. the more your faith grows in the knowledge of God, the more you believe in your eternal home.
I have no doubt. I have my bags packed. Christ purchased my ticket. I prefer to be as Paul and tenacious in convincing those who don't have plans yet for their forever, to come along and join me. I'm not Paul, but I want to ask you to join us. I don't have the vision he had, but 2000 years later, I believe in the same way, and the same home. Join us, come along. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith (RIP Jason)