Near-Death Experiences: Are They Real? :: By Dave Cogburn

Most of this article comes from my book, God’s Plan for Heaven, Eternity and the Universe Explained. Since Google says we can self-plagiarize, I am mentioning this.

I am sure most of us are aware of what is called near-death experiences. I have been following NDEs for many years, as I find them fascinating. For those who may not know, an NDE is where someone physically dies for a short time and gets a glimpse of the afterlife.

One of the most amazing things is “how many people have NDEs.” Research it, and you will see it is in the millions, and as we know, many people have written books about their NDEs. Some of these books are best sellers. Why is that? Almost all of us are curious and interested in the afterlife in terms of whether it is real and, if so, what it is like.

NDEs are mysterious and controversial because the Bible does not talk about them. What makes them noticeable and worth considering is millions of people appear to have them, and many of them have accurately described things in detail going on around them while they were unconscious or dead.

The first question many of us wonder when we hear or read about someone having an NDE is whether it is real or not. I mean, just because someone says it’s real, unfortunately, does not mean it is. Are they writing a book based on a lie just to make money? Unfortunately, some people really do it for that reason. But there are also people who truly did have the NDE they are talking about, and they want everyone to know what they experienced, so it might bring hope and encouragement to many who desperately want to know more about life after death.

Is there any way to discern who is telling the truth and who is not? YES, there is a way to narrow it down. First, it is important to understand that an NDE is not a true death because it is not an eternal death. It appears to be an in-between place where God seems to allow “some people” to experience a glimpse of the afterlife in some way. Many of them will describe a door or some sort of barrier they were not allowed to cross, or else they would not be able to come back. That barrier is eternity. What happens in eternity stays in eternity. Each person who had a true NDE and came back never entered into eternity, or they would have had to stay there.

Let’s examine things to look for when trying to discern how real a particular NDE is. The most important gauge to look at and compare to is always” God’s Word in the Bible. The Bible tells us a lot about heaven and eternity. Any true NDE willnot contradict anything” in the Word of God Bible. There is a good reason for this. Who is it that allows NDEs to occur in the first place? God. Do you think God will allow a true NDE to contradict His Word in the Bible? No way. That means NDEs that do contradict His Word are FALSE.

Think of the Word of God Bible as a true and perfect $100 bill. Anything that is different from that $100 bill is a “counterfeit.” Every true NDE will match the true “Word of God” “100 bill, and every false NDE will deviate from it in some way to be counterfeit.

Let me give you an example of a FALSE counterfeit NDE I saw on YouTube just a few days ago. A man was describing his NDE following his death and talked about being in the presence of female angels. That is certainly FALSE! Why? Because there are NO female angels. God made each angel directly Himself, and angels do not procreate. There was “no reason” to create a female angel when God was creating His angels. There is no sex in eternity. The first female in the Bible is Eve, and God created her from Adam to be his “helper” so they could procreate and continue the human race.

As soon as I saw him mention female angels, I quit watching his false NDE. This is a good example of how important it is to compare every NDE with scripture for authenticity. I’m afraid many people do believe a lot of these false NDEs for one simple reason – they do not know “enough” of God’s Word for comparison. Unfortunately, that makes it more difficult to discern who is telling the truth and who isn’t. Sadly, I think it’s safe to say half of the people or more believe there are female angels – mainly due to Hollywood and so many movies depicting angels as female and having to have “wings” to fly, etc. Jesus did not need wings to ascend to heaven.

Why every NDE has to line up with God’s Word is also because Satan is the great deceiver. The Bible says he masquerades as an angel of light. Any true NDE is an NDE that matches God’s truth in the Bible. Any false counterfeit NDE is Satan’s lies concerning the afterlife disguised as the truth.

I saw another NDE recently from a so-called “expert” who had been studying NDEs for over 40 years and had done over one thousand interviews with people from different faiths and different cultures around the world. His conclusion was that everyone will end up in heaven. He said, yes, some people have hell NDEs, “but” they eventually end up in heaven. He said hell is not real! You cannot be more counterfeit than that. Satan would “love” for the world to believe all of these NDEs prove everyone goes to heaven when they die, whether they know Jesus or not. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I just mentioned there are NDEs that talk about hell, and I think the main reason we don’t hear a lot more about the hell NDEs is that many people who have them do not want to talk about them and make them public.

For me, when I read about any NDE, I take it with a grain of salt – even the ones that “do” line up with the Bible. If everything lines up with scripture, I enjoy that person’s NDE more than if they say things that contradict scripture.

Some of the common characteristics of NDEs are that people die for a short time, often in a hospital setting, and they leave their bodies and start observing what is going on around them while they are unconscious or dead. Some are able to describe events in great detail that occurred in the operating room or even in other places in the hospital, such as people praying for them or eating or doing other things, which is evidence their NDE seems real when they come back and report on it. After leaving their body, they often travel through a tunnel to a bright light and meet up with an angel or angels or family members who have died. In some cases, they say they met with Jesus Himself.

It seems most, from all the ones I’ve seen or read about, describe seeing their whole life laid out before them. They see the good, bad and ugly during their lifetime. They experience a “life review.”

Almost all of them with good NDEs talk about the intense, incredible “love and peace” they felt while there. The love is so intense they have no way to adequately describe it. Quite a few do talk about how vibrant everything is in terms of color, sound, music, etc. They say the grass and flowers are so intense and vibrant in colors that words can never adequately describe them either.

Many also talk about lots of flying, and others talk about being able to communicate telepathically by thought. Some talk about binocular vision, where they can zoom in and see things many miles away. These are just a few of the incredible things these people claim to have experienced in their NDEs.

What is some credibility to look for? The ones that seem to have the most credibility, to me, are the ones who saw things happening on Earth while they were dead and described them in great detail when they returned. This is verification proof they experienced something that is “not natural.”

Others talk about meeting relatives whom they never knew on Earth, such as grandparents or great-grandparents, and their description of what happened with them in their NDE was verified by those here who knew those people, such as their parents, grandparents, etc.

The bottom line for me with NDEs is I find the ones that line up with scriptural accuracy the most interesting, but I always put my faith in “only” what the Bible says about heaven and eternity. We “know” one hundred percent what the Bible says is TRUE. We certainly do not know that about NDEs, especially since the Bible does not even talk about them. For this reason, they will always remain mysterious and controversial.

Maranatha, Lord Jesus!

David Cogburn