Fact a Day: July 6th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: July 6th

The Facts on Life After Death (Harvest House, 1992), pp. 18-19

 

How could such peaceful and loving experiences be something spiritually deceptive?

What the NDE does is powerfully reinforce a common, if mistaken, theme in modern culture—that God loves all persons unconditionally and will grant everyone entrance into heaven on the basis of their being “good” people. The NDE communicates that God is more concerned with a person’s good deeds than He is with their particular religious beliefs. But this is wrong biblically. The Bible teaches that death leads to judgment, not bliss (Hebrews 9:27), and that God is very concerned with what a person believes religiously. In fact, apart from personal belief in the true Christ, no one will enter heaven (John 3:16, 36; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:11-12).

However, because the NDE is so profoundly “spiritual,” good and full of loving experiences, the vast majority of people assume that the experience itself must be divine—something from God. But these wonderful experiences lead to theological error: they almost always convey the false assurance of Universalism (that all will be saved at death), and they almost never bring biblical repentance. In other words, they never cause people to see themselves as sinners who need salvation in Christ. But if the primary message God seeks to communicate to men is that they need salvation in Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:3-7), how could these experiences possibly originate from God? An experience that leads people to reject God’s salvation cannot be divine, no matter how pleasant.

All this fits with what the Bible teaches about the nature of spiritual warfare: that spiritual evil commonly imitates that which is good and righteous in order to deceive people concerning the truth of what God has revealed in the Bible. Again, the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15 that “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” and his ministers as “servants of righteousness.” Therefore, it should surprise no one that the devil can imitate a “being of light” or that his demons frequently do the same.

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