Texas author recounts near-death experiences of 70 people who 'encountered God of light and love'

Imagine all the love you’ve experienced in your entire life, from parents, spouses, friends, family — and then multiply it by a thousand.

That’s the kind of love experienced by people who’ve had near-death experiences. They report being in the presence of God.

John Burke, the Texas-based bestselling author of “Imagine Heaven” and now the follow-up book, “Imagine the God of Heaven,” writes of the topic vividly.

WHY THE FAITHFUL ARE UNDER ATTACK TODAY — AND HOW TO STAY STRONG IN GOD’S LOVE: ‘WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU’

Together with his wife, Kathy, of Gateway Church in Austin, he is also the president of Gateway Leadership Initiative (GLI), a nonprofit organization. He and his family live in Austin.

In an interview, Burke said he spoke with 70 “different people for ‘Imagine the God of Heaven’ — from every continent, every religious background. And yes, they encountered this God of light and love, but many of them also encountered Him as Jesus.”

Near-death experiences are “often life-transforming experiences, many of which occur under extreme physiological conditions such as trauma, ceasing of brain activity, deep general anesthesia or cardiac arrest.” (iStock)

NDEs, as they are known, are a scientifically recognized phenomenon that occur when people are clinically dead.

They’re “intensely vivid and often life-transforming experiences, many of which occur under extreme physiological conditions such as trauma, ceasing of brain activity, deep general anesthesia or cardiac arrest in which no awareness or sensory experiences should be possible according to the prevailing views in neuroscience,” according to the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies.

People often see visions of themselves; they see their bodies as paramedics try to revive them, or doctors as they operate, or even family members in waiting rooms.

BIBLE FULL OF HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR HOW EFFECTIVE PRAYER IS, STRESSES FAITH LEADER

Some even describe scenes they couldn’t possibly have seen except supernaturally.

Burke, who talked at length on the “Lighthouse Faith” podcast, interviewed one woman named Mary who died in childbirth.

Burke said, “She leaves her body … and she’s in the presence of God. She feels this incredible forgiveness and love, and He tells her, ‘Your son is going to live.’”

“Imagine the God of Heaven” by John Burke is out in paperback. Burke said he’d always been a skeptic when it came to religion. He wasn’t an atheist, but had doubts. Yet he said people who had no Christian background or understanding have reported seeing things that are only described in the Judeo-Christian scriptures — particularly Revelation 21. (Amazon)

Burke said Mary is told she must go back.

“As she’s coming back to her body, she passes through the ceiling and past the top side of the ceiling fan … She is resuscitated and is trying to tell the doctors and nurses about this incredible experience she had. Everybody thinks she’s just hallucinating. Psychotic.”

Medical staff apparently said that Mary had no heartbeat, no brainwaves.

MOVIE PRODUCER OF ‘CABRINI’ RESPONDS TO CRITICS THAT FILM FAILS TO SHOW NUN’S FAITH MOTIVATION

“Imagine the God of Heaven”

So a curious nurse got an orderly and a ladder and looked.

“Sure enough,” said Burke, “there is a red sticker that Mary somehow saw on the top side of the ceiling fan.”

Pastor and author John Burke’s new book is “Imagine the God of Heaven.”  (John Burke )

One of the first documented NDEs is the case of Dr. George Ritchie. In Dec. 1943, Ritchie was a 20-year-old Army private and died of pneumonia.

Nine minutes later, he came back to life and was profoundly changed.

He went on to become a doctor of psychiatry and wrote books on the phenomenon of NDE. In a late 1990s interview with Joan Rivers, Ritchie talked about what he encountered, about the incredible light and love — and being in the presence of what he believed to be God in Jesus Christ.

Since then, science has researched and studied NDEs. A 2019 study found that one in 10 people supposedly have NDEs, according to the European Academy of Neurology. And the University of Virginia’s Dr. Bruce Greyson has studied over 1,000 cases.

He retired in 2015 but still consults with other researchers at UVA who continue to work in the field.

Burke said he believes that science is limited to understanding the metaphysical aspects of NDEs.

NEW YORK PRIEST SAYS PENTECOST IS A REMINDER THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ‘ALIVE AND AT WORK’

And that there’s overwhelming evidence that what people experience is actually in the Bible.

“Christians don’t realize how many of these things are tied to what the Bible says.”

Light and love are the two attributes of God in the Bible. They are also the two commonalities people describe in NDEs.

Light: “And Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).Love: “For God is love” (I John 4:8).

Burke said he’d always been a skeptic when it came to religion.

He wasn’t an atheist, but had serious doubts.

However, he said people who had no Christian background or understanding have reported seeing things that are only described in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, particularly Revelation 21.

ILLINOIS PASTOR AND AUTHOR URGES OTHERS AMID TODAY’S EVIL, ‘MAKE AMERICA LOVE AGAIN’

Burke said he interviewed a Hindu man named Santosh, a manufacturing engineer who “coded.” When his heart stopped, medical staff couldn’t get his heart beating again.

For three days, Santosh was on artificial life support. He later described being “taken by this God of light that was personal, that he knew was protecting him and takes him to this place,” said Burke.

In Revelation 21, the Apostle John described being taken in the spirit to heaven, up to a great high mountain. He’s overlooking the Holy City.

The vast majority of people who’ve had NDEs say they don’t want to return to their lives on Earth, said Burke — that this incredible love existing there is just everything they’ve been looking for in life. (iStock)

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed” (Revelation 21:10-12).

REV. BILLY GRAHAM HONORED WITH STATUE UNVEILED AT US CAPITOL: ‘ONE OF AMERICA’S GREATEST CITIZENS’

Burke said, “And this same city is what Santosh, this Hindu man who’s never read the Bible, is describing. He said, this is where everyone was intended to be, that he just intuitively knew that. And he said it was gorgeous and these, these big — he called them mansions or buildings of other worldly building material. And he was a manufacturing engineer. So he would notice that.”

Burke said it astonished him when Santosh said there were gates, 12 of them, and angels guarding the gates.

The vast majority of people who’ve had NDEs say they don’t want to return to their lives on Earth — that this incredible love existing there is just everything they’ve been looking for in life.

Lauren Green, chief religion correspondent for Fox News Channel, spoke with John Burke, Texas-based author, pastor and speaker.  (Fox News)

Ritchie, who died of cancer in 2007 at age 84, also talked about this love and a lot more. He said there were several different levels in this afterlife.

It wasn’t just two — heaven or hell. And that our lives on Earth determine where we will go and who we will see when we die.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

But one of the most important points he told Joan Rivers was this: “Life really is forever. We don’t die. Death is just a gateway through which we go.”

And that brings up a question for Burke.

Are these people who have NDEs meant to help humanity find God?

Only heaven knows for sure.

 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Lauren Green currently serves as Fox News Channel’s (FNC) chief religion correspondent based in the New York bureau. She joined FNC in 1996. Her new book is “Lighthouse Faith: God as a Living Reality in a World Immersed in Fog.” She is host of Fox News Digital’s “Spirited Debate.”

Check Also

Camels run loose at amusement park with guests 'jumping into pens': 'That dude almost died'

Two camels made a great escape on Tuesday after they broke out of their enclosure …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *