I hear a lot of people on YouTube having clinically died and then experiencing hell. They all seem to return back to life as converted Christians. Could this be true?
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I think that God would be capable of providing such experiences, but I also think that they may have other causes stemming from the mental or psychological history or activity of the individual. What I am CERTAIN of, however, is that all information necessary for humans to know in this present life with regard to eternity is found in the Bible, apart from any accounts of near-death experiences. (Also, I myself have never heard of any such accounts that directly contradicted information already found in Scripture.) If people require additional, extra-Biblical proof or validation in the form of a near-death experience before they will believe, I would only say that, in my opinion, they would fall into the same category as those unbelievers who were always demanding signs from Jesus, and who were never satisfied, regardless of what proofs He provided. If God would play a role in providing them with a vision that causes them to become Christians, that (in my opinion) would just be one more sign of His grace (undeserved mercy) and love toward them.
If one attributes near death experiences to physiological things, then a brain without oxygen, for whatever length the death experience was, would definitely cause brain damage. Everyone who had an NDE - whether they went to heaven or hell came back changed for the better, and they would rather stay in heaven. Read the lyrics of "Live Like You're Dying" (not biblical, not NDE but close enough). If I were given a chance to have an NDE with the possibility of death, I would take it. In either case, I win. Heaven is very nice. I am healthy (no meds), ambulatory, "young" (75) in a retirement community, no pain. Everyone in a retirement community is waiting to cross the final river as described in Pilgrim's Progress. How do I know that Heaven is really nice? I have vivid dreams. When I was young, the Australian aborigines talked about dreaming. I thought they were a bit strange. Now that I am older and have vivid dreams, I love dreams more than being awake. So, now I am a bit strange. Spend time with Sid Roth on Youtube for more NDE's and other things. I have more to share but it is bedtime for me.
Near-death experiences (NDEs) seems to be ubiquitous lately - stories about those who “died” and came back, who recount being in hell or heaven, even though they were not actually dead, only near-dead. But are these stories true? I have no reasons to doubt the sincerity of some NDEs stories, although there are several well publicized and documented hoaxes that deceived and confused the public, but sold lots of books. However, no one should be confused about what happen when we die – the Bible, both the OT and NT, has a lot to say about the state of the dead. Jesus Himself in John 11:11-14 is saying that dead is sleeping. Lazarus (Mary and Martha’s brother) when he died did not go to hell or heaven. He was in his grave and did nothing, he slept just as the Bible tells about death. David sleeps is in his grave awaiting the resurrection - he did not ascend to heaven or descended into hell (Acts 2:29). According with Bible teachings, in the grave there is no awareness, no work, the dead know absolutely nothing (Ps 13:3; 115:17; Eccl 9:5, 6; Job 14:12). At Christ second coming everyone will receive their reward, not upon death: the saved eternal life, the wicked will be cast in hellfire (Daniel 12:2; Rev 22:12; 1 Thess 4:16, 17; 1 Cori 15:51, 52, 53; 2 Peter 2:9). In my opinion, NDEs are the result of improper levels of oxygen in the brain or side effects from medication or anesthetics used during medical procedure.
It is my understanding from scripture that ALL humans have a direct connection to GOD that acts like 'nourishment' to keep us alive, very similarly to physical food, but 'mystical,' (Matthew 4:4). Most of us 'reconnect' while we sleep or on deep unconscious levels, taking this daily 'food' for granted. Included in that are 'tastes' of both GOD's 'third heaven' and the 'hell' that awaits all souls who finally and fully depart from Him through repeated denials of His saving work of redemption in Christ. A few of us are called to experience these things 'consciously,' though they are the identical experiences shared by everyone everywhere, so being a 'mystic' isn't as truly unusual or 'different' as it might sound. I happen to be one. My experiences went well and I didn't 'psychologically shatter' like some others have while 'wavering' over this kind of divine calling. People with profound mental illnesses sometimes end up there in response to genuine 'mystical' experiences. They revert into their own psyche and stay there cowering from the experiences with 'help' from practitioners of 'pharmakeia,' (Biblical Greek: 'sorcery,' [what we now just call 'drug culture,']). This practice often seems 'compassionate,' but it really just gives people with unique divine callings the opportunity to run from them to their own peril and then get 'temporarily rewarded' with other people's resources while they entertain fantasies and nonsense in a selfish corner of personal isolation. GOD hates this practice. I, myself, have 'glimpsed' both the wonders of heaven and the horrors of eternal damnation, though I would NOT describe either as 'expressible' in any way. This conforms with holy scripture on the subject: "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third 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." (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). As bizarre as it sounds, I don't believe that this experience is uncommon at all, just mostly 'unconscious' for nearly everyone who has it. It is the basis of their confession of Christ or their darkest and most irreversible denial of Christ. The rarity of it is when it happens 'consciously,' making it, by definition, a 'mystical' experience. I would describe both this 'heavenly' experience and my 'taste' of hell as comparable to being 'suddenly filled with food to total repletion.' The 'food' is actually powerful images and inexpressible experiences, which sometimes can even cause a kind of 'psychological vomiting' as the experiences are pushed away. This divine principle holds true, even after scriptural prophecy was completed and 'prophets' now only edify with scripture as their basis: "And the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets." (1 Corinthians 14:32). I can still 'choose' what I 'digest' and this takes place over 'years,' not moments, weeks, or months. I also see these 'most extreme' experiences as the boundary markers for mysticism itself, since I now view all of the 'lesser' experiences as various 'divine feasts' requiring similar but swifter 'digestion' with more immediately applicable and expressible concepts. NONE of this has EVER come as a result of my being 'near death,' though that also happened to me once from an acute illness that Christ graciously reversed for me. Ironically, perhaps, being 'near death' was one of the more 'silent' periods in my mystical journey with Christ. That is why I treat stories and statements like the 'near death encounters' with caution, since they clearly violate scriptural descriptions of the encounters being 'inexpressible,' my own personal experiences as a genuine 'mystic,' and my grasp of mental illness itself being a 'convenient escape' from the genuine callings of GOD in Christ.
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