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(Speculative Theology)

Is the Near Death Experience (NDE) similar to Paul's Road to Damascus Experience?

The title above has astounding implications and shows us how God (The Son) may draw or change many people at the last moment. God obviously does not wish to override personal freedom/autonomy of persons but God knows all and has ways to get around everything. God will still interfere with personal freedom as a good parent will to a child if special circumstances require it. Shaul Paul was like a rabid dog when he was heading off toward Damascus to torment the early Christians there (Acts 9). The Lord stopped Paul just like a good parent would take a little child away from a cliff. Likewise the Lord may appear to an unsaved soul at their point of death in a NDE. If Christian Universalism (restorationism) is true than this would probably be something the Lord does to reach many.

The NDE is in many respects akin to Shaul Paul's Christophany near Damascus, but there are also some differences. What Paul experienced was seen in part by others, whereas an NDE is not. In the book by Moody, 'Life after Life', the author speaks about some of these experiences.

Christian Universalism (restorationism) is not a heresy. It is also not pluralism, the strawman that some use against it when they can not win a debate or refute it. This is a truly Christian position as long as it holds Jesus as the only savior and Lord. It is also not Unitarianism. It actually makes his victory greater. He pulls all through the narrow gate. Few can find this gate but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)...Note: I am not convinced of it but I hope that Jesus will save all...

Of the three positions (Traditional burning hell, Annihilationism, Restorationism) the Traditional view is refuted by logic, scriptures, and philosophy. The clear cut majority scriptures point toward destruction/annihilation of the unsaved (e.g.Romans 6:23), however some verses only fit well with Universalism e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:22). The third choice gives Jesus the highest victory! I find myself thinking the Lord will save almost every soul but destroy the devil and his angels, which is somewhat mixed?

In 1 Corinthians 15:22 Jesus plainly is said to correct the fall of Adam and its results. Will he be successful or only get the job part done? Adam caused the fall of all who lived after him and Jesus is going to reverse this...I know Calvinist will ramble on about context and such but it is pretty clear, especially when we look at other verses such as John 12:32....

"Jesus said, 'And I, if I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all men unto me".

This verse does not mean that Jesus will draw some people, nor does it mean he will draw all but torment over 90 percent of them, which seems strained! The 'all' here is in the Greek text 'Pantas' and means the great bulk. It is not a hyperbole like we read of Solomon in 1 kings 10:24.

The Lord will reconcile all things (Col. 1:20) and have a perfected world and universe, something not possible if he keeps sinners alive in pain forever. There is no peace or reconciliation in that! They are either changed or removed! And one way for them to be changed is by God utilizing many ways to approach people. One of these can be a near Death Experience, among a multitude of other ways.  Note: if this too advanced for this site I will remove it.

Pastor Zomok

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  • Paul's road to Damascus experince was not even close to an NDE (which are mostly hallucinations by drugs under medical conditions or lack of oxygen to the brain in the same condition (medical), while others are induced by evil spirits, seducing; more on this in a bit).  He was blinded by the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).  NDE's, so called, are variant from all manner of religions, as the hindu experiences Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Kali, Ganesha, etc, and others of Buddhic see others, the Buddha, some other 'exalted being', and others see aliens, Islamic might see the Madhi or some other being, and so on.

    Saul of Tarsus was already "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Ephesiasns 2:1), a stinking corpse of self-righteousness (Romans 7:24).  What Saul had on the road to Damascus was not an NDE, it was rather an NLE (Near LIFE experience), since Jesus Christ is "the life" (John 11:25, 14:6).  Jesus, in whom is LIFE itself (John 1:4), and thus as Saul met LIFE, he came near unto LIVING, unless one desires to say that the old man of sin came near to perishing, since sin cannot dwell in the presence of God, as the two are mutually exclusive of the other.

    Never-the-less, the Bible does not teach the heresy and dangerous doctrine of 'universalism' (restorationsim, or any other such thing of the same with differing name, nor the variations of it), for neither the devil (lucifer, satan, etc), nor Judas, nor King Saul, nor others that could be mentioned, as they at the flood of Noah, and more, will never be in Heaven, for they chose not to be, and in so choosing forever excluded themselves.

