A near life experience
Many people have had what are called near death experiences. They found themselves outside of their bodies and saw a bright light to which they were attracted, but before they could reach the light they were back in their bodies.
Opinions differ as to what really happened. Some think this was a real event and they actually left their bodies for a short time. Others think this was a delusion created by their minds. The Bible has many accounts of death but it never describes what goes on in the mind of a person who is dying, so we can’t use it to answer the question.
I have no personal opinion on the subject. Those who believe it is a real experience claim that this proves that life continues after the death of the body. I believe in the continuation of life because the Bible teaches it, so I don’t need any scientific confirmation. After we experience death ourselves we will no doubt learn the truth.
The Bible says nothing about near death experiences but it does tell of someone who had a near life experience. He was spiritually dead because of sin and was shown how he could receive eternal life. Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity he rejected it and went back to his old way of life.
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17)
Jesus answered his question.
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”
And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:18-21)
Doesn’t this contradict the clear Bible teaching that eternal life is a gift from God and that we can do nothing to earn it? It seems to me that the explanation is that giving away his possessions would be evidence that he had already received life by faith. Jesus was making it clear that the faith that brings salvation would affect the way he lived.
The man had received what he asked for. He now knew the way he could have eternal life. His response to that knowledge was disappointing.
Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:22)
He wanted eternal life but he loved his wealth more and was unwilling to give it up. It is possible that he later thought over his decision and decided to follow Jesus. Sometimes those who reject the gospel at first do this. If he did this there is no record of such an action recorded in the Bible. As far as we know from the Bible he continued in his unbelief and was eternally lost.