A Christian Perspective on Near Death Experiences

I don't know about you but I've had a fascination with Near Death Experiences every since I was a child. I read Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross' books when they first came out and have always been curious about death and the transition from life to death. I am a curious sort.


Later, when I became a Christian I no longer was as obsessed about death and dying, maybe it was because I knew enough to satisfy my curiosity now or maybe it was just that the Christian beliefs gave me some knowledge and the rest I felt was better left for the future. Recently, I stumbled upon a web site that chronicles myriads of NDE's or Near Death Experiences. I started reading them again.


However, as a Christian I now was face to face with people whose experiences directly opposed the Christian teachings. Many of them were not saved and yet they had wonderful experiences of God and sometimes even Jesus and many of them couldn't wait to return. What to do with this contradiction? I knew that the Bible taught very explicitly that there was no other name under heaven by which man could be saved:


(Acts 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


The danger in accepting all near death experiences as true is that it teaches that we should have no fear at death. Anyone who is not saved through the blood of Jesus Christ should have fear and a lot of it as they approach death. Because without the shed blood of Jesus Christ you are going to spend your eternity in hell. Most everyone who is an unbeliever and even believers would like to think that hell does not exist. When people come back with near death experiences and tell others that it was wonderful even though they are not Born Again, blood bought Christians it encourages the lie that one can be "saved" from an eternity in hell or better yet that hell doesn't exist. It is a very dangerous teaching.


And yet all these people seemed to be accepted into heaven (or close to it) with very few exceptions. The people who do experience hell are few and far between, some say it's because it is such an awful experience that they block it out of their minds. In any event, I have come to the conclusion that Satan is using these experiences to advance his own agenda. The Bible says that Satan will come as an angel of light to deceive many.


(2 Corinthians 11:13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

(2 Corinthians 11:14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

(2 Corinthians 11:15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.


(Revelation 20:3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.


So we have a choice, do we believe people's experiences or do we believe the Word of God? I choose the Word of God. I still enjoy reading some of these experiences but I narrow my scope to the accounts of children and to those that are in keeping with scripture, keeping an ever watchful eye on what is being said in order to test the spirits.


(1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

(1 John 4:2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

(1 John 4:3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Finally, I take great comfort in some near death experience stories, even John Bunyan that great man of God said he was taken to the heavenly realm (see video below). His account is completely biblical and I see no reason to shun it. Like anything, we must test all things and then whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report..think on these things. Near death experiences that glorify God and comfort believers can be a great blessings, those that would deceive need to be disregarded and called out as deception.


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Comments 52 comments

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I hear you, sister! I read of a NDE (or maybe it was a BDE ~ beyond death experience) where the writer stated she saw beautifully colored lights, felt the perfect peace, knew she was heading to or in heaven; now, she is telling everyone to believe that all paths lead to God, etc. etc. etc. I, too see how these "signs and wonders" appeal to the "wicked" (Mat 12:39) and will tickle their ears in order to take them away from the truth, which leads to destruction. Praise God for discernment and faith in the truth, no matter what. God bless you!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Did you watch the videos JD? They are pretty interesting. Thanks for commenting.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

You mean the video above the comments? Yes, I did. Are there more? I tend to believe that children have a protection over them until they come to an age of accountability. As a child, he experienced heaven; after his age of accountability, he chose to do drugs and alcohol leading him to take his own life...thus, was headed straight to hell. It's comforting to think God didn't allow him to die (for it is appointed unto men to die once, then face the judgment) ~ instead, God revealed Himself and is using this man as a testimony to all who will listen and believe.

We certainly are to test the spirits. If what they say aligns with God's Word, it's truth. Amen.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

I believe that there were 3 videos that was one but there are 2 others and all of them are really good.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I'm trying to find 20/20 Fear and Fascination, but I'm not seeing much on it? Do you have the links (or perhaps one that will lead me to the others)? For some reason, your response didn't show up in the feed ~ sorry for the delay. I just figured out you have two more videos below! I'm heading there now. I always enjoy your topics and perspective. Your hubs are so refreshing, revealing, thought-provoking and lift up the Lord. Blessings to you!!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm so glad, yeah the videos are really interesting. God Bless


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

An observation and thought: both of these men (the one above and the one below) each had a chance to experience hell and call out to Jesus who came to their rescue, revealed Himself and sent them back here to witness. Not everyone gets that chance. As you know from the previous Catholic experience "pergatory" would give people a chance at salvation after death. Universal salvationists believe all will be able to get saved after death ~ through a "purifying fire". Not so, according to the Bible. These two were certainly blessed of God, but I truly hope everyone who listens will accept Jesus Christ's love this day and dwell in it ~ death is but a last breath away ~ heaven or hell ~ Jesus did His part; it's up to us. God bless you, too.


majicat profile image

majicat 6 years ago

Very Good video, the 20/20 segment.