    The scripture is clear that lucifer/satan and all the wicked which are the finally impentitent) will be dust, even ashes, and never be any more in the fire to come (Revelation 20, etc):

    Malachi 4:3  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

    Ezekiel 28:19  All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

    Psalms 37:10  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

    Daniel 2:35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 

    Revelation 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  ("them" = wicked, vs 9-10)

    along with many other such texts:

    All darkness [shall be] hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle. (Job 20:26)

    This [is] the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God. (Job 20:29)

    For what portion of God [is there] from above? and [what] inheritance of the Almighty from on high? (Job 31:2)

    [Is] not destruction to the wicked? and a strange [punishment] to the workers of iniquity? (Job 31:3)

    The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God. (Psalms 9:17)

    Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. (Psalms 7:9)

    Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup. (Psalms 11:6)

    Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. (Psalms 21:9)

    For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be]. (Psalms 37:10)

    But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD [shall be] as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. (Psalms 37:20)

    For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. (Psalms 37:28)

    But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. (Psalms 37:38)

    As smoke is driven away, [so] drive [them] away: as wax melteth before the fire, [so] let the wicked perish at the presence of God. (Psalms 68:2)

    Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. (Psalms 69:28)

    For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring [them] out, [and] drink [them]. (Psalms 75:8)

    All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; [but] the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. (Psalms 75:10)

    When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; [it is] that they shall be destroyed for ever: (Psalms 92:7)

    For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. (Psalms 92:9)

    Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalms 104:35)

    And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. (Psalms 106:18)

    The wicked shall see [it], and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. (Psalms 112:10)

    The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. (Psalms 145:20)

    But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. (Proverbs 2:22)

    As the whirlwind passeth, so [is] the wicked no [more]: but the righteous [is] an everlasting foundation. (Proverbs 10:25)

    The hope of the righteous [shall be] gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. (Proverbs 10:28)

    The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth. (Proverbs 10:30)

    The wicked are overthrown, and [are] not: but the house of the righteous shall stand. (Proverbs 12:7)

    The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 13:9)

    The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish. (Proverbs 14:11)

    For there shall be no reward to the evil [man]; the candle of the wicked shall be put out. (Proverbs 24:20)

    Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

    The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (Ezekiel 18:20)

    Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (Isaiah 13:9)

    They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 66:17)

    And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (Isaiah 66:24)

    For while [they be] folden together [as] thorns, and while they are drunken [as] drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry. (Nahum 1:10)

    For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, [so] shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. (Obadiah 1:16)

    I will utterly consume all [things] from off the land, saith the LORD. (Zephaniah 1:2)

    I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD. (Zephaniah 1:3)

    Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:15)

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

    For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

    But that which beareth thorns and briers [is] rejected, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose end [is] to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)

    And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9)

    The words used so far in describing the end of the wicked are Destroy, Blotted Out, Perished, Consumed Utterly, Cut Off, Dissolved, Melted, Devoured, Dead, Death, Hath Not Been, Not [any/no more], Burned Up, etc. [all taken from Strong's]:

    [Hebrew: machah
    מחה; meaning: to wipe out; blot out, obliterate; exterminated]
    [Hebrew: macah
    מסה; meaning: melt away, dissolve, liquefy, consumed]
    [Hebrew: muwg
    מוג; meaning: to melt, dissolve, faint, dissipate, flow away]
    [Hebrew: muwth
    מות; meaning: dead, death, kill, slain]
    [Hebrew: da`ak
    דעך; meaning: extinguished, to go out, put out, dry up, made extinct, quenched]
    [Hebrew: caphah
    ספה; meaning: to be swept away, destroyed, consumed]
    [Hebrew: shachath
    שחת; meaning: destroyed, corrupted, ruined, decayed]
    [Hebrew: parar
    פרר; meaning: break apart, frustrate, split, splinter to pieces, shatter, cracked up]
    [Hebrew: 'abad
    אבד; meaning: perished, vanished, destroyed, die, exterminated, blot out, put to death]
    [Hebrew: 'obed
    אבד; meaning: destruction, perish]
    [Hebrew: gava`
    גוע; meaning: to expire, die, death, breathe ones last, yield up the last breath]
    [Hebrew: cuwph
    סוף; meaning: to come to an end, to make an end, consume utterly, cause to cease, perish]
    [Hebrew: damah
    דמה; meaning: to cease, cause to cease, cut off, destroy, perish, to be undone]
    [Hebrew: charam
    חרם; meaning: to ban, destroy utterly and completely, exterminated, forfeited, divided, prohibited]
    [Hebrew: kalah
    כלה; meaning: consumed, determined, ended, finished, completely spent, at an end, perish, terminated, annihilation, complete destruction]
    [Hebrew: karath
    כרת; meaning: cut off, cut asunder, eliminate, kill, cut down]
    [Hebrew: kachad
    כחד; meaning: hide, conceal, cut down, make desolate, destroy, cut off, annihilate, efface]
    [Hebrew: bala`
    בלע; meaning: swallowed up, eaten up, to be ended]
    [Hebrew: balah
    בלה; meaning: to wear out, wear away, use up completely]
    [Hebrew: harac
    הרס; meaning: to tear down, break down, overthrow, destroy utterly]
    [Hebrew: show'
    שוא; meaning: devastated, ruined, laid to waste]
    [Hebrew: tsamath
    צמת; meaning: put an end to, cut off, destroy, exterminate, annihilate]
    [Hebrew: shamad
    שמד; meaning: destroyed, exterminate, annihilated, devastated]
    [Hebrew: naphal
    נפל; meaning: cast down, fail, waste away, overturn, knock down, fall]
    [Hebrew: 'akal
    אכל; meaning: to eat, devour, consume, to be wasted, destroyed]
    [Hebrew: chacal
    חסל; meaning: to consume, eaten up, bring to an end]
    [Hebrew: tamam
    תמם; meaning: to be complete, finished, at an end, consumed, exhausted]
    [Hebrew: 'oklah
    אכלה; meaning: object of devouring, consuming in judgment]
    [Hebrew: maqaq
    מקק; meaning: to decay, pine away, rot, fester, corrupt, dissolve]
    [Hebrew: guwz
    גוז; meaning: to pass over, pass away (of life), cut off]
    [Hebrew: yatsath
    יצת; meaning: to be burned up, to be made desolate, set on fire]
    [Hebrew: sĕrephah
    שרפה; meaning: burning, burn, burnt up throughly]

