Author: Andrew Smith
A near-death experience (NDE) is a personal experience associated with death or impending death. Such experiences may encompass a variety of sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light.
There is a community that gathers in conference rooms the world over to discuss this common thread that has been stitched into their lives. They share stories of a life beyond this mortal coil. Some people scoff, ridicule, and explain away the experiences as works of grandeur and fiction. However, the experiences are all too real to the NDE community. One story in particular has a gravitas to it for me when I hear it. A good friend and Brother in Christ that has been sent to cross my path and share a testimony that brings fire to my soul and passion to my mission.
This friend of mine that left this mortal coil for a few moments is Austin Corn. I remember when he told me about what had happened and the experiences he brought back. There was a resonance that came from Austin’s center that was familiar. It was no audible voice that made this distinct connection that I recognized. It was the Spiritual Voice of the Father. The Creator had left His fingerprint on my friend. That fingerprint made every word resonate with that still soft voice that calls to me in my most intimate moments of communion with Holy Spirit. I knew Austin had a genuine experience because the presence of Christ was beaming from his face. I recognised the voice and stand as a witness to Austin’s story.
John 10:27-28 (NLT) 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,
I was driven to record Austin’s story in audio, an almost involuntary impulse of the Holy Spirit to capture the true essence of the fire behind the experience. We decided that even if this recording spoke Truth and Life into one weary soul, it was worth every hour spent. The entire host of heaven rejoices as a soul comes home through repentance.
Luke 15:7 (NLT) 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
There are three statements that can be made after reading many of the accounts of people that claim to have come back from the other side.
A. There are many stories that express immense details of a spiritual graveyard, where the souls of men and angles are consumed by evil entities leeching on any life force they can find to quench an eternal thirst in the deserts of death.
B. Yet there are others, perhaps fewer in number, who speak of inexpressible realms of Angels singing praises of the KING of heaven, falling silent at HIS utterances. These unexplainable nuggets of absolute Truth lack any literary arrangement to bring them into understanding or conveyance.
C. Nearly all of these stories end in change. Their point of view is irrevocably altered.
The atheist is often times a recipient of such a paradigm change as they are pulled from the bowels of death and given new life. The carnally minded usually comes back with a set of sails that scoop up the wind of the Spirit and change their concept of what is important. The seeker comes back with an abundance of peace and fulfillment only granted from the heavenly realms as a gift from a loving Creator.
Jeremiah 33:3 (HCSB) 3 Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.
Something worthy of note is that a high percentage of the stories that are of the negative spectrum often times end with a Savior that reaches in and intercedes. There is usually instruction given followed by a reprieve from the clutches of the death. Many of the experiences of the divine that are documented come with a weight of responsibility that fuels an unquenchable fire to share the Good News imparted through the encounter. These revelations don’t always come as a result of only a near death experience but near death experiences almost always constitutes change of some kind.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NLT) 2 I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT) 6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
Below is a preview of Austin’s audio recording. It is an encouraging word that speaks volumes of peace and Good News of a loving and sovereign Creator that pours grace and mercy into the most adverse of circumstances through His Anointed Christ. Should you find the time and desire to listen, the preview contains a link to the full interview, a high-quality audio only format that is perfect for long drives, walking, or contemplation. It’s a story about the grace of God in even the most travailing of circumstances. The truth is that there is an existence beyond the natural world that far exceeds our ability to comprehend, and there is a loving and sovereign Creator that wants to bring you into it. So much so that HE gave it ALL to make it possible. That my friends is the A.B.C.’s of NDE’s
May the grace of Christ, and the love of the Creator, and the fellowship of Holy Spirit be with you all.
Special Thanks to Zebulon Rogers for help with the arrangement of this article.
Special Thanks to Austin Corn and his honesty, passion, and willingness to share.
Special Thanks to Holy Spirit for the connections made here and for continuing to point the way home.