|Faith to Walk Ministries||
From our heart to yours
|Faith to Walk Ministries||
From our heart to yours
I sit and hear story after story in books and over the internet about near death experiences and even though they come from good intentioned people, we have to ask ourselves (or at least we should), what does God say about this in His Word? Is it real? Could it actually happen?
Now I will let you know that I will be directing this blog toward the near death experiences, but the underlying question is this - do we, as Christians really believe the Word of God or not? What has the authority in our lives? I will let you know right now that if you don't have your life firmly grounded in the Word of God, you will be taken by every wind of doctrine and new experience that comes across your path. We need to read, study, believe, and follow the Word of God to be able to keep us and others that hear us on the right path.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15
Sadly this is not the case for many believes, "Christian" speakers, writers and even some pastors. They instead, like to gravitate to the school of experience and place that as the highest authority in life. Listen very carefully, we need to make sure that we are teaching and sharing correct teachings that God has handed down in the Word of God - it is a matter of eternal life and death.
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Timothy 4:16
So, what does the Bible teach on this subject of near death experiences?
Has someone been brought back to life? Yes - for example there was boy that was raised by God through Elijah (1 Kings 17:17-24), there was Lazarus the friend of Jesus (John 11:1-45), the young son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), others at Christ's crucifixion (Matthew 27:52-53), Paul praying over Eutychus (Acts 20:8-12) In all of these instances they were done by the power of one that was endued by the power of God that was proclaiming the Word of God - and especially preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. What was the reason behind these miraculous raising of the dead? Jesus Christ Himself reveals this -
"Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?' John 11:25-26
These occurrences pointed to Jesus Christ that has power for more than just the living, but can give everlasting life to those who place their faith in Him.
The near death experiences now though are not resurrections of the body - that will come later, but something entirely different and their message is nothing like the message, power, or magnitude of what happened then. The difference is as different as night and day. In fact, the difference is this - a resurrection is accomplished through God's power, in proclamation by someone that is a believer and not only living in Christ, but proclaiming that great news of Jesus Christ. No where in the Old Testament or the New Testament does it show God sending someone back with a message of comfort. In fact, as we will see - God doesn't believe nor do this.
Once again, we keep seeing and hearing about people dying and then God letting them come back to tell the message of comfort. So what does Jesus Christ (Who is in charge of life and death - heaven and hell) say about this?
Let's look closer at the example of Lazarus (a different Lazarus then Jesus' friend) and the rich man -
"And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:26-31
Did you catch what Christ was saying here? The rich man was asking for someone dead (near death or all the way dead experience) to go back and bring them the message of repentance. To this Abraham says, "no." If one can't come back to preach Christ and tell them to repent to miss hell, then certainly Christ isn't going to have someone to come back just to comfort others.
He goes on to say that they have the writing of Scripture - the Word of God; and if they don't believe that, they won't believe one even if they rise from the dead. This is a prophecy in sorts because we have the Word of God and Jesus Christ that rose from the dead and never died again (all the others did), but instead, people cling to these stories to keep them believing in something better.
What does Christ say about people that constantly need to see signs to believe in Him? If you are one that believers, reads these stories, watches these movies and needs them to continue to believe, then this warning is for you from Christ Himself - once again - the One who owns and rules it all.
This was spoken to the Pharisees that kept asking for one more sign to believe.
"But he answered and said unto them, 'An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'" Matthew 12:39-40
To the ones that keep needing a sign to continue to believe - Jesus Christ calls you evil and an adulterous generation. That's not a good thing. He is saying the same thing we saw before - and the main thing is we have His crucifixion, death, and resurrection and that is all we need. If we need anything more than that, we are out of the will of God.
Now, there are stories that needs to be looked at in light of Scripture for some of the things shared go in total contradiction to the Word of God. I need to pause for a moment and once again say to those that teach this, share this and proclaim it - you need to be very careful. Especially the message that is shared because there is no glorifying Christ, with declarations of repentance and turning your life over to Christ as Lord and Savior. When you share in a message that all go to heaven, or you share messages that try to give comfort to people about heaven whether or not they have an active genuine relationship with Jesus Christ - then you are playing right into the plan of Satan himself, and will be leading many to hell. If people are comforted to go to heaven without a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ Himself - you are preaching a totally different gospel that what was handed down from Christ and His Word. Let me share some passages of Scripture that I pray you really take to heart.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9
Notice that is very strong language - let him be accursed. Sharing comfort of heaven without a genuine and active relationship with Christ is another gospel. Once again, it says "let him be accursed;" that doesn't mean to invite them to speak to your church groups and functions and support them.
Now let's look at how it is Satan that is at the heart of the deception -
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:13-14
For those that teach such things need to know that this is what will happen in these last days and we are to be aware of it.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
"My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." James 3:1 (parenthesis added)
Once again, teaching the things of the afterlife, heaven and hell, God - these are things that you need to know from the Word of God because it is eternal, spiritual life and death issues.
Now we need to go back to some stories I hear and how they are in contradiction to what God says in His Word.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15
That means, that when a believer in Christ dies, they are in the very presence of Christ in all His glory.
There is absolutely no chance of not knowing what happened to you.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:8
Once again, there is no guessing what happened or not being conscious of it.
In closing - if you are a believer I encourage you to read, study, believe, and follow the Word of God. This will protect you and those you share it with (1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:15).
If you are one that shares, teaches, and promotes this - beware. This truly is eternal, spiritual life and death and teaching that people not only do this, but that you want to comfort others through it can lead people to eternal damnation. I know people believe their experiences to be true, but researching the Word of God is the first thing you should do to see what God says about it. Please get into the Word of God.
God doesn't believe in near death experiences. We all need to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, ask Him to forgive us our sins, and repent before it's too late - for life itself is a near death experience!