by Bill Nugent
What happens to a person during the first 15 minutes after he or she dies? A “near death experience” is when a person is clinically dead and then resuscitated by immediate medical intervention. Many of these people remember and recount what they experienced during the brief time that they were in this state of clinical death. Often they have had out of body experiences.
Prominent Cardiologist Maurice S. Rawlings, MD, interviewed many of his own patients who had near death experiences. Dr. Rawlings who was not a Bible believer, was shocked and stunned to hear many of his patients (who were also unbelievers) tell of hellish experiences that they had in their brief view of the afterlife. Dr. Rawlings concluded that it was “not safe to die.” He went on a spiritual search through all the world’s books of faith. He studied the Vedas, the Upanishad, the Tao-te-King, the Talmud and theKoran among others.
He finally settled on the Bible as the only holy book accredited by prophecy and accurate fulfillment of prophecy. This supernatural aspect of the Bible is like God’s signature on it! None of the other holy books had anything like the Bible’s record of prophecy and fulfillment of prophecy. The Bible also gives an accurate view of the afterlife. Dr. Rawlings became a born-again Christian. He wrote a book titled To Hell And Back that describes his patients’ experiences.
Many books have been written about near death experiences. Most emphasize only the positive experiences people have while outside of the body. The best-selling book Life After Life by Raymond Moody, Jr. MD, though written from a non-biblical perspective, does at least record the hellish experiences of people who attempted suicide and were resuscitated.
People can choose either heaven or hell. If people seek God through His Son Jesus Christ who died for their sins they will be received into God’s presence in heaven in the afterlife. People who reject God in this life will get what they choose. They will not enjoy God’s presence in the afterlife.
A father about to spank his son (or give him time out) will say “This is gonna hurt me more than it will hurt you.” In the same way, it grieves God’s heart to punish sinners. God says in the Bible “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11). The bottom line is that near death experiences tend to confirm and not discredit the truth and reliability of the Bible.