Introduction By Dr John Sloane
I have spent many hours in my professional life resuscitating patients following cardiac arrest or severe trauma. With the passage of time, I realise more and more that this is an enormous privilege for medical, nursing and paramedical staff. It is difficult to communicate the joy of knowing that you have just brought a fellow human being back from certain death.
Resuscitation, unfortunately, still results in death in many instances. I have been aware in such cases that the precious spirit within my patient is leaving their body. And at that moment there is nothing medical science can do to reverse it. But what is really happening in these critical moments? Who has the authority or knowledge to say?
At this time, perhaps more than at any other time, interest in the supernatural has greatly increased. Near Death Experiences have been recorded for many years, and entire belief systems have been built around them. So a book about real accounts of near death experiences may simply add to this. To do this is risky, to say the least, and could be compared to constructing a religion based around ghosts or UFO's. This was not Dr Richard Kent's intention in his first book, "The Final Frontier". It is certainly not our intention in this follow up book, which is why we have included sections on the supernatural authority of the Bible, and what the Bible clearly teaches about life after death. Near death experiences need to be interpreted in the light of what we already know from the Bible. We are greatly indebted to the help of Chuck Missler, who has international standing in his field. He has given us permission to quote his material, in helping us establishing both the existence of God and the supernatural origin of the Bible.
In the history of human civilisation there has been no one who has had such convincing knowledge of life after death as Jesus Christ. I use the word convincing because He predicted what would happen, then carried it out. In fact before He was born many details of His life were foretold in 332 Old Testament prophecies. Sceptics would say that He simply chose to live these out, but many of these prophecies include details about which He had no choice, humanly speaking. Such prophecies include where He would be born, who His ancestry would be, who His mother would be, and who would visit Him as a baby. Chuck Missler has calculated that the chance of one man fulfilling 48 of the key prophecies is a staggering 1:10157.
To most of us this does not mean very much. However, if I were to mark one atom, and hide it somewhere in the universe, and then ask someone to pick just one atom, then the chance of that person finding my marked atom would be 1:1066. If I then asked the same person to make a new choice every second for a billion years, the chance of that person finding my marked atom would be 1:1083, which is infinitely less likely than one person fulfilling 48 prophecies, by 1:1074.
Returning to something we can grasp, perhaps the most stunning fact from Jesus' life is that He said that He would be killed, and would rise again from the dead. This is exactly what He did. Having risen from the dead He was seen by 500 people. Bearing in mind that most of the 500 people were still alive when the written claim was made, common legal practice dictates that this fact was, and is, true. Include the fact that to proclaim this fact publicly caused nearly all the New Testament writers to be executed, legal practice again confirms the truth of the their statement concerning the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To my mind these facts give Jesus Christ a credibility which is unrivalled. I believe what He said. I believe He was God in human form. Moreover the Bible asserts that Jesus Christ was present, with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit, before anything was created, that all things were made by Him, and that the entire physical world is held together by Him!
It would take some time to elaborate on this statement, but the Bible states: "By Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him"(Colossians 1:vv 16,17)
In the Bible the life and wisdom of Jesus Christ are clearly stated in John 1: 1 & 14, with the use of the term "Word" to describe Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth".
This states that Jesus Christ is God in Human form Who has gone before us. He authored life itself, and communicates His life and wisdom in the Bible. We would therefore be well advised to take seriously what Jesus Christ actually said. The makeup of mankind is portrayed in the Bible, and it is not surprising that clues are given about the near death experience.
Over the years Christian writers have drawn a distinction between the body, the soul, and the spirit. While the nature of the soul and the spirit is misunderstood in current expression, and even used interchangeably, the Bible is clear about the distinction. The soul is the mix of mind, emotions, and will, that make up the human character. The spirit is deep within, and is the site of our conscience. The spirit is the unique place where God can be known. The spirit lives on after death of the body.
Since the spirit lives on after death, it follows that the spirit is separated from the body at death. It follows that the spirit may well meet the Author of life itself. Exactly what happens at this astonishing meeting is for each of us to discover when we die. For a few, however, they may have been privileged to make this discovery ahead of time.
This is the context in which this book is written. Read this book, be stimulated by it, and let it point you to the One who gives all life and light, Jesus Christ.