One of the most profound questions humans desire to understand is what happens when our physical heart stops beating. Some say the spirit departs from our body and we are aware of what is going on as we continue to advance in the crossing-over process. We've heard stories about individuals who have died for a short period of time and have been allowed to not only come back but they also retain some vivid memories of what happened while they were gone.
There will always be skeptics, but there is also no shortage of people for whom the medical world has no explanations, and often certain descriptive details from these individuals can be proven. Are these people just having visions and dreams, or do you believe there is a life after this one?
With the Bible as our main source for understanding the spiritual realm, I choose to accept that every physical body also has a spirit, and there is definitely life after death. First Corinthians 15:44 says, "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
The Christian faith teaches an eternal existence after this life and, according to God's Word, every person will someday face this reality as we leave this realm. Many who tell about their after- death experiences claim to be greeted by an individual that is commonly assumed to be an angel who helps them in this transition.
I'm a chaplain for a health-care facility, and I've spoken to several hospice nurses who frequently observe patients reach up toward the ceiling as they take their last breath. Every now and then, a soul returns for reasons that only God knows, and here are a couple of examples.
Anita Moorjani had been battling lymphatic cancer for several years, and one day she slipped into a coma. Her doctors said she had no vital responses or outward signs of life. However, her spirit was alive and well. She said in this conscious state, she was floating above her body and could see the entire room with complete peripheral vision. Anita could also sense her late father's presence and could clearly hear him say that if she continued much further in being separated from her body, she would not be able to return. She is quoted as saying, "But I felt I didn't want to turn back because it was so beautiful. It was just incredible because, for the first time in years, there was no pain. All the discomfort and fear was gone. I cannot explain the feeling of being enveloped in unconditional love." Gradually she came out of the coma, and a couple of days later her organs began to function and the tumors started shrinking. She is now cancer-free.
Another amazing story comes from Annabel Beam, who was diagnosed with two chronic, life-threatening disorders at age 4. When she was 8 years old and continuing to decline, she climbed a huge hollow tree in her yard and was sitting on a branch when it broke, causing her to fall 30 feet and land within the tree, where she was trapped for six hours.
Anna is convinced she died and explains that at the moment of impact she was suddenly surrounded by intense bright light and found herself sitting on the lap of Jesus. She is quoted as saying, "Jesus said, when you are rescued, there will be nothing wrong with you. I asked if I could stay, and he said no because he has plans that I need to fulfill on Earth." She was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors could not find any injuries or even a trace of her previous illnesses.
How it inspires and builds our faith when we learn from those who have actually seen a glimpse of the next life. We can embrace this reality and know this realm is not all there is. God's promises are true, and his presence is real not only in this temporal existence but also for all eternity.
Have you considered that God has a purpose and plan for your life and that how we live now is directly associated with our future? There is no need to fear. You can reach out with faith today and ask the Lord to save you and give you eternal security. May we be encouraged to know that God wants us to live with him forever.
Learn more about Billy Holland's new book, "Convictions and Considerations" at billy hollandministries.com.