Some Christian pastors and bloggers have come out against all near-death accounts (NDEs) as deceptive or satanic—demanding they be banned. Why? Well actually, this is partially the reason it’s taken me decades to finally write Imagine Heaven. Here are the main concerns that I seek to explain in Imagine Heaven.
Some NDE accounts say things contrary to scripture
I’ve studied the scriptures and read close to 1000 NDE testimonies. Without a doubt, people interpret their experience through their own worldview. If you read individual stories, you will hear things that don’t always gybe with scripture. But does that mean the experience itself is to be rejected just because people misuse, misinterpret, or misunderstand? What if this is a gift from God, but like other gifts from God, we can easily miss the point?
Think about nature. The Bible tells us the whole earth is full of God’s glory, and nature points toward God (Isaiah 6:3, Ps. 19:1-4), but like all His gifts in a world gone wild, we misinterpret and even worship the creation over the Creator. In Imagine Heaven, I try to strip away interpretation to show how multiple reports line up with what the Bible explains about the afterlife. I’m not adding to or taking away from scripture, but helping us imagine what it says in living color.
It sounds like everybody goes to Heaven
It’s true that most people who talk about NDEs are excited to share their heavenly wonders. In Imagine Heaven, I show that most speak of a boundary or barrier they knew they could not cross because this NDE is not irreversible death (obviously—they came back to tell about it). So these are not the full story of what will happen, but a peak into the reality of the life to come. Plus, there are many who have hellish experiences, which I address as well in the chapter What About Hellish NDEs?
This Being of Light doesn’t identify himself.
While this is often true that this Man of Light, Who is Unconditional Love to the core, does not always identify himself, that doesn’t mean people don’t know who He is. Consistently people know He is God. Those who know Jesus identify him right away. Those who don’t still describe the same Being described by the Jewish prophets and Christian apostles. In Imagine Heaven I try to make sense of why God remains somewhat veiled to NDErs, just as He does to all people.
While I do not advocate basing our view of the afterlife on personal story and individual interpretation, with 1 out of 25 people estimated to have had an NDE, Christians cannot afford to ignore this topic any longer. To not make sense of NDEs and the scriptures is like ignoring the evidence that the earth revolves around the sun. It’s not a wise move!
I want to encourage anyone that hasn’t yet, especially those with some of the questions above, to read the first two chapters of Imagine Heaven at Imagineheaven.net. I want to make clear that Imagine Heaven looks at each experience solely through the picture of Heaven that the Bible alone paints.
Now through the end of October, if you pre-purchase the book on Amazon and email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will send you a free audiobook to begin listening today.