Joe R. Price
The stories are intriguing and amazing. Shivers run up
the spine as one listens to the tales people tell of "out-of-body" episodes.
Near-death experiences are currently the rage. Several books telling incredible stories
are being circulated as more and more people claim to have had this experience. The
current interest in such phenomena seems to say that there are many people who want to
believe in life after death. They hear these fantastic stories of warm, white lights,
family and friends greeting them, the feelings of freedom from the body, etc., and are
caught up in their own emotional expectations of the afterlife. Some have reported that
they were given a choice whether to return to their body and continue life on earth. One
woman said her life has been forever changed. Among the changes is a high rate of divorce
among married people claiming near-death experiences (their spouses think they are now
fanatical about life after death).
While we cannot say with certainty what these people
have experienced, there are some things these reports bring to mind which can be known
with certainty from the word of God.
Let it be noted that there is life after death. Jesus
Christ's resurrection from the dead ever stands as verification of this fact (1 Cor.
15:12-22). Let no one think that this life is all there is. While our body will decay once
we die, our spirit will return to the control of God (Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Our future existence is determined by how we live now.
Both the rich man and Lazarus received in the next life according as they had lived in
this one (Lk. 16:25). We may have desires about what the next life will be like, but our
reward or punishment will agree with our conduct in the flesh (2 Cor. 5:10).
Unfortunately, many people will not receive what they
anticipate. Practically everyone who believes there is a heaven also believes they will go
there. In truth, few find the way to life (Matt. 7:13-14).
Many who expect heaven will not enter it (Matt. 7:21-23). Those who do the will of the Father will enter the warmth and glory of heaven (Matt. 7:21). Find the narrow way. Live in truth. Then you will be prepared for life after death (Heb. 9:27).