Do Near-Death Experiences Show We are More Than Physical?

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Do Near-Death Experiences Show We are More Than Physical?

I’ve always been skeptical of stories of near-death experiences. People have said all sorts of things and I’ve just never given the things they’ve said much weight. It’s not that I don’t believe that there’s life beyond death, I do. I guess my thinking has just been that anyone can tell stories of tunnels of light and angels, and while I believe that I will go to be with God after I die, because of what Jesus has done for me, how do I know which stories describe it as it will actually be? Some people might just be making things up. So I’ve been skeptical but one aspect of some of the near-death experiences that I’ve been reading about has definitely caught my attention.

As I’ve been writing about for a while, some would have us believe in naturalism, that physical matter is all that there is. They would not believe in near-death experiences because if all we are is physical matter, there’s no way someone can have any experience apart from their body. Someone like this is certainly not going to be persuaded because someone says that in a brief period while they were technically dead that they traveled through a tunnel of light and met God. It could just be some kind of hallucination while the person’s mind was far from well. But what if someone recounted details of things they saw or learned during a near-death experience that they would have no way of knowing otherwise?

How Could They Know without Being Apart from Their Body?

It’s these kind of stories of near-death experiences that have caught my attention as they include things that someone couldn’t have just made up. And because these things couldn’t have just been made up, it’s yet another evidence that we human beings are more than just physical matter.

Consider the case shared by Kimberly Clark Sharp, a near-death experience researcher, of a woman named Maria who was rushed to a hospital with a severe heart attack. She died and was resuscitated and told Sharp about her near-death experience. She gave a detailed account of watching her resuscitation from outside of her body, as many have, and then she added another very interesting detail. She said that, outside of her body, she had traveled outside of the hospital and she saw a tennis shoe on a third story window ledge. She provided detailed information about the shoe. It was a man’s shoe, left foot. It was dark blue with a wear mark over the little toe and a shoelace tucked under the heal. Sharp then went window to window on the third floor looking on the ledges. Finally she found the shoe, exactly as Maria had described it.

Seven-year-old Katie was found floating face down in a swimming pool. She was resuscitated in the emergency room but remained comatose. They gave her a ten percent chance of surviving but she made an amazing full recovery in three days. She was later taken back for a follow up visit and she recognized the doctor who had resuscitated her and was able to give an accurate detailed account of what she had “seen” in her time in the emergency room, all while her eyes were shut and her brain deeply comatose. The doctor asked her what she remembered of her near drowning. She talked about meeting Jesus and the Heavenly Father. What’s more she told of following her family home, outside of her comatose body which lay in the hospital. She told of seeing her brothers pushing a GI Joe in a jeep. She reported watching her mom cook roast chicken and rice. She even knew what clothes each family member was wearing that night. Her parents were shocked by her accuracy.

Another woman described a near-death experience she had when she was five years old. She got meningitis and fell into a coma. She recalled that after she died she was free of fear and pain and felt at home in the place she found herself. At one point she saw a young girl who looked about ten years old. She thought that the girl recognized her. The two girls hugged and this other girl said, “I’m your sister… I was named after your grandmother. Our parents called me Rietje for short.” Then Rietje said, “You must go now” and she returned to her body and opened her eyes to see her parents. She excitedly told them about her experience and even drew them a picture of the sister who had welcomed her. Her parents were shocked. They got up and left the room. When they came back they confirmed to her that they had indeed once had a daughter named Rietje who had died of poisoning. They had decided not to tell their other children about Rietje until they felt they were old enough to understand the meaning of life and death.

Just one more because it will be especially meaningful for many of us. Four year-old Colton had a near-death experience and afterward told his mom that he has two sisters. She corrected him that he only had one sister. But he insisted that he had two sisters. His mom said, “Cassie is your only sister” and she asked him if he meant his cousin, Traci. “No!”, Colton insisted, “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?” After she was able to overcome the shock, his mother asked him who told him that she had a baby die in her tummy. “She did, Mommy,” Colton explained, “She said she died in your tummy”. They had never told Colton about the miscarriage. “It’s okay, Mommy”, he said, “God adopted her.” This girl had run up to him and wouldn’t stop hugging him. She said that she couldn’t wait for them all to join her in heaven.

What Do You Make of It?

While these stories alone might not convince me that God exists and that there is life after death, when you put it together will all of the other evidence I’ve shared here on the blog, it just adds that much more certainty for me. I believe that God made me in his image, both physical and spiritual, and as such I can know him, both in this life and in the life to come. While I am not worthy of knowing or being with God, because of my sin, Jesus died for me and rose again so that I can be forgiven and know Him. I enjoy getting to know him better here and look forward to being with him when I die. My wife and two daughters and I also look forward to meeting our third child who died in a miscarriage. What a day that will be!

Source: Imagine Heaven by John Burke

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Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in More Than Matter

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