Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are NOT in Heaven!!!!
Are you as sick and tired as I am of seeing NDE books that include “Heaven” in their title?
You know the kind of thing:
I Returned From my NDE in Heaven
Meeting Dead Friends in Heaven
Enjoying Heaven During My NDE
To Heaven and Back
I Died to Find Heaven
My NDE in Heaven
Death My Door to Heaven
,,,, and so on, ad nauseam, and generally inaccurate!
Before you jump onto the internet to locate any of the above titles—rest easy—I invented them all to make a point while not offending any authors, but it would only take you a few minutes to locate lots of NDE books with “Heaven” in the title.
Why do we find this common error?
One cause is that the NDErs do not ask God the Father, or Jesus, or perhaps an accompanying angel—"where am I?” during their afterlife adventures. Instead, they assumed themselves to be in Heaven instead of asking. This assumption arises readily if they find themselves in beautiful and peaceful surroundings, especially if God is there. A few NDErs have asked the question and have been told the truth instead—they are in the Paradise section of Hades and NOT in Heaven, which will only be peopled after Judgement. Rev. Royston Fraser, a Christian hero martyred in Chile, was one of these who asked the question, as described in my book “Living Beyond: Making Sense of Near Death Experiences”. Quote follows:
Rev Royston Fraser's NDE is helpful for our comprehension of Paradise. Killed during mission work in Chile, he met both his deceased mother and sister in Paradise, although he had not known yet that either had also died. Then he met previously deceased missionaries and some prominent people - all being in Paradise and none yet in Heaven. Finally he met Jesus. He takes up the account:
I asked what might seem a strange question, ‘Where am I, Lord?’
His response was, ‘You are in the Paradise of God’.
I told Him I thought I was in Heaven!
But He replied, ‘No man has entered Heaven except He that has come out of Heaven’ (John 3:13).
I said I had not really thought about it, but I did recall reading it.
‘Do you not remember what I said to the thief on the cross?’ He asked me.
Of course I did: ‘This day you will be with me in Paradise’.
The distinction between Paradise being for us nowadays, while Heaven can be a future venue after Judgement, was important enough for Jesus to emphasise it to Royston. Unless this distinction is clear, NDErs may think they have been to Heaven and not to Paradise. So what? We find a potentially disastrous attitude creeping in - 'Uncle Joe was a drunk and beat his wife, but I saw him in Heaven, so obviously nearly everyone is going to Heaven'. Not so. Only at Judgement will God assign who goes where. Just as the Earth itself is wonderful but not everyone living on it will spend eternity with God, so it is with Paradise.
Nearly every book with 'Heaven' in its title should have it replaced by 'Paradise' instead. For example and just one of many, “90 Minutes in Heaven” should instead be “90 Minutes in Paradise”.
Note that Rev. Royston enjoyed classic NDE experiences in a garden setting - meeting departed relatives and friends, some prominent deceased Christians, and having an interview with Jesus - all taking place in Paradise and not in Heaven! This leads to a key to understanding NDEs:
Pleasant NDEs nowadays generally do not take place in Heaven, but in Paradise.
Heaven has buildings suitable for those in resurrected bodies. Paradise is a garden and outdoors setting suitable for spirits. Unfortunately, the distinction that Jesus and the Bible make between the two has become confused.
This distinction at once clarifies much of the confusion surrounding NDEs. At death, the spirits of adults that have a pleasant NDE travel to Paradise.
The spirits of young children often have different NDE experiences – but we will come to those later.
A further reason to distinguish between Paradise in Hades nowadays in spirit bodies and Heaven or Hell after Judgement in physical bodies is that Christian confusion can prevent them sharing the Gospel with others. Why tell anyone they need to invite Jesus to be their sacrificial substitute to ensure a pleasant future after Judgement if everyone is going to land up in Heaven regardless?
Actually, millions nowadays have experienced unpleasant NDEs in one of the Prison sections of Hades (not in Hell), but they tend to be secretive and do not talk about this or write books nearly as readily as those who have visited one of the Paradise sections of Hades. Angie Fenimore is one notable exception in her book “Beyond the Darkness”. Most suicides report unpleasant NDEs, and she describes hers very well.
Prison sections in Hades this side of Judgement? Yes indeed, and Jesus went and preached to a particular prison grouping during his time in Hades before his physical resurrection. You can read about it in 1Peter 3:18.
The Bible scriptures, the words of Jesus, and the writings of the early church are clear regarding spirits of the dead going to Hades before Judgement Day and either Heaven or Hell after Judgement. Why does confusion reign today? It is because modern church teaching on the afterlife is usually trivial, inaccurate and totally confused.
Please borrow a copy of “Living Beyond” from your local library if you want to know more because I explain it all thoroughly there.
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