Ep.1206: Is a Near-Death Experience a Glimpse of Heaven?
Uncovering what a near death experience is and what it is not
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Theme Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:3-4
Near-death experiences (NDEs) are common. They have been reported from cultures and religions worldwide for hundreds of years. In this near-death scenario, there is usually a dark tunnel with a warm and calming light at the end. Often there are deceased relatives waiting in that light to receive the person going through the experience. Sometimes the person feels and sees themselves leave their body. At Christian Questions, we have always held that the Bible teaches that death is the absence of life. Could these NDEs be shedding a different light and proof on this subject? Are these experiences showing us a gateway to the supernatural, or could they in any way be physiological? One way or another, NDEs prove something. This question is, what?
Millions have reported having an NDE
The drama of an NDE is hard to match. There are so many millions of people who have reported them, and their reports frequently indicate a vivid sense of reality. People not only remember having the experience, they remember its details and sensations in extraordinary detail. Because these experiences are common throughout the world and across all religious borders, we need to pay attention to their message. As we acknowledge the commonality of such events, it is also important to recognize that all NDEs are not pleasant or peaceful. Some people are unfortunately terrorized and traumatized by what they report.
What do NDEs tell us?
Curiously, when you compare the details of these experiences, they seem to gather into categories based upon cultural or religious beliefs. One example of this is the reports that during an NDE, people see their lives panoramically flash before their eyes. While this description of a life review is extremely common in western cultures and Judeo-Christian faiths, it is entirely different in some eastern culture and religious circles.
The Hindu NDE accounts may consist of having someone read the record of the dying person’s life (called the “akashic record”). In Hinduism, a traditional belief is that the reading of a person’s akashic record occurs immediately after death. This concept is widely believed by Hindus all over India. The common western culture panoramic life review does not appear in accounts from India. So, why is this significant?
Check out our November 29, 2021 podcast, “Is a Near Death Experience a Glimpse of Heaven?” We address this core question regarding what an NDE is on several levels. First, we establish a scriptural basis for viewing such experiences. As this story unfolds, it really looks like we are dealing with massive contradictions. The Bible is specific about what death is, and the commonality of near-death experiences seems to indicate a fundamental difference between the two. When we open the door of medical and scientific evidence all of this changes. Join us as we combine biblical perspective with science, medicine and practical application and come up with a fascinating and harmonious conclusion! We also recommend Episode 1201: Can the Dead Communicate With Us?