Is there life after death?
Keith Thomas |
August 26, 2021
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.
I hope you'll join me for the upcoming series Insights into Eternity where I'll share what the Bible teaches about the experience of death and what happens in eternity. Invite your friends to join you for this insightful series.