Monday, February 12, 2018

Newsweek: "Where Do You Go After You Die?"

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Newsweek published a feature article this weekend in which they ask, "Where do you go after you die?"

A University of Washington scientist says that scientists have observed genes that are active after death, in fact, a New York University scientist says although your body is "dead", your brain cells are not.

The big question they are asking is, "Where do you go after you die?"

The featured Newsweek story this weekend is written from a medical, not spiritual point of view, however, it is impossible to miss or deny the fact that when the heart has stopped beating and a person is declared "dead," there is now scientific evidence that something more is going on---even biologically.

Newsweek says it has been natural to assume, from a scientific perspective, that our consciousness dies at the same time as our bodies. However, they report that scientists now have discovered that "once you die, your brain cells take days, potentially longer to reach the point past which they've degraded too far to ever be viable again"---"this does not mean you aren't dead," they say, "it just means your brain cells are not dead."

Their interest is directed, of course, toward resuscitation efforts---particularly toward those who are on life support and have been declared medically dead, causing the cord to be pulled.

A very important ethical and spiritual issue.

However, the questions these new scientific discoveries have raised within the scientific community go beyond physical life, to spiritual life---to eternity.

Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at New York University, says, "I'm not saying the brain still works...But the cells don't instantly switch from alive to dead."

University of Washington microbiology professor Peter Noble told Newsweek that in studies they published last year in "Open Biology" they found that genes in both animals and humans increase "even 24 hours after [time of death] genes are actually increasing in abundance." He said they are "spiking."

Noble says, "We didn't anticipate that," and he says this "raises the fascinating and slightly disturbing possibility that in the period immediately following death, our bodies start reverting to the cellular conditions that were present when we were embryos"---at the time of conception.

"Canadian Journal of Biological Sciences" doctors have discovered the same thing. They claim they are "at a loss for a physiological explanation."

Parnia's research has shown that "people who survive medical death frequently report experiences that share similar themes; bright lights; benevolent guiding figures; relief from pain and a deeply felt sensation of peace."

Some have simply chalked up these experiences as hallucinations, but Dr. Parnia says, "Where that explanation fails, though, is among the patients who have died on an operating table or car crash and reported watching---from the corner of the room, from above---as doctors tried to save them, accounts subsequently verified by the (very perplexed ) doctors themselves."

He says we just don't know "how long it lingers."

In recent years a number of "near-death experiences" have been popularized in books and even a couple of movies. Were the stories true? I don't know, but there are a very few times where biblical characters had similar experiences. Stephen saw Jesus just before he died in Acts 7. Paul was given a vision of heaven that was probably during his stoning at Lystra in Acts 14. He alludes to this in II Corinthians 12.

This is not uncommon with people who have a personal relationship with the Lord, but it is not the case with all Christians.

And Newsweek asks, "Where do we go when we die?"

One scientist has suggested that "no one can know for sure what happens when we die."

That reveals the limitations of science.

We absolutely can know what happens when we die. The Eternal Creator of all life has told us.

However, in struggling through the evidence, science will likely be "ever learning, but never able to come to the truth," as Paul describes.

But the "Truth" has already been revealed.

Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment."

In regard to so-called "near-death experiences" we need to be scriptually balanced. And discerning.

The bigger question, and central point of Newsweek's feature story---"Where Do You Go After You Die"---is yet to be answered, not by scientists, but by each individual.

By you.

Where you will go after you die will be determined by your decision in this life regarding the person of Jesus Christ.

If you bow your knee and confess that He is indeed Lord--- the Son of God, and ask Him to come into your life and forgive your sins, you will go directly into the presence of God when you die.

If you refuse Him, you will be separated from God for all eternity.

While science tries to sort it all out, you can be absolutely certain of this:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalms 23).

Be Peaceful. Be Joyful. Be Certain. Be Grateful.