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A near death experience is a popular and effective way the devil has been deceiving people about the afterlife. In the 1990s a poll revealed 774 near death experiences occurred daily in the United States. In 1992 it was estimated that 13 million Americans (or 5% of the total population) had a near death experience. This is phenomenally high.
Since various people define a near death experience differently, let's begin with a definition. A near death experience here is an experience that people might have after their heart stops beating and from their perspective, they leave their own physical body and sometimes observe it. Some people report, when having their out of the body experience (OBE), that they go through a tunnel and see a bright light at the end. (In this message, a near death experience does not refer to an almost fatal accident, such as a car wreck, where some could have been killed but weren't, as defined by a few.)
The Spiritual Effects of
Near Death Experiences on People
Below are various claims people have had or experienced after being clinically dead. Most are unbiblical and, therefore, spiritually dangerous:
● Some give the impression of a pre-existence before their birth. Such would reinforce the false teachings of Mormonism and/or reincarnation.
● A near death experience tends to remove the fear of dying for some—possibly promoting suicide (self-murder).
● Some Biblically unsaved people have experiences of entering a place of joy, peace and love with or without a peaceful garden and fountain (much like the Biblical heaven) and not fiery torment.
● Some are changed who come back, but not with a greater commitment to Jesus and the message of the Bible. They say they value life more and are more loving, but without the God of the Bible and Biblical salvation.
● Not everyone who had a near death experience sees a light. Some experience blackness and fire. Some heard people screaming.
● Sometimes a near death experience is, at least partly, consistent with Scripture, such as from a woman who committed suicide and went to hell.
● Some report that they see their deceased friends or family members.
● The physically blind are able to see when having this experience.
● Some claim they saw Christ during their near death experience.
● Some atheists become believers in God.
● Some claim to now be able to communicate with the dead since they are back in their body. (This is an abomination and strictly forbidden by God, Deut. 18:10-12.)
● Some say their life was reviewed before them.
Testing Any Experience
The all-important question regarding a near death experience is: Does the experience contradict the unchanging and eternal message of the Holy Scriptures? If it does then the spiritual source of the miraculous or supernatural behind the near death experience was not the same source that gave us the Bible. It is also important to know that the Bible teaches there are two sources of miracles - God and the devil. Since the devil is always trying to mislead us in one fashion or another, and can use very convincing ploys, we must be very guarded. He has and currently is deceiving billions about the spiritual.
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus gave a very important teaching about a rich man and a poor man who died and what they experienced afterwards. One was in a place of comfort, while the other one was in a place of torment in fire. According to the Lord Jesus, the ultimate authority, this is what it is like when our earthly life is over. Where we go depends on our spiritual condition at the point of physical death.
An experience from the Holy Spirit will leave us with holy ambitions and a love for the truth, as defined in Scripture. In other words, obeying God, walking in love and having faith in the Lord Jesus, as well as resisting sin and living holy will always be magnified.
Though good and evil are opposites, that doesn't mean they are always easy to distinguish one from the other. Please ponder this Scripture:
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Heb. 5:14).
The context of that Scripture shows the spiritually mature have been trained by constant use in the Scriptures to distinguish good from evil. This type of discernment comes from being acquainted with the Bible. This does not mean that pastors and/or teachers inside the church building or on radio and/or TV have this ability. Many of these people are wolves in sheep's clothing and blind leaders of the blind even though they may be popular smooth talkers and use Biblical terminology. The point is, good and evil (or truth and falsehood) are not always easy to separate. This explains how so many have been adversely influenced by a near death experience. The Bible's message is truth and any message that contradicts it, including any near death experience, is evil and a dangerous lie.
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