What can church leaders learn from the thousands of near death experiences people have reported?
Are they consistent with biblical depictions of heaven?
John Burke shares years of research he’s done comparing NDE’s and scripture to bring us a vivid and fascinating account of what happens after people die.
Welcome to Episode 77 of the podcast.
Guest Links: John Burke
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Links Mentioned in this Episode
3 Takeaways from this Episode
John read 1000 stories of near-death experiences and discovered that people are having real encounters of something that is difficult to describe, but he found several commonalities that align with scripture.
- Near death experiences aren’t true death, but a preview of it. An NDE is when someone clinically dies, but in other cases, it’s very near death and the person has some of the same experience. In each instance, every single person came back. It’s not biological death, and it’s not resurrection. When people die, they leave their physical body, but they still have a body, and they didn’t feel dead. In fact, they felt more alive than before. Each person who had these experiences knew that there was a boundary they couldn’t cross, and if they did cross, they were told they couldn’t go back.
- Descriptive language is difficult to find. John started to notice a reoccurring theme of the encounters he explored. They were being described as if they occurred in a unique dimension where senses and feelings were substantially embellished. From a Biblical perspective, he also noted that he saw how John, Isaiah or Daniel struggled to explain the same thing. It’s easy to think of these descriptions as metaphors because it’s difficult to wrap your mind around, but they can be perceived as God’s gift of giving us one more piece of evidence of eternal life.
- Hellish experiences are just as real and under-reported. John also interviewed individuals who believed they had temporarily crossed over and given a glimpse of hell. One was Howard Storm, a known atheist and university professor. After a horrific experience with an NDE, he was convinced that he was taken into hell briefly and given a second chance to repent and change his life. He became a pastor and has detailed his story in John’s latest book. He believes that God has mercifully given us a reduced experience of how great Heaven could be and how horrible hell could be.
Quotes from this Episode
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