Saturday, April 26, 2014

Evidence for the Eternal?

"I don't think God lets anyone peek around the curtain of eternity if they are not going to stay." - Tim Keller

Bottom line...start and end with the inspired Word of God.

From Hank Hanegraaff...

Popular interest in near-death experiences (NDEs) is at a fever pitch. From Raymond Moody's Life after Life to Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven, to Mary Neal's To Heaven and Back, to Todd Burpo's Heaven Is for Real—and, of course, now the movie—NDEs have titillated the masses for the better part of a generation. New revelations ranging from the physical characteristics of the devil (three heads, earless, a nasty nose, and moldy teeth) and demons (green, long fingernails, hair made of fire), to descriptions of God the Father (blue eyes, yellow hair, and huge wings), God the Son (sea green-bluish eyes and a rainbow-colored horse), and God the Holy Spirit (bluish but hard to see), are captivating the minds of millions of evangelicals. The problem is there are significant liabilities associated with NDEs.

First, we should note that the substance of an NDE is inevitably informed by the worldview of the celestial traveler. And that is precisely the problem. The objective reference point of sacred Scripture has been supplanted by the subjective experiences of those who have allegedly had a foretaste of heaven. Thus, while Scripture knows nothing of human preexistence, Betty Eadie—in concert with her Mormon presuppositions—alleges that while being embraced by the light, she recognized the very Jesus that she had previously encountered in her preexistence. In like fashion, Raymond Moody and Eben Alexander—in accord with their presuppositions—view life after life as devoid of the judgment of an altogether holy God. As such, what I said in yesterday's Daily e-Truth bears repeating: the subjective recollections of near-death experiencers are wildly divergent and mutually contradictory; and thus, logically, they can all be wrong, but they cannot all be right.

What we have in Heaven Is for Real is something not even the biblical writers had the temerity to do. Among the biblical writers who "spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21), not one dared say that like his Lord he spoke authoritatively about heaven from firsthand knowledge. Think about the apostle Paul. In the Bible we are told that he was "caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell" (2 Corinthians 12:4). Unlike Colton Burpo, Paul was not permitted to speak about his "surpassingly great revelations" (v. 7). Nor did any one of the biblical writers dare prophesy the century of Christ's return—one of Colton's revelations was that his father Todd would be alive to fight in the battle of Armageddon.

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