Life After Death
There absolutely is life after death! To be more precise, there is conscious existence after our physical death! That truth about the existence of life after death, however, doesn't mean everyone is going to have a wonderful and peaceful experience! So, what happens after death and what is the real truth about life after death? We must go to the Bible alone to find the answers.
After physical death, a person immediately goes into the holy presence of God (if he died a righteous person). The only other possibility is to go into fiery torment. That happens to all of the unrighteous!
Just as an unrighteous person can become godly and righteous through Biblical repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; 1 Cor. 6:9-11), conversely, a righteous person can turn away from following Jesus and become unrighteous (lost) again by turning to wickedness (Eph. 5:5-7; Rev. 21:8; Gal. 5:19-21; etc), as the prodigal son did (Lk. 15:24). That, however, can be reversed through repentance and returning to serve God.
Life After Death For The Dying Repentant Thief
We know for sure the dying repentant thief entered the kingdom of God after his death. How do we know that? Because the Lord Jesus said he would be with him in Paradise (Luke 23:43). His life after death was Paradise, that is, the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2,4), which is God's home. That repentant thief became an instant saint when he turned to Jesus and got forgiven. His spiritual identity changed from unrighteous thief to a righteous man. The aforementioned is, in a nutshell, the biblical message about life after death and what happens after death, but there is more you need to know!
The Devil, Life After Death and Near Death Experiences
What is the truth about near death experiences? Can NDE be trusted? The biblical evidence shows near death experiences are a popular and effective way the devil has been deceiving people about life after death -- shocking, but true! 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), 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 Effects Of Near Death Experiences
Below are various effects that near death experiences have had on people after being clinically dead. Most of their life after death experiences are unbiblical and, therefore, spiritually dangerous:
Some life after death experiences give the impression of a pre-existence before their birth. Such would reinforce the false teachings of the Mormonism cult and/or reincarnation.
Some near death experiences tend 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. Such is a false and deceitful experience!
Some are changed, but not with a greater commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ 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. Another was from Richard Eby, who saidly promoted the return of Christ before his own death!
Some report that they see their deceased friends or family members.
The physically blind are able to see when having their life after death 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.
Test All Life After Death Experiences
The all-important question regarding any life after death experience is: Does it contradict the unchanging and eternal message of the Holy Scriptures? If it does, then the spiritual source of the miraculous or supernatural behind the life after 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 he can use very convincing ploys, we must be very guarded. He has and currently is deceiving billions about the spiritual.
Life After Death For The Rich Man and Lazarus
In Luke 16:19-31 (The Rich Man and Lazarus
), 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 after death depends on our spiritual condition at the point of physical death.
A valid life after death 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, having a sincere faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, resisting sin, living holy and reaching the lost with the gospel 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 and ability to correctly test everything comes from being very acquainted with the Bible. This does not mean that pastors and/or teachers inside the church building or on radio and/or television 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 life after death experience. Remember: The Bible's message is truth and all messages that contradict it, including all life after death experiences, are evil and potentially deadly!
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