Personally, I believe we are all in Purgatory now. the word coming from it's latin root, means to purge or cleanse. If we are believers then we let the fire have it's way and were are cleansed, if we don't... well, we don't.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Yeah, I really liked all of the videos, I find the topic very interesting obviously.

Well for some earth will be the closest they get to heaven and for others earth will be the closest they get to hell, in that sense we are in purgatory.


brotheryochanan profile image

brotheryochanan 6 years ago from BC, canada

why am i not surprised satan has been mentioned lol. It is a medical fact that when the body realizes it is dying it sends out chemicals to the max, in opposition/alignment to the dying process.

Susan Blackmore is considered one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. She writes on her website: "NDEs provide no evidence for life after death, and we can best understand them by looking at neurochemistry, physiology, and psychology."

Blackmore argues the peaceful feelings are probably produced by endorphins that are released under stress.

Other effects are due to disorganized firing of neural cells in different parts of the brain set off by lack of oxygen or by stress and fear.

"So for example, the life review happens when memory circuits are randomly activated in the temporal lobe, lights and tunnels when the visual cortex is randomly firing."

But Blackmore agrees that if it someone proved NDEs take place when people are actually biologically dead, "our view of the mind/body relationship would radically change."

Here's a definition of the two: Clinical Death is when your heart stops pumping blood. Without CPR, Biological Death begins to set in about 4-6 minutes later. Biological Death is where the victim’s brain is damaged and cells in the victim’s heart, brain and other organs die from a lack of oxygen, after which brain stem cell death offers no recovery.

Insane christians believe medical, scientific or other reasonings over doctrinal and Scriptural facts. Scripture is scripture, Once to die (the biological death) and then be judged. No person goes up to heaven before the judgment day of God. What are they gonna have a little chit chat? LOL. Come on christians! Get a grip. When i close my eyes real tight i can see lights but im not going to yell, giraffes, nephilim evidence! Satan is not in this, this is just flesh reacting to death in a purely biological way. The people with the stories to tell now thats a different question altogether, lol. God gives people over to strong delusions but scripture has an answer for everything. Don't infer satan into yet another situation where there is no concrete proof, although satan is the handy dandy invisible explanation for eveything unexplainable lol. Yawn to satan lol. Come here boy, come get me lol. Fetch the stick, there's a good satan, now quick go to the hospital and fake a few NDE's will ya.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

brotheryochanan: "Don't infer Satan into yet another situation where there is no concrete proof"

And what proof would that be?


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

You'll open a can of worms, sister Brie ~ just check out his hubs. He doesn't believe in Satan or demons, let alone fallen angels.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks JD


brotheryochanan profile image

brotheryochanan 6 years ago from BC, canada

the proof of a rationally explained, sane, medically sound, the laws that govern this world, no satan or fallen angels kind of proof. I checked my response for catholic click words and not having found any am wondering what part of my post did you not read? Hi judah. Met any nephilims lately?


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

brotheryochanan ~ too bad you can't "see" in the mirror what is influencing you, but God's eyes see and desires to set you free, if you'll only submit yourself to the truth.


brotheryochanan profile image

brotheryochanan 6 years ago from BC, canada

until you pull those book of enoch influenced hubs I dont think you can point a finger at all. I've got two thumbs up for not going outside the Bible.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

bo (brotheryochanan) ~ Yet you quote the Babylonian Talmud, which is not in the Bible ~ I reference the Book of Enoch in my hubs regarding the fallen angels and Nephilim only (the Book of Enoch was IN the Bible canon for 500 years ~ even during the time of Jesus ~ and confirms many Bible passages, rather than contradicting it). You, however, change the truth of the Bible by erasing Satan, demons and fallen angels altogether ~ you are no one to rebuke me...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God is no respecter of persons.


djbraman profile image

djbraman 6 years ago

What a great perspective and discernment. Like Judah's said, it always pays to test the spirits because I believe universalist can and do make up stories to deceive people into believing that all humankind go to heaven. But I do believe Christ's spirit does descend on man whom he has called to do a work for him. Paul was the chief of sinners and was called into what he called the third heaven, yet he was not saved. But for people to try to convince others that everyone goes to heaven after death is absolutely false teaching. A hub to really meditate on. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Your welcome djbraman.


