Question of the week: How would you address the near-death experiences (NDEs) some people who follow non-Christian religions claim to have experienced? If these claims are true, would such claims present a challenge to Christianity?
My answer: These near-death experiences (NDEs) do not pose a challenge to Christianity. God can and does reach out to people in this manner in all religions. However, not all claimed NDEs are of God. Statistically, only a few are. Some are demonic. Some are psychologically induced. Some result from impairment of the brain. These different possibilities explain why in 1 John 4:1 we are commanded to test the spirits.
Many books have been written claiming that NDEs prove that there is life after death. However, we have much stronger proofs for life after death. The appearances of Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8), and the words of Jesus when questioned about life after death (Mark 12:26–27) are examples. The fact that all humans know that eternity is written upon their hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and are aware of judgment after death are yet more examples. The best proof is the overwhelming historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Almost two decades ago, Fazale Rana and I interviewed Dr. Michael Sabom on our Creation Update show. He’s a cardiologist who has done extensive research on NDEs. In his first book, Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation, Sabom presents interviews with 116 people who had an NDE. In his second book, Light and Death, he presents interviews with 160 additional people who had an NDE. In our opinion, Sabom offers the most objective and scientific analysis of NDEs available. We are in the process of transferring the recording of our interview of Sabom from our old website to the present website.