Raymond’s heart attack left him dead for some time. As the doctors tried to revive him, he traveled to the edge of hell. The sight was horrific and mirrored the Biblical descriptions he had been taught as a child. He struggled but couldn’t stop his slide toward the abyss. He knew there would be no escape. He screamed as the darkness neared. Then he saw a cross and woke up as the doctors worked furiously over his body.
In Near Death Experience parlance, Raymond had a “dNDE”: a distressing Near Death Experience. According to NDE researchers, the number of people having dNDEs is small — 1% to 15% of the total reported NDEs. The majority report very pleasant experiences that they believe show important things about the universe, mankind, and God. Many have benevolent spirit “guides” who accompany them.
For example, after experiencing a drug overdose, David Oakford was taken on an incredible journey by a guide. Oakford shares what he learned while in this new realm: “… Jesus is the being entrusted by God to ensure souls evolve. He said Jesus is the highest in vibration than any other soul. He [my guide] said God holds Jesus in the highest of favor because he was the best example of what humans need to do. I then got to see Jesus. I saw his light. Jesus’ light was the purest I have ever seen.”
There are many anecdotal reports of NDEs. But once dead and gone for good, no one has reported whether or not his actual death mirrored his NDE. Yet NDEs have become the “new revelations” of our day. A lot of folks are betting their eternal souls that these revelations are accurate descriptions of eternity.
Kevin R. Williams, who used to be a fundamentalist Christian, has written a book titled Nothing Better Than Death. Mr. Williams says, “As my knowledge of the NDE grew, I came to realize from what I had researched the fact that God is not limited only to just those who profess the Christian faith.” Among his conclusions, heaven is a lovely place and hell a “time out” that you can work yourself out of.
A common teaching of this gospel is that your religion doesn’t matter; any religion can get you into paradise — if you are loving and sincere. Adherents of this faith comfort people that God sees the real you and that is what God is interested in, not your religious affiliation.
I agree with the New Agers on this point! God, in fact, sees through to the heart of man. I disagree with the New Agers on what He sees. The Bible says He sees throats that are open graves, tongues practicing deceit, lips covered with vipers’ poison (Rom. 3:13). It is because God sees us for what we really are that He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us. And it is because Jesus is the only one who can save us that we cannot enter paradise apart from Him. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
As always, Rush’s analysis is to the point, “The cause of death is sin, but it is not sin which the sinner, as the ultimate revolutionist, fears, but the consequence of sin, death. Like a child eagerly eating a forbidden dish which will surely make him ill, the sinner enjoys the eating as much as he dislikes the aftermath. But this is not all: he will insist on deceiving himself about the aftermath and will declare that the gates of hell are the doors of paradise.”
The Bible talks about heaven, hell, death, and dying. But the Bible does not permit a preoccupation with death, heaven, or hell. We are to accept by faith that the Bible’s teachings are true. The promises of Scripture are true. They are the firm foundation on which we are to rest. All other ground is sinking sand.
God commands us to be faithful Kingdom warriors in the here and now. Paradise will come soon enough. The Near Deathers in our day are further proof of the truth of Proverbs 8:36: “But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death” (niv).
 Ibid., p. 8.
 Rousas John Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity: A Biblical Psychology of Man (Ross House Books: Vallecito, CA, 1987), p. 110.
- Susan Burns
Susan is the managing editor of the the Faith for All of Life magazine and the Chalcedon Report (bi-monthly newsletter). Susan has worked for Chalcedon since 1997. She lives in Virginia and is rather fond of animals, especially her many cats.