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I hope you don't mind, Brie, but I just wanted to comment about Paul and the third heaven (Paradise). In 2 Cor 12:2-4 Paul states, "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-- whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows-- such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man-- whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak." We know Paul was saved, and this passage states the man that was caught up into the third heaven (Paradise) was a "man in Christ". Blessings, sister djbraman and Brie :-)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Why didn't I think of that! Great comment JD


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

Hugs to you!!


mr. daydream profile image

mr. daydream 6 years ago

It's not wrong to be curious about the phenomenal mechanics of near-death experiences without abandoning your christian faith. Naturally you can't believe everyone who claims to have had one because there's a lot a cooks out there, but they do happen more commonly than most people (me included) realize.

As for those worldly christians that you came face-to-face with, who weren't saved, who claims to have a good relationship with God... the grass always looks greener. Don't let them steer you the wrong way. Good Luck in your christian-hood and steer clear of false prophets.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks mr.daydream, I do think you meant kooks not cooks though! ;)


mr. daydream profile image

mr. daydream 6 years ago

I did. I was trying to think of the correct spelling for that word. Thanks!


FCEtier profile image

FCEtier 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

Mary Roach has written two interesting books that touch on this subject: "Spook" and "Stiff". I recommend them highly!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, I'll look into them.


Singularity 6 years ago

Sounds like most people are confused. There is NO Satan. Simply doesn't exist. The same goes for heaven and hell - they don't exist either. "God" is an energy source and everyone and everything is a piece of "god" and rejoins the source energy. Good and evil are only ideas created by ignorant and fearful people who would rather rely on "belief" rather than face the facts.

What ever your case, belief or fact, may you travel well through life.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Aww but that's just what Satan would have you believe Singularity!


aoiffe379 profile image

aoiffe379 6 years ago

As a college student I had a Near Death Experience though I did not make it as far as heaven or hell! I swam as far as the diving board; then I realizedI could not swim!I had doubted my ability. Immediately I plunged down into the chlorinated depths of the pool. I could 'see' my body lying on the floor of the pool.There were lifeguards and friends around the pool and lifesaving equipment; but they were waiting for me to drown, according to a friend, so they could resuscitate me!

What saved me that day was the fact that my grandmother had been telling me since age 9 I was going to college; but she did not indicate I would not graduate! Drowning meant no graduation. Then, I had been a Christian for seven years at the time.Before I left for college I had promised God I would return to my homeland and give one year service at a denominational high school Was God still interested in my service? God saved me without the intervention of lifeguards or friends; and that summer I was a part of an evangelistic team that travelled New York state and city! My life is so different today.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

aoiffe: What a story!


Jive 5 years ago

What about children NDE?? what accounts that tell us they were decieve by the being of light. Did god allow them to be deceive by other being of light that it's not jesus?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

The only children NDE I've ever read mention seeing Jesus and the Father.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

I think after death there is nothing what you see is what your brain experiences due to some living cells in that even after death..may be I am wrong ..Thanks for the nice and interesting story


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Htodd: I've read hundreds of near-death experiences and I also believe the Bible and both of those sources disagree with you.


Desiree 4 years ago

I was actually looking for an answer to why people of other religions experience similar near death experiences where they go to Heaven. Apparently, some say they see their religious deities.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I believe that some are deceived while in that state since they are not completely dead yet.


Carneades-Georgia profile image

Carneades-Georgia 4 years ago from Augusta, Georgia

Blackmore by email once told me that she concurs that all religious experiences reflect the contents of ones own mental processes at work; to infer God behind this begs the question.

No, ones subjective experiences and beliefs cannot override what Blackmore and others scientifically find to be true1

No scriputures have validity for relgious experience; indeed, all revelations reflect people's own subjectivity.

We need never to infer any occult cause for primary causes. We need the supernatural to explain these experiences no more than we need demons for psychological matters and gremlins for mechanical falures1


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Umm, your bias is showing!


mcals71 4 years ago

I think there is an explanation as to why many agnostics and even atheists experience NDEs where they see themselves in Heaven and even in the presence of Jesus Christ. That's because they are not meant to stay there, in fact they all came back! There is a reason for everything, and God, in His infinite mercy and love, wants everyone to be saved. Some need to have a little taste of the reality of Heaven and some of Hell in order to be convinced of the truth, and thus change their ways and ultimately be saved. So I suggest you drop your fears and suspicions and keep enjoying your interest in NDEs, there is no reason to jump to negative conclusions. I personally believe that God is so merciful and loving that He always nudges us in the right direction, whatever it takes. NDEs are just one of those ways, although many people don't get that second chance. In my opinion NDEs can be a warning to those who refuse to abide by the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It says to them, "See? Heaven and Hell do exist!"


