What are NDE’s?
NDE stands for “Near Death Experience”. However, there is no true consensus on NDE’s. This is because they vary according to the people telling their stories.
There are some similarities though, like tunnels, light, wonder etc.. If it is in heaven, then the heavenlies always welcome them regardless of their lifestyle. They have a sense of love and comfort, no matter how unloving they have lived their lives to that point. And there is always the family members and friends that are there to greet them joyfully, demonstrating that they made it to heaven, so one can comfort the earthlies who are concerned about their afterlife upon their return.
Those who profess having gone to hell describe the place in varying terms. Some make out hell to have perceivably physical attributes. Cells, caves, fire, burning lake, demons with gnarled faces, horns and tails; horror movie images are aplenty. Others tell stories about not only what hell appears like, but also what the demons and other occupants are doing, which is usually regarding the torturing of humans.
Then there are those who claim to have gone to heaven and hell in one trip.
Another common ground is that those who have these “NDE’s” usually have to die first; i.e. their hearts stop beating and they class themselves as having been clinically dead, at least for the duration of their experience, even though they all call it a “near death experience”. This initially begs the question: Are they dead or nearly dead?
Then there is the fact that many of these NDE professors claim to be Christian or claim an awakening to some form of Christianity as the modern church knows it. But let’s press on to unearth the truth from it all.
Are NDE’s true?
Knowing the truth about NDE’s could save your life as you know it; and it will definitely help you to obtain a hope for life eternal.
Those who want to cling to their beliefs no matter what they are shown probably haven’t read this far. So you are doing well if you have.
The Foundation Of Truth
For any profession of truth to be true, it must be true to scripture, reason and life. This is the only method to discern truth and I explain it here. I mention scripture first because the scriptures are the foundation of truth. For if there is no foundation then we have nothing with which to judge a proposed truth; because then all judgement would be subjective to each other. But because the Word of God (the scriptures) claim to be the truth and no other book does, and because of historical evidence that ratifies its truth, it must be the foundation and source of all truth.
Now there are those who claim to be truthful in their claims in many religions and sects, but no other person (Buda, Mohamed, Krishna, Gandhi, Joseph Smith, C. T. Russel, etc.) have claimed to be THE TRUTH. But Jesus not only told the truth, taught the truth, but also claimed to be the truth. In other words, truth was manifested in Christ and therefore truth stemmed from Himself, and without Him there is no truth. Then He raised Himself from the dead to prove the point (John 2:19, and see vs 21 for clarification).
Discovering the truth about NDE’s
Differences in testimonies
The descriptions of heaven or hell bear some resemblances, but there are many details that are so widely different that to be able to believe them all one would naturally ask: how many heavens and hells are there? I will comment in my closing why this is.
What kind of person has an NDE?
I have listened to many NDE testimonies and the types of people are widely different. You get medical practitioners, pilots, war veterans, housewives, blue colour workers, etc. There is no pattern for the stereo type NDE professor. But neither is there stereo type murderers, thieves, saints, and whatever other category of mankind. I have seen people with great scriptural recall powers, bringing up scriptures as quick as Bruce Lee could throw out a punch. So, for the one who doesn’t know how to discern truth, all of it seems at least plausible.
NDE’s on trial by scripture and reason
Finally, let us test the authenticity of NDE’s by scripture and reason, for both must apply.
Their sense of love and comfort
Red flags should already be unfurling in the wind for true Christians. NDE’s who don’t know Christ falsely confess that they experienced such love and peace and comfort in heaven; but this is so much unlike reality. Anyone who does get to heaven is one that has been thoroughly sanctified through repentance and faith. They have turned their hearts and followed faithfully after Christ. And as Jesus Himself said:
“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.
Those who don’t make Christ the supreme cause in their life will not have a life with Him. They who think they can keep their sins and gain access into heaven are just wishful thinkers. And hiding behind the false doctrine that teaches that we only need to believe and confess Christ from twisting scriptures like Rom.10:9 are gravely mistaken.
For an true explanation of the popular cloak for their sin in Rom. 10:9 see “Confess and Believe – Does it = Salvation?”
Seeing their loved ones
I find it very strange that these people who do not know God by His Word are quick to tell of the common thread of NDE’s that they see their loved ones; family members and friends, all welcoming them. Nothing like this appears in scripture for a start. And the truth of the matter is that very few of their loved ones will be in heaven in the first place. Heaven is for the heavenly at heart; for those who love God supremely. And how many do you know who do that?
Disfigured demons and horror shows in hell
Here is another common but unbiblical and unreasonable detail. Disfigured demons.
Demons are fallen angels. And they remain spirit beings. They have no horns or tails, nor do they have hideously gnarled faces. They are sorrowful beyond what we could imagine. But they are not poking people in pots with forks or torturing them by any means. Demons that are in hell (2Pe 2:4) are also in torment. There is no such thing as demon parties rejoicing over lost humanity.
