Share This Episode
Insight for Living Chuck Swindoll Logo

An Interview with One from Beyond, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2023 7:05 am

An Interview with One from Beyond, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 856 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 28, 2023 7:05 am

Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Returning to Our Roots


For the past several months, Chuck Swindoll has presented an in-depth study about the doctrines of our Christian faith. It's called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. Today, on Insight for Living, he'll continue this effort as we examine what the Bible teaches about our life beyond the grave. These days, there's a lot of confusion about out-of-body experiences and even those who claim to have returned from the other side.

So, what's the truth about our eternal home? Teaching from Luke chapter 16, Chuck titled his message An Interview with One from Beyond. One of the responsibilities of a minister of the gospel is to deal with those who are dying and to assist those who are grieving as loved ones have passed on. I recall early in my ministry fearing that part of my task because I, of course, had very little experience in helping people through the time when their loved ones have gone home and because I didn't know exactly what would be appropriate to say or to do and I want to encourage all who are preparing for ministry and especially you who are involved in it professionally in vocational Christian service to say that you don't always have to have answers and facts to give to people. Often the most significant ministry is your presence.

Just the confidence of your being there and your caring with them and for them. However, there are times when information is extremely helpful. Not a lot of it dumped on people like a truck but on occasion just a word or a brief explanation or a quiet conversation in which confidence is provided for the one who is confused. In fact, there is a great deal of interest growing on the whole subject of thanatology from the Greek word thanatos meaning death. There is the study of death.

There are courses offered in most larger universities and many of them are full. There are books written, it seems to me, by the dozens these days on the subject and the growing interest is, well, it's obvious. There are several reasons for it. The medical profession has now come to face the fact that people are focusing interest on and want answers for this whole world that was once shrouded in mystery and left alone. Therefore, the medical profession offers from their world books and journals and research and seminars, all kinds of helpful information especially for those who are struggling with denial. The medical profession constantly has to deal with euthanasia, just one of their many wrestling points. When is it right and who is responsible for pulling the plug and how far is too far?

When is it irresponsible and when is it wise? Another factor in this whole interest is the media. Have you noticed how many magazine articles, how many newspaper articles, how many films, how many plays? It seems as though the talk shows revolve around the subject very often, more often than one would expect.

The public interest is growing also. I have become aware in the last decade of my ministry of a growing time of interest in the OBE out of body experiences, death bed, afterlife experiences. I, for the longest time, simply ignored it, put it aside. In fact, I have to confess to you, I doubted most of what I was told and I have been told a number of amazing things as I have been right there when people have died or have been on the scene shortly after it has occurred and had the stories passed on to me. And so, without an interest in simply tickling your curiosity or your fantasy, I want to say a few things about these death and dying events that are occurring and have occurred for centuries. A man named Dr. Marshall Goldberg has interviewed many patients resuscitated from cardiac arrest. He reports, and I quote, that after cessation of the heart, it still takes three or four minutes for the brain to die and certain patients, if interviewed before a rapidly developing amnesia, effaces the memory. These patients can relate what the experience is like.

For some, and I'm still quoting, it is surprisingly peaceful as if a soundproof, pain-deadening curtain has descended over them. He adds, I now have heard similar descriptions from enough patients to accept it almost as the predictable result of terminal oxygen lack. Many people report flashbacks where their whole life passed in review.

I thought it was interesting one has described it as an autobiographical slide show where you literally can see your life racing in front of your face, in front of your eyes. A couple of books I could recommend to you worth your time which are reliable works. One is called Life After Life by Raymond Moody Jr. MD, Life After Life. Another one equally helpful for me has been a book with a similar title, Life, Death, and Beyond by J. Kirby Anderson.

I'd like to quote from both of these sources before we look closely into the Scriptures for a little while. Dr. Moody writes, despite the wide variation in the circumstances surrounding close calls with death and in the types of persons undergoing them, it remains true that there is a striking similarity among the accounts of the experiences themselves. In fact the similarities among various reports are so great that one can easily pick out about 15 separate elements which recur again and again in the mass of narratives that I have collected. On the basis of these points of likeness let me now reconstruct a brief theoretical complete experience which embodies all of the common elements. And now he gives you the scene. A man is dying. As he reaches the point of greatest physical distress he hears himself pronounced dead by his doctor. He begins to hear an uncomfortable noise, a loud ringing or buzzing, and at the same time feels himself moving very rapidly through a long dark tunnel. After this he suddenly finds himself outside his own physical body, but still in the immediate physical environment, and he sees his own body from a distance as though he is a spectator. He watches the resuscitation attempt from this unusual vantage point and is in a state of emotional upheaval. After a while he collects himself and becomes more accustomed to his odd condition. He notices he still has a body, but one of a very different nature and with very different powers from the physical body he has left behind.

Soon other things begin to happen. Others come to meet and to help him. He glimpses the spirits of relatives and friends who have already died and a loving warm spirit of a kind he has never encountered before, a being of light appears before him. This being asks him a question non-verbally to make him evaluate his life and helps him along by showing him a panoramic instantaneous playback of the major events of his life. At some point he finds himself approaching some sort of barrier or border, apparently representing the limit between earthly life and the next life. Yet he finds that he must go back to the earth, that the time for his death has not yet come. At this point he resists for by now he has taken up with his experiences in the afterlife and does not want to return.