    [Greek: apollymi ἀπόλλυμι; meaning: to destroy, put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin, render useless, kill, perish]
    [Greek: lyō λύω; meaning: loosed, undone, annul, dissolve, do away with, overthrow, break up]
    [Greek: katalyō καταλύω; meaning: dissolved, disunite, overthrow, render vain, bring to naught]
    [Greek: analiskō ἀναλίσκω; meaning: to expend, consume, destroy]
    [Greek: phtheirō φθείρω; meaning: to corrupt, to destroy, to perish, deprave]
    [Greek: diaphtheirō διαφθείρω; meaning: to corrupt, consume, destroy, kill, eat up, ruin]
    [Greek: aphanizō ἀφανίζω; meaning: to snatch away, take away, to make unseen, to destroy, consume, to make vanish]
    [Greek: phthora φθορά; meaning: corruption, destruction, perishing, decay]
    [Greek: kataphtheirō καταφθείρω; meaning: to corrupt, deprave, to destroy, perish]
    [Greek: ekkoptō ἐκκόπτω; meaning: hewn down, cut off or out]
    [Greek: apokoptō ἀποκόπτω; meaning: cut off, amputate]
    [Greek: nekros νεκρός; meaning: lifeless, dead, deceased, breathed ones last, inanimate, inactive]
    [Greek: nekroō νεκρόω; meaning: dead, put to death, to deprive of power, destroy the strength]
    [Greek: apothnēskō ἀποθνῄσκω; meaning: to die, perish, dry up, eternal death]
    [Greek: empi(m)prēmi ἐμπί(μ)πρημι; meaning: burn up, destroy by fire]
    [Greek: katakaiō κατακαίω; meaning: to burn up, consume by fire]

    Other passages can also be looked at individually, and such terms like "unquenchable", "eternal", "for ever and ever", "everlasting", etc and their Biblical use in terms of the righteous and the wicked in context.

    Begin to ask, where are the all of the wicked [including Satan and his angels] standing in Revelation 20:8-9? Do they [the wicked] live there eternally or are they rather not completely destroyed so that the New Heaven and the New Earth may be created there, wherein dwelleth righteousness, peace, no more tears, pain or sorrow or sin or satan?

     

    Judas is a for-ever lost man:

    Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

    John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

    So also Lucifer/satan, King Saul, and others that can be cited and exampled, such as Ananias and Sapphira.

    The state of the dead and hell/hellfire:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivTLDGR5BvI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aya4988PQk

    The witness of an ex-occultist:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqtSSCiDf54

    There is no 'purgtorial' after death to cleanse sinners (Hebrews 9:27).  That all must take place now while alive, before the close of probation, Revelation 10:7, 14:6-12, 22:21; Luke 13:35; Daniel 12:1-3, etc.

    It is a complete misunderstanding of the Sanctuary (Psalms 77:13) itself to teach universalism or NDE's as a means of information.  The Psalmist Asaph understood by studying what happened to 'sin' once entered into the sanctuary:

    Psalms 73:17  Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

    Psalms 73:18  Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

    Psalms 73:19  How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

    For the "sin" was transferred to the animal sacrifices, into the blood thereof, and they represented those who would be destroyed by the fire to come, cut into pieces, burn, destroyed unto ashes, and no more existing.

    Sin/sinners shall not arise the second time, for they shall be destroyed:

    Nah_1:9  What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

    Sin has a limit.

    Jas 1:15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    Thus the second death, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.

