Fact a Day: July 10th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: July 10th

The Facts on Life After Death (Harvest House, 1992), pp. 28-29

 

Are all NDEs positive experiences—or are many hellish?

 

We should remind the reader that, as in the case of occult astral projection or soul travel, the NDE appears to be nothing more than an experience wherein one is temporarily suspended outside the body in another dimension. It is not an experience with true or irreversible death. So, it is not an experience of death as defined biblically—it is neither heaven nor hell. Thus, we do not believe that the vast majority of cases can properly be described as experiences of the biblical afterlife. In other words, it is a mistake to interpret these experiences as “visits” to either heaven or hell. They are mystical experiences that the spirits would like us to think are accurate representations of heaven or hell. Thus, the NDE “heaven” is accessible to anyone irrespective of his religious belief, and the NDE “hell”—as in cross-cultural traditions—is at best only a temporary place for the purging of sins and is not eternal. However, in neither case is the depiction true to biblical teaching. (Although this is not to say there are no cases where the biblical heaven or hell might have been experienced.)

In conclusion, the bias of some NDE researchers not withstanding,* we stress the importance of a critical approach to NDEs. We should not be so gullible as to accept the claim that all NDEs are blissful. Likewise, neither should we assume that such experiences—whether heavenly or hellish—are accurate descriptions of the biblical afterlife.

*For full documentation, see The Facts on Life After Death.

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