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Question and Answer

I just finished a book on a near-death experience in which a lady died, went to heaven, experienced a number of beautiful things, and returned to earth. What does the Bible say about these types of experiences?

The Bible says, “It is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment” (Heb. 9:27). There were a few exceptions to this general rule—people like the widow of Zarephath’s son (1 Kings 17:17–24) or Lazarus (John 11:1–44) and some others who were resurrected from the dead in both the Old and the New Testaments. Yet, none of these people ever related their experiences after death. Although this is an argument from silence, it seems their lack of any message about heaven indicates that they did not recall their heavenly experience. Only the Lord Jesus, who was resurrected to immortality, could speak of heaven and teach about it.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the Bible teacher on Moody Radio’s Open Line, answering listener Bible questions on over 200 stations nationwide across Moody Radio. The son of Holocaust survivors, he was raised in an observant Jewish home in Brooklyn, N.Y. As a high school student, Michael became a follower of Jesus the Messiah and began teaching the Bible almost immediately. He is the author of Understanding the Arab Israeli Conflict and The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? He is the co-editor of the Moody Bible Commentary, a commentary on the whole Bible by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael is a regular contributor to the Day of Discovery television program and appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons who call and write all the time. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill., and enjoy leading study groups to Israel and hiking with their two collies.

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