NDEs

Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are commonplace these days. However, the Thomas’s in the faith remain full of doubt.

I know one leader in our church poo-poos them. Even John Piper struggles.

Why so skeptical?

~Do they not “see” what Scripture reveals?
~Do they lack discernment?
~Do they mistakenly attempt to put Almighty God in a human-sized box?
~Are they afraid of what they don’t understand in the spirit realm?
~Are they unaware of parallel universes?
~Do they dismiss all NDEs because some of them are deceptive?
~Are they so concrete, they walk more by sight than by faith (2 Cor. 5:7)?
~Are they so detail oriented that they miss the big picture (John 20:27)?

2 Corinthians 12:22 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.

If you do your research, you will find that many NDEs are consistent with one another and with the multitude of verses describing heaven and hell.

With the Word of God and the spirit of discernment, we can see plainly that human experience often lines up with God’s truth. A recent sampling:

To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal

Imagine Heaven by Pastor John Burke

Face to Face with Jesus by Samaa Habib

Heaven is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams by Sid Roth

 Routine Surgery Opens Door to Heaven  Dean Braxton’s testimony about heaven when his body died for 1:45 minutes at cbn.com or charismanews.com.

Daily we witness the world spinning faster and faster into chaos as we approach the end of days. In His perfect timing, the LORD is showing off on a global level creatively bringing souls into His kingdom. Among many venues, He’s using NDEs to do so.

Although NDEs have occurred throughout history, in these days for His purposes the LORD is dialing the dark glass (1 Cor. 13:12) from opaque to slightly more translucent.  We see this in the dreams, visions and numerous testimonies (Luke 23:43, Joel 2:28) of the spirit realm and afterlife which are consistent with the Scriptures, notwithstanding those that are deceptive (2 Cor.11:14, 2 Thes.2:3, 1 Tim. 4:1) promoting Universalism and so on.

As such, with the Holy Spirit moving, more souls have come to Christ in the last decades than in the history of the world. Do we seriously need to review the milky fact that Satan never leads people to salvation in Christ alone? Come on.

The Scriptures relay many aspects of heaven, but less details. If NDE heaven testimonies reveal more than Scripture reveals, yet remain consistent with it, I am happy to consider discerningly each one of them.

Furthermore, John 21:25 tells us that, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” 

If “the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” about all that Jesus did while here, could the Bible possibly contain all there is to know about heaven? If the whole world would not have room for all the books written about Christ’s ministry, then all the universe could not contain all the books that would be written about heaven.

The many things that Jesus did here reflect, but surely can’t compare, to the awesome vastness of heaven’s glory. So, John 21:25 affirms for us that the Scriptures can’t and don’t reveal all we might consider about our true home.

Thus, vertical NDEs.

What a radical thought! –Let’s consider all of the Scriptural evidence that the LORD provides for us about heaven (Eph. 4:14).

 

John 20:27 “Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.

On the topic of NDEs or any other for that matter, Thomas’s in the faith will always be with us (John 3:13). So let’s continue to walk by faith speaking the truth in love to them, just as Jesus did.
What Happens When We Die

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

2 Corinthians 12:22 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.

Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

John 3:12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way

1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Ephesians 4:14 We are not meant to remain as children but to grow up in every way into Christ.

Ephesians 4:15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,

Acts 7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

2 Corinthians 12:3-4 And I know that such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, [only] God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which man is not permitted to speak [words too sacred to tell].

Luke 16:19-31  “Now there was a certain rich man who was habitually dressed in expensive purple and fine linen, and celebrated and lived joyously in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, covered with sores. 21 He [eagerly] longed to eat the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now it happened that the poor man died and his spirit was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s [e]bosom (paradise); and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom (paradise). 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in severe agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things [all the comforts and delights], and Lazarus likewise bad things [all the discomforts and distresses]; but now he is comforted here [in paradise], while you are in severe agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you [people] a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to come over from here to you will not be able, and none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 So the rich man said, ‘Then, father [Abraham], I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may solemnly warn them and witness to them, so that they too will not come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have [the Scriptures given by] Moses and the [writings of the] Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 He replied, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent [they will change their old way of thinking and seek God and His righteousness].’ 31 And he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to [the messages of] Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

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About ashleydwille

Author Ashley D. Wille was always searching for spiritual answers. “True and lasting satisfaction always proved just out of reach. Now, in midlife, I have come to find my soul satiated in God. Through sweet surprises, difficult climbs, and excruciating valleys, the Master’s hand has shaped me. All along the way, God has taught me many things. What He has taught me most is that many of my beliefs about Him were wrong.” Her book, My Journey Through the Cross, is a personal insight shared by an amazing woman. Through her profound experiences and inner struggles, Wille shows how she was able to break through false layers of thinking and move into a deeper relationship with God. Her beautiful journey is just waiting to be shared. If you are ready to live your life free of guilt and shame, you too can learn how to walk in spiritual freedom.
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