How can near-death experiences be explained in light of biblical revelation? Could they be dreams, hallucinations, visions or evil spirits?
[Darris McNeely] I recently did a series of Beyond Today Dailys on near-death experiences – always a popular topic for people to get into. We even have a Beyond Today program on the topic. One viewer commented and made this remark, and left it on our website. They said, “I’m interested to hear an elaboration of this topic,” – of course, near-death experiences. “When people do have these experiences,” they write, “how can they best be explained in light of biblical revelation? Could they be dreams? Could they be hallucinations? God-given visions or maybe even the evidence of malevolent spirits?” Or demon spirits.
Let me take this opportunity to offer an answer here. First of all, spirits. Evil spirits. The answer to this would be no. I don’t think that we are seeing or having that happen at that point in a person’s life. There’s no Scriptural support for that, and I don’t think that that is one thing that God allows the demonic world to do, in terms of dabbling at that moment of a person’s illness and even perhaps their death. So I don’t think that’s the case. I would rule that out.
The viewer also asked about – is it like dreams or hallucination? That’s an interesting approach to it and to consider. But again, looking at what the Bible tells us about life and about death, that at death, the dead know nothing; that in that very day, his thoughts perish; that we go to the grave; the Bible speaks of a resurrection; and that the spirit going back to God – so much taken together helps us to understand what does happen at death that we don’t need to interject a lot of things that do happen to us. Now, the idea that it’s like a dream is very interesting.
All of us have dreams and all types of dreams. A frequent dream that people have – they may dream about their passed loved ones – a parent, a father, a mother – and see them in a dream and dream about them. I’ve had dreams like that myself. Is that proof that my father, my mother, is alive in another world, in heaven or whatever, or trying to communicate with me? No, not at all. It’s usually because perhaps that day or in recent times I’ve had thoughts about them and dwelt upon their memory, and the way the brain works and our mind operates, we have so much going on in there that back in one of the Dailys I did talk about the fact that medical science knows a great deal about the brain, but not everything. There’s much yet about life that is yet to be discovered. The Bible gives us a revelation about death. So to look at a dream as some type of a likeness to a near-death experience is not something that I think we need to look at and is a somehow proof of that. But they are always interesting matters to study.
Again, looking at what is called, typically, a near-death experience, people coming back from it, is not a proof of an afterlife or people going to heaven in that way, or even to an ever-burning hellfire. There is a great deal that we do not understand of what is happening at those moments when the body may be dying or at a point of near-death, as we might talk about it, but there’s still life there. And what may be firing and taking place in the electro-chemical impulses of the brain are matters that are likely yet to be discovered, understood, by medical science that is just something that we don’t understand. And so, fascinating topic. Look at what God says in His word to help us understand what life is, what happens at death, and make our determinations based on that, and then we have truth, truth that sets us free.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.