And there are no dungeons described in scripture. Hell itself is a prison, keeping away the wretched from the saints.
Bed of worms and other hellish descriptions
I have heard stories of NDE’s where hell is a bed of worms, and other revolting descriptions. Yet scripture gives no account of such claims. As for the “bed of worms” account from Isaiah 14; this has no bearing on hell. Isaiah prophesied that the king of Babylon – Belshazzar, who thought himself to be a god, would lay down in a grave like every other mere man and be eaten by worms. So those who use such descriptions to spice up their lies take scripture out of context, preying on the ignorance of most people (most “Christians” included) concerning the Word of God.
See Albert Barnes commentary of Isaiah chapter 14
Why is it impossible for NDE’s to be true?
Please read the scriptural and reasonable explanations of why NDE’s can never be true.
No account of NDE’s in scripture
Many are claiming NDE’s lately. Because of easy promotions through social media, these numbers are increasing. And the more people believe them the more they will appear. It has developed into a craze. However, there is no such thing given in scripture that bears testimony to their imaginations.
But what about Enoch, John and the Prophets?
John and the prophets had visions and dreams, or the interpretation of dreams. These visions and dreams were symbolic and scripture gives no actual description of the afterlife. I will tell you why God would never allow it later.
Enoch and Elijah were taken up. Scripture says specifically the Elijah was taken up to the heavens, and Enoch was simply “taken”. We have no more information than that. Yet people try to justify their false claims of heaven (or hell) by using these examples. However, none of them came back again to tell the story of their disappearance. And their experience is nothing to be compared to those who would deceive others into believing their incredible stories.
God took Paul up into Paradise.
Firstly; Paul, like John and the other prophets were chosen by God to give messages to mankind in one form or another. These men were of utmost holiness; sanctified purely for the ministry of God. The eventual occurrence of what they prophesied bore testimony to the truth of what they said and gave them credibility as true prophets and messengers of God. However, this is what Paul said about his actual revelation of heaven:
And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
Please notice that he said: “which a man…” (this includes all men) is not permitted to speak. Yet, these deceivers babble on about unscriptural occurrences to the extent that people will choose to believe it, pushing the boundaries of their lies to never-ending extents. Like hell, their heart is an open grave; never satisfied with truth, they must fabricate lies and deception at the expense of truth and the glory and honour of God.
What did Jesus say about men visiting the afterlife?
“No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
The “no one” here represents those living at the time. Jesus here was saying that no one living goes to heaven (similarly hell would be included) and returns, except for Jesus Himself who came from heaven. This verse alone cancels all supposed NDE’s.
But what about those who were resurrected?
Here are two categories and strains of thought on which the Bible does not elaborate.
Firstly; those who were resuscitated like the mothers dead son, Jairus’s daughter, the centurion’s servant, Lazarus, etc. had died and then had been resuscitated by the power of God.
Secondly; those who were resurrected after Jesus resurrected Himself. These entered in bodily form to appear to those who knew them before in Jerusalem (Matt. 27:52 – 53), just as Moses and Elijah had appeared to the disciples at the mount of transfiguration with Jesus (Luke 9:30).
There is no consensus on these accounts. Some believe that the dead in Christ go directly to heaven to begin their eternity there. But many exegetes believe that those dead remain separate from Heaven in some form. This does not detract from the fact that Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, for the Lord is spirit and is omnipresent through the Holy Spirit.
However, we know nothing of the afterlife while in the corporeal state, for it is not for us to know. And scripture gives no account of their consciousness while being dead. These accounts therefore have no bearing on the proposed validity of NDE claims.
Then there is the account Jesus gave of the Lazarus and the rich man demonstrating that no one who has gone to the afterlife can come back again. See Luke 16:19 – 31.
God’s reasons why NDE’s cannot be true
The afterlife is God’s business. It has nothing to do with us and God has never, nor would ever give a description of it.
Heaven is for the heavenly in heart, and hell is for the sinners, the ungodly, and the profane. (1Tit. 1:9)
We are to live by faith in the promises of God through Christ. Heaven (or hell) will be revealed to us when we get there. In the meantime we are to live on earth and not long after heaven, but should rather long after the will of God. We are to be contributors to the benevolence of God’s kingdom which incorporates the natural realm (for all things belong to God), and consequently we shall become partakers of it. However, we are not to turn to God for the purpose of being a partaker, but rather to be a contributor of His benevolence, putting God and His kingdom first (Matt. 6:33) and the consequential benefits of our loving obedience as secondary.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
The broken second commandment
Here is an interesting point to note:
As previously mentioned before; the afterlife is God’s business. So much so that His very second commandment refuses anyone to make any resemblance of what is in the spirit realm. This means that the things of the spirit realm are not for mankind in his corporeal, natural state to know. This commandment was enforced with stoning to death and burning outside the camp. Yet, these deceived people who profess NDE’s, claiming to have seen things in the afterlife and then describe them to others, are guilty of breaking the commandment of God.
