Near-Death Experiences and Heaven
I just finished a book that our Bible study group read together: Imagine Heaven by John Burke. I never had any real interest in Near-Death Experiences because I doubted they were reliable, but after reading this book, I’ve changed my mind. The similarities between the accounts – even from children, blind people, and people who have never heard of Jesus – are astonishing. There are plenty of NDE books out there but this one is a comparison of these stories with each other and scripture. The author listened to or read over 1000 NDEs, then took 100 to use for this book.
The individual stories are riveting. I’m including a link to a video that serves as an intro to the book. If it piques your interest, you can read the book. Even though this is a video, you don’t need to watch it. I listened to it like a podcast as I drove.
There were so many fascinating little similarities in the stories about how wonderful heaven is. Almost everyone mentioned the incredibly green, velvety soft grass! They also tried to describe colors we don’t have here, music we don’t have here, and how everyone and everything radiated light that seemed to come from God and infuse everything. The light there is brighter but more golden and lovely and not harsh. The descriptions of Jesus’ voice, face, and eyes were almost straight out of scripture. And I have always thought a lot of the heaven description in Revelation was metaphorical, but it’s pretty literal, just far better than the words can describe.
The most comforting thing was how people who seemed to have traumatic or violent deaths just left their bodies and didn’t feel anything but peace and overwhelming love. And NO ONE wanted to come back. Sometimes they did because they needed to, or sometimes God sent them back, but everyone longed to stay. They said the love that came from Jesus was indescribable and was all they would ever want. Some people got to ask Jesus questions and there seemed to be a place where they could watch what was happening on earth if they wanted to.
There were also life reviews with Jesus, reunions with people and animals, and accounts of hell. You can get some of all this on the video. I strongly encourage you to listen to it. The video and book made me look forward to heaven so much more and gave me great hope in the mercy of God. All the survivors mentioned that life there was so real it made this life here look like a shadow or a dream. Like I Timothy 6:19 says, “In this way, . . . they may take hold of life that is truly life.”