  • OOPS ! forgot the topic !  Does several O.D.s... numerous motor-bike crashes and being mugged 3 times so far count as N.D.E.s ???

  • Pastor Zamok; what you said isn't too anything for me (or this site) I agree with you..Neither myself nor my friend Jesus wants to lose even one sinner; unfortunately, it usually takes a bit of co-operation on their part...Thank you for sharing your inspired thoughts...<m>

    • Martin some of what you say touches on personal autonomy or self-choice of the individual but God is all powerful, and all loving and can get around the free will of anyone.

  • I don't much like the NDE thing, sounds a bit too 'spooky' new agey sort of stuff. I noticed a lot of books of this ilk appearing in so-called Christian book shops of late, along with 'holy' pictures and plenty of popes. Having been 'forcibly' brought up as a catholic, the Irish variety too, I was ecstaticly relieved when I really found the TRUE Lord in Jesus my saviour. Now it's all so clear to me, how can two billion people be so gullible??? I've had a real time of it trying to convince my own brothers and sisters of the Truth, so I've placed it all in the expert hands of My Lord. Let go and let God.

    I'm seventy now and I'd really like to experience the Rapture. Things like that used to trouble me but I just accept it all as 'How can I possibly know how God works, all I know is of a worldly view of things so I figure that God is Totally different from anything I have ever learned or have been told, i'm just getting to grips with infinity (Benoit Mandelbrot's sets are a great way of dealing with this if you're mathematically inclined). Coming from a mathematics background I know that I serve the Greatest mathematician that ever is! The 'Golden Ratio or mean' 'Fibonachi's sequence' 'the Fine Structure Constant' when you look at the way all these are PART of the universe and everyday life, it's wonderful, the fact that if any of the ratios necessary for life to exist were off by just 1 in 10 to the 20th we would not be here! God is WONDERFUL.

    God Bless us all who've accepted the Birth, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, the Lord Jesus the True Christ. Sorry for the rant, I do get carried away.

    • I'm 70 also, Tommy, and as Catholic as Martin Luther was.  At our age, we have the right-to-rant . B/Blest;  me Bucko !  (I solved Fermi's theory once just for the fun of it )   <m>

    • Indeed Tommy, I believe that the Mandelbrot Set can be found in the DNA of plants and trees, I have an article I did somewhere and one on the Fibonachi's sequence, it's on this site somewhere.  I agree with you tha God is without doubt the Greatest mathematician.

       

  • Hi Steve,

    I had an experience a long time ago. I didn't think of it as an NDE. Sometimes a person is stubborn and rebellious. I know what it's like to have a bright light surround you. I view Paul's conversion as being knocked off his high horse. He was capturing God's people. He had Christians killed. I can see how Jesus would draw a the line in the sand. Saul Saul, why are you persecuting me!

    I remember I was being attacked by demons. I couldn't move because something strong was holding me down. I cried out to God. I understand the questions will you believe in Him and will you choose to make Him your Lord. You all are going to think I'm nuts. That's okay. I believe Jesus came down from His throne and popped those demons in the snoot for me. He did battle for me. That gate must have been very narrow for me. I thank the Lord for saving my life. There's nothing I did to deserve God's mercy. When it was over, I felt very light. I've literally been set free. I've seen that bright light and heard the Lord's voice. I don't regard the experience as an NDE.

    I don't want to diminish someone's experience. Maybe something did happen to a member or members here on CLM. Consider Stephen in his last moments how he saw the Lord. There's lots of things we don't understand.

    I can say yes, Jesus still shines a bright light when He wants to, and He still talks to people when He wants to. He still reveals things to people when He wants to.

    God bless,

    Mary

  • I have never had a NDE, although I was present when it seemed that someone was having one.  The grandfather of my ex-wife was taken very ill, quite suddenly, and we were called to the hospital when they realised he would not last very long and we were there when he died.  The man had a strong faith, although he rarely attended church, but loved the lord and read his KJV Bible often.  My wife at the time was sitting holding his hand as he laboured to breathe, suddenly his rasping breath returned to normal and he sat upright in the bed, a smile came over his face and he stretched out his arm as if to grasp another hand, then fell back onto the pillows and died.

    My belief is that this sort of NDE is a sort of automatic response of imagination, placed in the brain to allay fear at the point of death, which is a nice touch from our Creator.  As I have said previously, I believe that when we die our spirit sleeps, as if under anaesthetic, with no recognition or consciousness, until the resurrection.  Granted there are similarities between NDEs from people who have been brought back from the brink of death, but no one has ever come back from full brain death, so we really don't know.  We only know about that period between bodily death and brain death.

  • As one who has experienced an NDE and who has no doubt about their validity I hope we can have a good discussion about them!

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