Summary: A Seeker Sermon looking at Near Death Experiences and whether life continues after death. It concludes- yes it does, and Jesus holds the keys to life, death and eternity
Life after death- proven?! WBC 11 May 2003
1) Brain- CONTINUITY
In discussing ‘life after death’ I just want to recognise
- pain in living WITH death
- this discussion can all seem hypothetical, clinical, dwarfed by that
- the mystery of much of this. I’m not able to give you a watertight explanation of ALL this morning
- BUT- I am able to give HOPE… encouragement
o I pray this morning will give you some real, concrete evidence that FAITH can latch onto and make a reality
Still does take faith- even though conclusive!
o Change your life, perspective. Give ‘life before death’
Now, the first thing in addressing life after death is
- can we exist when our body/brain is dead? Thoughts, ‘mind’, personality exist… continue
o we are aware that our thought process are a physical phenomena. Electrical impulses, in a network of neurons
drugs, illness, Alzheimer’s can tragically affect the brain so that the ‘personality’ starts to vanish
so- once that’s gone- how can it be regained, restored?
Won’t it ALL just be lost when we die?
So- is there any evidence of the ‘mind’ continuing when the brain is clinically dead? Is there continuity of ‘mind’ (personality) because the mind and brain are somehow (in a way we don’t understand) separate
- here’s a clip from BBCs Horizon program on NDE (experiences of physically dying yet returning with some new memories)
o will expand on this : our mind/personality not being JUST limited to our brain
o NDE Clip 1 ‘mind and brain separation’ PLAY
Might thoughts/memories continue even when our brains are dead. That’s what the scientists (from SOTON) are asking
Well- if someone can die, clinically… totally- and then come back to life… or be revived and actually tell what’s been going on when there was no activity in their brain
- then that is proof of this
Now- be aware: MOST NDE experiences are
- brain shutting down
- brain ‘dreaming’ and using images/symbols known to the person
But if someone can describe something that
- there is no way they could have seen happening
- they had been fed no image of it, already (ie they were born blind)
o then that, to me, is as objective proof as you’ll get
“Pam”, referred to in last clip- saw and described the brain ‘saw’ during op
- but I haven’t included that in full, as the next clip seems most objectively conclusive to me
- NDE CLIP 2 ‘Blind lady seeing’ PLAY
Well- how do you explain that? How does the mind exist while the brain is dead?
- we don’t know. But maybe there’s a whole lot more to this than WE understand!
o Maybe science WILL explain some of it in the future
Maybe- God is able to do anything he wants to and, (to use tekkie language)
- it’s no problem for him to download the mind when the brain deteriorates… and keep the mind going
o maybe we SEE the download in some with Alzheimer’s (they’re going already)
And- I’d like to say- if there are genuine, verifiable, examples of people long dead who come back to life… fully
- then that (to me) is proof that WE exist (as people) without our bodies
Let me show you a testimony of a lady whose baby was dead for an hour. I have removed the clip of them trying to resuscitate this baby as too distressing.
- NDE clip 3 ‘baby resurrection’ PLAY
This shouldn’t surprise us! God can do anything He wants to. He made us as marvellous beings!
- and it’s in the very foundation of the Christian faith
o this man was dead for over 2 days, bruised, having lost a lot of blood (blood and serum had separated), certified dead by experts, put in a cold tomb, huge stone over the door
He comes back to life! Fully coherent. Told what had happened in intervening time. Seen by over 500 people alive at time NT written (they’ll back this up!)
His name is Jesus!
And here’s the real reason why I believe. Because of Jesus
1 Cor 6:14 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
2CO 4:13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence
Would you like some more ‘proof’ that someone can exist even though their brain is dead (and an example of the fact that God can do ANYTHING)?
- can I just clarify: this morning is about LIFE and DEATH, not miracles?