Further; if God’s decree incurred the penalty of death for portraying things of the spirit realm, how do these people think that God would give them views of heaven or hell to bring back to earth. He would then be breaking His own commandment, which He simply would never do.
But what about Catholics emblems and figures of the spiritual realm for art?
Catholics hate the second commandment of God. In fact, so much that they erased it from their bibles and split the tenth commandment to give ten commandments. Their godless desire to create things in heaven out of their own vain imaginations outweighed their desire for exercising loving obedience to God.
God does not break His own laws
We need to understand that God laid out laws for the purpose of benevolence among His moral creatures – angels and mankind alike. Now when God gives a decree, it is of the law of righteousness that He Himself always abides by. There is no such thing as God having a higher law for Himself and another type of law for mankind. Therefore, whatever He decrees for mankind He obeys Himself.
The law against partiality
In His law He states that we are not to show partiality to anyone. Deut.1:17. This also means that He will not show partiality to anyone (Deut. 10:17). So when God chooses one person over another for His ministry it is always based on their own closeness to God. He chooses men with utmost holiness, sanctified for the ministry of God; faithful men who love God supremely above themselves. Therefore these chosen few are chosen according to their own demonstrated value to Him and His purpose, and not because He shows them random partiality from selfishness. God always acts for the purpose of the greater good. This He demonstrated when He chose to die through Christ for the sake of mankind.
Now NDE professors claim that they have been chosen by God to give messages to mankind. Yet, these same deceivers are godless, not knowing their Maker, as their lies will demonstrate. Their messages are always centred around fear or self-gratification. Such people God would never choose as messengers.
The law of benevolence
Scripture also declares that if one knows the right thing to do (and is capable of doing it) and does not do it, then to him it is sin. This also applies to God.
Therefore, if God randomly selects to bless one then He owes it to everyone to bless them. If He randomly gives one person a preview of the afterlife then He owes it to all men to do the same for them. And if He doesn’t He would be breaking two of His own laws:
1) Showing partiality.
2) Not doing good when He can.
Why do people believe in the “testimonies” of NDE’s?
The answer is a hard pill to swallow. But I will give it for those few who doubt what they hear and who wish to choose the truth when it is presented.
People choose to believe so-called testimonies of NDE’s for the same reason that some choose to believe lying pastors and ministers. That is, because it gratifies their selfishness. These have no real regard for truth and God, but want to delve into the mysterious for vain interest. It does them no lasting good, but it temporarily satisfies the desire of their intrigue. It takes their attention away from the hum-drum of reality, and excuses them from believing the truth. For to believe truth obligates one to adhere to it. And most people, being selfish, do not want to adhere to truth because it will cost them their selfishness.
Devoid of truth
These people, devoid of the truth by volition (a free-willed act of choice), want to believe that their eternity is secure without having to forfeit self as they know it. These want to keep their sinfulness and heartlessness toward God. They don’t really want to spend eternity with God, but choose it in preference to living in the torments of hell. For if they truly loved God for God’s righteousness, they would not believe the lies of deceivers but would seek truth in God’s Word.
People who don’t believe in Christ when presented with the truth of Him, choose not to because true belief begets faith that requires obedience; and those who believe in the accounts of Christ only, do not exercise saving faith in Him for the same reason. For these people, Christ to them is primarily a benefactor for their pleasure and convenience, and any obeisance is mere religious form but with no heart. And this accounts for the majority of those claiming to be Christian. But as Jesus said:
“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
It is very clear that by the principles of discerning truth through scripture and reason that every NDE is false.
The various differences in NDE’s are so because each one presents their case from their own imagination. And the similarities are to authenticate their stories by adding a common thread that other deceivers and liars use.
Some may indeed have a dream, but none of them have had a vision from God, for the material they give is simply not of God as revealed in His word and reason.
My biggest problem
My biggest problem with them is not so much that these people lie and deceive, but that they do so much harm to others who so gullibly believe them. And the reason why they choose to believe them is because there is no price to be paid for heaven. God, to them, is soft, pliable, unholy, unloving towards His heavenly creatures as to allow wretched people in who don’t actually love Him. All they want is to escape hell and enter their own happiness. They do not have the happiness of God as supreme in their hearts. They just seek self-gratification, and sadly to say, many of these call themselves Christians.
However, the fact that NDE’s are not scripturally based, nor are they reasonable to believe, is evidence enough that all of them are impossible to happen as these liars have presented. And those that choose to believe in them, choose to be misled away from the truth of God’s word. And by doing so, forfeit the peace and joy that the truth gives. Truth only sets one free if indeed it is truth.