Decades of claims of near death experiences have now been reported, assimilated, and analyzed, wherein anecdotal evidence of bright lights and flashes have been described by people who have supposedly come back to life after having died. Needless to say, this has caused much debate.
But now, a new study has been published that suggests our consciousness does indeed carry on functioning after our hearts stop beating and our body movements have ceased. The implication is that, if only for a short time, we are nonetheless essentially ‘trapped’ inside our dead body with our brain still working.
According to the article, survivors of cardiac arrest were studied and it was concluded that they were aware of what was going on around them while they were ‘dead’ and before they were ‘brought back to life’. Even more disturbing, there appears to be evidence to suggest that deceased persons may even have heard themselves being pronounced dead by doctors.
The research is being conducted by Dr. Sam Parnia, who is examining cardiac arrest cases in Europe and the US as he studies consciousness after death. His conclusion so far is that persons in the first phase of death may very well still experience some form of consciousness.
He offers as proof the many people who have survived cardiac arrest and later accurately described what was happening around them after their hearts stopped beating. According to Dr. Parnia: “They'll describe watching doctors and nurses working; they'll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them.”
He further explains that when a patient is officially declared dead, “It's all based on the moment when the heart stops. Technically speaking, that's how you get the time of death.”
Thus, his study is examining what happens to the brain after a person goes into cardiac arrest - and whether or not consciousness continues after death; and if so, for how long. His purpose in part is to find ways to improve the quality of resuscitation and prevent brain injuries while restarting the heart.
For those of you who are familiar with the plot of the movie, Flatliners, according to Dr. Parnia, whenever a person is resuscitated, he or she does not necessarily return with any sort of “magical enhancement” of memory.
Dr. Parnia’s entire point is that, even though someone’s heart may have stopped beating, and he or she has been legally declared dead, nonetheless, his or her brain and other senses may well continue functioning thereafter.
All of this brings me to my point in this blog post…
Long before Dr. Parnia and others like him began to take seriously the notion that some part of us survives after physical death, the Bible affirmed that such a state exists! In the Old Testament Book of Job (chapter 14, verse 14), the title character famously asked the question: “If someone dies, will they live again?”
Time and gain, the Bible affirms that the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes”! To begin with, we have multiple accounts of people who have died being brought back to life. According to J. L. Meredith, the Bible contains 10 such accounts:
1. Elijah raised the son of the Zarephath widow from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-22).
2. Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-35).
3. A man was raised from the dead when his body touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20, 21).
4. Many saints rose from the dead at the resurrection of Jesus (Matt. 27:50-53).
5. Jesus rose from the dead (Matt. 28:5-8; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5, 6).
6. Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain from the dead (Luke 7:11-15).
7. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Luke 8:41, 42, 49-55).
8. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).
9. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-41).
10. Eutychus was raised from the dead by Paul (Acts 20:9, 10).
Of course, the key here is number 5. Because Jesus Himself was raised from the dead, you and I too, even though we may die, can live again. As Jesus told the grieving sisters of Lazarus in the New Testament gospel of John, chapter 11, verse 25: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”
Thereafter, the Bible gives significant numbers of accounts of people who were quite conscious and aware of their circumstances after physical death. One such example is the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 5, verses 39-47. Here we read that Abraham was alive and well in a place of blessedness, while the so-called “rich man” was alive and not very well in a place of torment. The assertion in both cases is clearly that we are all very much alive after we leave this world!
For these reasons, I myself do not necessarily fear death - for I am convinced that when I do depart this world, I will simply be alive and well in another world. I know this to be the case because I have placed my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the
I hope you share that testimony today. If not, I hope you soon will. For the Bible’s answer to Job’s piercing question is a resounding “Yes! We will indeed live again!” The only real question is where we will live! Will that be in an eternity of torment separated from Almighty God? Or will that be in eternal bliss in God's presence forever and ever?!
Of course, the answer to that question is to be found in the New Testament Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 16-18:
16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
In light of this, I can only hope that your own living death, like mine, will be a glorious one!
NEWS ARTICLE SOURCE:
https://www.foxnews.com/science/when-you-die-you-know-youre-dead-because-your-brain-keeps-working-scientist-claims. According to this particular article, the story originally appeared in The Sun Newspaper back on April 17, 2019.
J. L. Meredith, Meredith’s Big Book of Bible Lists, (New York: Inspirational Press,1980), p. 115.