Should we believe reports from people who had near death experiences?

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Scientific Research shows that near death experiences (NDEs) mostly occur when people undergo deprivation of oxygen to the brain or have received certain drugs in emergency situations.

It is a serious mistake to base our beliefs on the personal experiences of others or on our own experiences. Our faith should be based on the Bible and the Bible alone. It may be possible that in some cases God may be trying to speak to a certain individual through a dream or vision but He will never give a message that contradicts His Word.

The Scripture puts NDEs in perspective and shows that people don’t immediately enter heaven or hell at death. After death a person: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2) until the Resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

Jesus Himself supports what the Scriptures teach in that He also clearly taught that death is a state of sleep. Speaking of Lazarus, Jesus told His disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may waken him up.’ Then His disciples said, ‘Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.’ However , Jesus spoke of his death” (John 11:11-13).

Those who have died believing in Christ will not live again until He returns to resurrect them (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53).  At the second coming of Christ people will be raised, get rewarded, given immortal bodies, and be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). There would be no point in a resurrection if people were taken to heaven at death. The fact that the Bible teaches a sleep-state during death and a resurrection of the dead should weigh heavily against the experiences of individual people that contradict the word of God.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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