My new song Home with You highlights the hope of heaven as a way of enduring earthly trials. Heaven will be our home. We get a taste of that home right now because Jesus makes his home in us and we make our home in him. In times of struggle, pain and disappointment, getting a glimpse of heaven really helps me. The main way I taste heaven is through prayer, meditation, worship and reading. Once in a while I’m super encouraged about the reality of heaven by reading about NDE’s (Near Death Experiences).
Over the past forty years, much research has been done on NDE’s by many authors. Many or most of the researchers are non-Christian. Some of them become Christians just by being exposed to these stories. There are thousands of accounts of people who encounter some combination of these things: they are overwhelmed by very realistic experiences with Jesus and the incomparable amazing beauty of heaven. Many of them are escorted and encouraged by angels in their NDE. People from all countries, all ethnicities, and all religious persuasions have NDE’s. Many people from non-Christian backgrounds encounter Jesus in NDE’s.
Aside from the obvious things like praying and reading the Bible, I can think of no better way to encourage about the reality of heaven than to share with you these stories! Here are some amazing quotes from people who have had NDE’s and DBE’s (death bed experiences).
Here is an excerpt from Nancy Rynes’ book Awakenings from the Light: 12 Life Lessons from a Near Death Experience. Nancy was in a terrible accident—while cycling, she was struck by a distracted driver of a big SUV. Her body was dragged 50 feet before the driver stopped the car. She tells about her beautiful and life-changing heavenly experience while in surgery. As the anesthesiologist administered the drugs for her surgery, her body went into an unconscious state. This is what happened:
“I abruptly found myself standing in a spectacular landscape unlike any I’d ever experienced. Warm breezes drifted across my skin. Beautiful vistas of meadows and distant mountains surrounded me. And a pervasive, loving presence overwhelmed me in its intensity.
“Surrounding me was a landscape of gently rolling hills, flower-filled grassy meadows, towering deciduous trees in full leaf, trees taller and more grand than any here on Earth, and a sense of a light mist floating through as if it were a humid summer morning. The sky gleamed a very light, pearly blue, similar to what you might see at the ocean’s shore, with wispy clouds and a very bright but somewhat diffuse light…
“My surroundings captured most of my attention. Below the surface forms and colors of everything in the landscape, I somehow also saw or sensed vibrating energy. I’m not sure how to describe it. It seemed I could see the surface of a leaf, for example, yet also see below it to an energy, a vibration of love or compassion or kindness that made the leaf take on a subsurface radiance. Everything had this radiance: trees, grass, sky, flowers, and clouds. Colors seemed intensified by this radiance. The feeling of love flowed through everything and heightened this radiance. Through it all I sensed and somehow physically felt an incredibly profound feeling of peace, rightness, goodness, and love flowing through my body. I cried, literally wept, at how beautiful it all was…
In her book, Nancy tells the story of her recovery, her struggles after surgery, and the 12 themes that became her guiding principles for life.
Here are a variety of much shorter quotes taken from the book
NDE of a man dying from pneumonia:
“Jesus was really there. Jesus was there. He was kind, warm, gentle, loving, and he cared about me. He received me. He is REAL. I always believed in Him before...but now I can promise that he is REAL.
NDE of a U.S. Navy Sailor during a near-fatal choking:
“When I spoke with Jesus and felt his love radiating to me I knew once and for all that all I had been taught in Sunday school and church was absolutely true. No doubt now.” –
“When I got to the other end I actually saw Christ! He was smiling and standing with His arms open like He was going to hug me…. His hands still carried the marks of the cross…and there was Christ and he was standing with a very white robe…. And as I got closer and closer I tried to detect everything in order to convince myself that this was indeed Christ waiting on me. And I looked at his hands and there were the scars where the nails had gone through.”
Six-year-old having her tonsils removed:
“I look up and I say: “Jesus!” and He comes down and grabs my hand…Jesus was magnificent! I felt such serenity and peace!...He said to me: ‘Don’t worry, baby, everything is going to be all right. I’ll always be with you.”
Many people report that these encounters are more real than their day to day existence on earth. Thank God for the way he sends signs of the glory of heaven to all of humanity!
 See John 14