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Maybe Mcals71, however, I've read a lot of these NDE accounts and not one that I've ever read is of an atheist or agnostic that "went to heaven" came back and repented and followed Jesus Christ. However, I have read some that went to hell and when they came back repented and were saved..so we'll see I guess. Thanks for commenting.


Amber Mandala profile image

Amber Mandala 4 years ago from Perry, Fl.

Howard Storm's NDE is one of those great stories. His was one of the most challenging for me, because of the challenges to my belief system. http://www.near-death.com/storm.html

May 1987 I had a NDE. I grew up Baptist, Christian. I had never in my whole life heard of such things as NDE's at that time. In fact I had learned of nothing spiritual at all. Just religion. It was a bit disheartening for me to experience the utter rejection of my so called spiritual leaders and peers, when I tried to share my experience. It wasen't until I saw Betty Jean Eadie on Oprah some years later that I finally learned of the NDE. It was then that I began to study and read about others NDE's. I have to admit some of the stories were a bit much to take in at the time. They were challenging to my belief system. Even though I had, had experienced it. In the end I learned that the kingdom of God is within us. Jesus, God and Heaven are the Truth. But never again did I have to reach out to any other source to find God. I do enjoy the light in others. But I am sustained by the light within me. In defense of NDE's, Maybe satan can appear as an angel of light. But satan can't give you God's love. One thing that I was acutely aware of during my experience was that I was one with and a part of God's Love. It wasen't a mental or emotional issue. It was a pure state of being. Not thinking, seeing or believing. Simply being. The Bible is filled with incredible spiritual experience of God with humanity. But one might have to challenge their instilled beliefs to get to see it.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I read Howard Storms account and believe that it is true. The Bible says even though Satan comes to you as an angel of light if he brings a different gospel than the one given to disregard him. That is the standard against which all experiences have to pass whether they are NDE or earthly experiences. Thanks for commenting.


Baruch 4 years ago

The Bible never says the lost will be apart from God right away. In fact they will be in His presence for the judgement. The Bible says very little of where the dead lost go before judgement. Maybe, it is very sad to think about this, they do see God's love in some sort of experience. Maybe they encounter him before they are held for judgement. In many cases the stories of these experiences, and I don't know if I believe them either, those experiencing them come to confess Christ. Maybe they are a gift!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

I hope so, but if they come back and do not confess Christ I doubt it.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Very interesting hub. Love the conclusion you came to in it, and that is a very good point for all to be mindful of, as satan does deceive (and he has had thousands of years to practice his craft). This deception here is most evil for sure. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Faith Reaper and thanks for becoming a fan.


Tracy K. profile image

Tracy K. 4 years ago

Over the past year or so, I've come to believe that as Christians, we must not become to dogmatic nor adamant about who goes to heaven or hell. Yes, the Bible provides clear, foundational teachings but ultimately, God is the only one Who can absolutely determine who goes where.

Why? Because of His omniscient nature. We are incapable of knowing the heart of any man or woman. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. A dear friend once said that her mother told her that she believes when we get to heaven, we'll look around and say, "I wonder where ________ is?" And then we'll look around again and say, "What are you doing here?"

My next point is that Jesus was so compassionate when He was here on the earth. I believe that same compassion is still in progress as He sits at the right hand of the Father. When I hear the NDE of people who were unsaved, meet Jesus and return - I believe it's for a reason. Now, some may return with a twisted interpretation that may line up with their personal belief system but the truth of God's word will always stand. But guess what? I've also heard NDE of people who were saved, go to hell and Jesus reached down and snatched them back. I've not heard a twisted interpretation from those people. If anything, the meassage was very clear.

Even with the Bible as our guide, our understanding is very finite. God's ways are much higher than ours. So, it's best that we do as Paul and preach Jesus Christ. By all means, let it be known that there is a heaven and hell but leave commiting individuals to hell to the Creator.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Maybe so, maybe not Tracy. I would rather be surprised by someone in heaven that I thought was going to hell than be surprised because I let someone believe that they were saved and they ended up in hell.


Tracy K. profile image

Tracy K. 4 years ago

Yes, I do agree with you on that point. We can be certain of our salvation according to scripture but I just cringe when I hear people harshly tell others that they are going to hell. Especially when it's conditional of works beyond grace or faith. I suppose I try to focus on loving people into the Kingdom rather than beating them down into hell. Great discussion topic!


Henry 2 years ago

I'm sorry but all of you sound crazy. As an atheist I believe God does not exist. Brotheryochanan put up a fantastic argument and all hub author did was pickout one sente of the argument and say 'what proof would that be' simply because she has no good argument to put up. Shocking display.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

You are not being truthful, you know that God exists but you willfully suppress that knowledge. I will pray for you.

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