Is there life after death?
Keith Thomas |
October 30, 2023
When I was a young man living in England, I was preparing to travel overland across Asia from England. I realized that I needed to have some shots against various diseases that were rife in India and other countries that I was soon to be visiting. The doctor who administered the inoculations warned me not to drink any alcohol for at least 24 hours.
Later that night, I did something really stupid. (Please do not try this at home!) I didn’t follow the doctor’s advice.
I can now say that since becoming a Christian 44 years ago, I’m a lot wiser than I used to be, but in my teens and early 20’s, my life was full of poor choices. I was still heavily into smoking Marijuana, so a night without any simply did not seem like a night out. I already had my evening planned for me after seeing the doctor; I was meeting with my friends who would see me off with a get-together drink down at the pub before my trip across Europe and Asia.
Due to the doctor’s warning, before going out, I told myself I must not drink. A wise decision, but surely a bit of hashish (a stronger form of marijuana) wouldn’t hurt? It took too long to smoke the hash I had, so I went and ate it and then walked to the pub to meet my friends. As soon as I arrived, my friends bought me a half-pint of beer. I reasoned that it was only half a pint; surely that little wouldn’t do me any harm. Besides, I would not want to be rude to my friends.
I’m sure my powers of reasoning were affected by the hash I had eaten. As soon as I had drunk the beer I started losing my grip on reality; I could not control what was going on inside me. The amount of hashish that I had consumed, plus the alcohol, seemed to be too much for my system due to the inoculations that I had earlier, and I started to think about the doctor’s warning.
I got out of the pub knowing that something terrible was happening to me. I resolved that I had to get home to my apartment. Somehow, I was aware that I was close to death.
I staggered into my apartment, lay down on the sofa, and then something weird happened—something that changed everything I had believed up until then.
I actually left my body and was hovering parallel to the ceiling over the other side of the room and looking down on my body. This experience was not a vision or a dream; this was a reality. My body was on the sofa, but I was not in it! I began crying out to God to have mercy on me.
Up to that point, I was a total atheist with no relatives or friends that were Christians. I thought I didn’t believe in God, but all of a sudden, I was praying like there was no tomorrow, and tomorrow was hanging in the balance!
I believed that, when I died, I no longer existed. However, my theology changed all of a sudden—I was crying out to a God in whom I didn’t believe. I promised Him that if He let me live, then I would give Him my life; I would do anything He wanted.
Life became very precious, for I was not sure where I would go if this experience were final. All of a sudden, the experience was over, God heard my prayer and I was back in my body, alive by the grace of God.
My brush with death was a turning point in my life. Even though I had promised my life to Christ, I didn't know what I had done, so the next day I reneged on keeping my promise.
I had no understanding at all about who God was or how to find Him. All I knew or believed at that time was that there was something more beyond life on this planet. I was aware that our life was not limited to this body of flesh. I became fascinated with life after death, trying to understand what happens after death.
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