Is there such a thing as a "near-death experience"?
Several documentaries on “near-death experiences” have presented conjecture on this from all angles.
Some believe everyone will go through the same experience at death because our brains are the same in physical make-up. Many scientists, perhaps most, believe there is nothing supernatural about the reports of people seeing in tunnel vision, or going through a tunnel toward a light that sometimes breaks into an apparent scene where loved ones who are dead appear.
Scientists usually say this is the natural result of the brain being deprived of blood, thus, oxygen. For example, they cite the experience of those fliers, such as astronauts who, in their training, ride centrifuges. As the blood is forced into the lower extremities of the body by centrifugal force, the brain begins shutting down, and the person in the centrifuge reports seeing through tunnel vision, at the end of which is a pinpoint of light.
There have been reports of those who clinically died, reporting they went into a wonderful place, meeting Jesus, and others. There are those who report hellish experiences, where people are mired in boiling, lava-like flows, where they can’t move, but can only scream in pain.
Jesus talked about Lazarus and the rich man (Lk. 16:20-25), which gives an account eerily like reports of the hellish experiences of those who report “near-death experiences.”
What we do know for sure is that the Bible tells us:
“…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The Apostle Paul reported his strange, near-death experience. He didn’t know the exact nature of his experience, but he knew it was real.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth)” (2 Cor. 12:2-3).
Paul has the truth about “near-death experiences.” God alone knows the facts about this. We will all know someday, however, except that generation of Christians who will not face death, but rapture, when Jesus says, “Come up hither!” (Rev. 4:1).