What is death?
Death can simply be defined as when a person is not breathing and all the functions of his body have stopped. In such a case, the body grows cold and in a few hours, the process of decay starts and in a few months or years the flesh however good looking, turns into dust and becomes part of the earth!
I personally defined sweet death as when someone dies peacefully in their sleep. David in the scripture below died in his sleep. To me this was the best death experience possible.
1 Kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David
First Death Experience
Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NLT) For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
The word spirit in the above scripture refers to the human soul. The human soul does not die in the death of a body. It goes back to the creator who gave it in the mother’s womb!
Second Death Experience
When the soul leaves the human body and goes back to the creator, it is then destined to enjoy life with the creator in heaven or face its death in a non-consuming painful fire in hell which is the second death!
Revelation 21:8 (NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV)
…”…God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
These are the kind of deaths I knew of. The first death, the demise of the body and the second death, the damnation of the soul or what we simply call, going to hell. The soul goes to hell not the body.
Death Experiences – Transitioning of body and soul together to the next world
Some human’s bodies didn’t remain here on earth after death but were taken to heaven together with the soul. How this happens is beyond human understanding. There are three examples we know in the bible. Jesus was one of them but Jesus faced physical death first where he died, was buried but rose again on the third day. Enoch the great-grandfather of Noah and Elijah the prophet who opposed Jezebel and King Ahab and killed all the prophets of baal god were the other two people who’s bodies were transitioned with them to the next world.
Genesis 5:24; Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
2 Kings 2:3 The group of prophets from Bethel came to Elisha and asked him, “Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?” “Of course I know,” Elisha answered. “But be quiet about it.” As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Acts 1: 6 Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’
I have come across persons who had experienced death and were back alive to tell the story. I started researching on near death experiences. I was wowed by what I found!
These types of Near Death Experiences confirm to us some truths about the next life. It’s up to you to judge and confirm it through the scriptures. Before we look at that, lets look at bible based near death experiences.
Near Death Experiences in the Bible
Persons involved had a glimpse of the next world.
 Apostle Paul
Paul in the following scriptures may have been experiencing a near death experience (NDE). What is certain is that he was out of this world. He wasn’t sure if he had his body or it was just his spirit.
Many people who go through a near death experience (NDE) describe things similar to Paul’s. Some of them also go to a paradise while others go to hell.
2 Corinthians 12:1-3 [TLB]
This boasting is all so foolish, but let me go on. Let me tell about the visions I’ve had, and revelations from the Lord. Fourteen years ago I was taken up to heaven for a visit. Don’t ask me whether my body was there or just my spirit, for I don’t know; only God can answer that. But anyway, there I was in paradise,
 Lazarus and the rich man
We also get a glimpse of a human in paradise and hades in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31.
‘There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. ‘The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” ‘But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.” ‘He answered, “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” ‘“No, father Abraham,” he said, “but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.” ‘He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”’
 One of the criminals crucified with Jesus.
The criminal that was pardoned by Jesus on the cross was expected in the next world that very day. Jesus addressed the person in the body, that’s the soul.
Luke 23: 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
They were both to meet in paradise after their souls popped out of their bodies just before death as demonstrated by Jesus’ death. Matthew 27:50 (NIV) And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. The spirit here is small s, meaning the soul in His human body.
Current Near Death Experiences
Our believe in Christ should be based on the bible only. We can judge what we hear and see just to make sure that all is in line with the bible teaching to avoid entertaining lying spirits that come as angels of light. 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons
We are advised in the bible to discern the spirit behind what we receive.
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
I have never had a near death experience personally but I was excited beyond measure when I first heard from a person a knew and I worked with. Jimmy (Not his real name) was not even a believer in any religion. We were installing data cables in a medical clinic late at night on a Friday and jimmy was one of the cable installers. I was installing the telephony network at the PABX. We were three of us and involved in a boys talk. Some of us seemed to be on a teasing mood. Some jokes were a bit vulgar and I remember saying so. I told them that I was a believer. Jimmy saw my seriousness, he stopped teasing and started telling me a story about his death experience. He said that he rarely shared it because whenever he told his friends in the pub they made fun of him.
Jimmy went for an operation and he must have died on the operating table. He suddenly saw himself floating below the ceiling and above his body in the operating room. He could see doctors and nurses and what they were doing on his body. He kept going back to the body and up the ceiling several times before he finally settled back in his body.
I may have been the first person he told that fully believed his experience.
I was able to belief his story because I had watched and researched on several near death experiences in the bible and online. Some of the online experiences are very detailed and seem to confirm what is in the scriptures.
The following near death experiences passed my spiritual test. Will they pass yours? It's yours responsibility to judge. These were among the first NDE videos that I watched; an Atheist Brain Surgeon, a Believing Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Believing Woman Born Blind and Anita, who was healed from terminal cancer.