I grew up in Christian churches until I became old enough to choose whether I would go to church or not. I chose not to go to church around the age of 16. I had listened to all the lessons diligently and knew them by heart. But they had little appeal for a teenager setting out to make his mark in the world.
A big surprise when I went to college, and took a minor in religion. I was asked to read the entire Bible, and found that much of what I had been taught in church wasn’t in the Bible, and there was a lot of stuff in the Bible that I had never heard about in church. Disbelief, confusion, and other emotions rising from this discovery caused me to become agnostic, and generally forget about religion altogether.
I remained agnostic right up to the last second before my near death experience. During the experience my beliefs about life and the physical world were shattered and lay as dust about my feet. I gained a new knowledge, an expansion of consciousness, an enlightenment that has stayed with me for over twenty years now, and will remain with me forever.
I now know the difference between spirituality and religion, that I am loved unconditionally, that I am eternal, that I am spirit, in a physical body, living in a physical world created by Higher Intelligence. But the most valuable thing I received was an understanding of the teachings of Jesus.
People are leaving church today more than ever before. I think it is because the churches are not teaching love. They seem more concerned with doctrines and social issues than following the teachings of Jesus. I even had a minister tell me the teachings of Jesus were OK for His time, but were impractical in today’s world.
Jesus taught: John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
This is the core teaching of the near death experience. Surrounded by the light of unconditional love, every experiencer feels the compassion and caring of a loving God, and knows he is expected to emulate that love with everyone in the world.
Jesus taught: Matthew 5:43
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
This is consistent with near death experiences and the theme of love one another. We can not love only those who love us, we are to love all people. There are no exceptions to God’s love, nor should there be to our love of one another.
Jesus taught: Matthew 18:21
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Jesus said: Matthew 7:1:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
Near death experiencers feel total acceptance in the light. There is no judgement from God. We are loved for who we are, God’s children, and not what we believe or what we have done. There is no religion in the spirit world, only love. Experiencers do go through a “life review.” In this review their whole life passes before them, they feel the pain they have caused others as well as the joy. It is like changing places with others you have hurt and feeling exactly what they felt. It is a learning tool and not a judgement. We learn through the life review just how important it is to treat everyone with kindness and love.
Jesus said: John 14:1:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
“Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
“Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Jesus said: Luke 17:20:
“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
These teachings of Jesus are about the Oneness of all creation. The Oneness that near death experiencers feel within the light. We are within God and God is within us. We are One. All creation is One. Like drops of water in the ocean, or leaves of a giant tree, we are all connected. The sum total of all creation is God. If we wish to know God we look within ourselves with prayer and meditation. Asking for knowledge, strength, and gratitude to be like Jesus, to love ourselves and all others so we may do as Jesus does.
Jesus said: Matthew 25:35:
“For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee as hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Most near death experiencers are impelled to help others. The experience, almost always, causes profound personality and life style changes in the experiencer. Some NDE experiencers go back to school to become teachers or counselors. Some lecture, write books. Others do volunteer work at Hospices, Nursing Homes and Hospitals. Some open “Centers of Learning” or start classes/support groups. Even those who don’t “go public” with their experience are changed into kinder and more loving individuals. The impact of the experience is to change the experiencer, and the change lasts a lifetime. As Jesus said we are to help others, especially those in need.
This does not begin to cover all the teachings of love by Jesus. But it is a beginning in the right direction. I wish churches will begin to return to the teachings of Jesus as their main message of hope, and purpose in life.
Below is a quote from Paul lest we forget the real definition of love, and then a final quote from Jesus. God bless all.
“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love doesn’t demand its own way. It’s not irritable or touchy. It doesn’t hold grudges and will not notice when others do it wrong. It’s never glad about injustice, but rejoices in truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends”. — Saint Paul.
The final quote comes from Jesus.
Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” –John 14:15
Some near death experiencers see and talk to Jesus during their experience. They say He is always kind and loving to them, just as He asks them to be with others. I hope this helps in understanding near death experiences.
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