He is overwhelmed by intense feelings of joy, love, and peace. Despite his attitude though he somehow reunites with his physical body and lives. Now get this, later he tries to tell others but he has trouble doing so. In the first place he can find no human words adequate to describe these unearthly episodes. He also finds that others scoff so he stops telling other people. Still the experience affects his life profoundly, especially his views about death and its relationship to life. End of quote.

And if I may quote for a moment from Anderson, this is worth listening to also. Those who have been involved in research on out of body experiences, OBE, have noted a very interesting phenomenon. Even when a person is having an OBE, he is still in contact with his body. He is attached to his body by means of a quote chord, C-O-R-D, chord. On one of his out of body experiences Robert Monroe describes looking for the chord that connected his physical body with his second body. Quote from this Robert Monroe, I turned to look for the chord but it was not visible to me.

Either it was too dark or not there. Then I reached around my head to see if I could feel it coming out the front, top, or back of my head. As I reached the back of my head, my hands brushed against something and I felt behind me with both hands. Whatever it was extended out from a spot in my back directly between my shoulder blades, I reached outward and it formed into a chord.

If you can call a two inch thick cable a chord. Anderson continues such a phenomenon is not limited to out of body experiences. It has also been reported by those at a death bed. And one more, quote, the claims of those who say that they have had out of body experiences are further corroborated to some extent by some death bed phenomenon. There are on record instances where the bystanders say that shortly before death they've seen a second body rising in a misty form from the recumbent body of the patient. They say, moreover, that the two bodies are joined together by a silver chord. I have heard similar reports. I find it terribly interesting this matter of the chord when I come to Ecclesiastes 12 and I find that one of the marks of death is the silver chord is shattered.

That's just my comment there. I confess to you I'm fascinated by the subject. I realize at that time it is the most emotional moment of one's existence, certainly if not the most, one of the most. I realize at such emotional times we are often relatively unreliable in the gathering of information, but nevertheless I too have heard one report after another, after another, after another, after another, and it's to the point where one wonders if there might be something to it.

It doesn't concern me to the point of saying that all of these things actually occur, it's just the similarity of them is intriguing. I am grateful that we aren't limited to just the feelings of people as they die, but that the Scriptures talk about it and help us see it. No one has ever spoken with, except in the case of the Lord Jesus, a person who has been resurrected. We have only spoken with people who have been resuscitated, such as Lazarus.

People who left this earth, quote unquote, and then returned in the same body to tell their story. We have never conversed with someone who has been literally raised from death in a glorified state. So we have only the Scriptures to turn to in such cases, nor has anyone talked with someone in a reliable manner so that information from the place of death has come back to our attention.

People use mediums and spiritism and all sorts of demonic means to contact the dead, and I stand firmly against such practices however they do it, but I have the Scriptures to turn to when I want to find information about what life is like beyond this one, and so do you. First of all, I would like you to find a blank page in your Bible to write down some verses of Scripture to turn to when facing death. I know you can buy a Gideon Bible, or get one, can't even buy one, they'll give them to you, that list where to turn in time of death.

I want to give you my own list that I often turn to, and I'm going to give you the verses, and you'll need them someday, you don't need them right now, quite likely, but you will someday, and I want you at that time to read them. 2 Corinthians 5, 6-8. These are promises for Christians when facing death.

To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5, 6-8. Psalm 116, 15.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116, 15. 1 Corinthians 15, 50-58.

Great verses to use regarding moving from this life to the next one, and the climax of it is, oh death where is your sting, oh grave where is your victory, verse 55. That's 1 Corinthians 15, 50-58. 1 Thessalonians 4, 13-18.

Let's talk about our Lord Jesus coming for us, and we will forever be with him. 1 Thessalonians 4, 13-18. And one more, we tend to overlook these in heaven, and I think it's unwise that we overlook them. Revelation 21, 4. He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall no longer be any death, no longer any mourning or crying or pain.

The first things have passed away. And Revelation 22, verse 5. There shall no longer be any night. They shall have no need of the light of a lamp or the light of the sun because the Lord God shall illumine them, and they'll be there forever and ever. Revelation 22, 5, and 21, 4.

Now remember this. Every time you attend the funeral service of a saint, you are not viewing the remains of the person. You are seeing only the body, which is decaying, decomposing.

I don't care what we call it, slumbering or at rest or at peace or how natural he may look. You are looking at that which is going to be changed and glorified and renewed in a new kind of structure so that it can endure eternity. That which made that person who he or she was has been taken to be in the presence of the Lord.

You're not seeing the person, you're seeing only the shell or as 2 Corinthians 5 calls it, you're seeing the house which is now destroyed. But that individual soul, that spirit has been taken to be with the Lord and that is a time to give God thanks. The body will be raised in the future. One of my favorite lines that I like to state at a gravesite service is to tell people that they are standing on resurrection ground. There will be a time when the graves will open and the bodies will be removed in a glorified state to be forever with the Lord Jesus where we bodily and consciously will spend time in his presence. So for the saint, there is hope.

There is wonderful hope. Now in Luke chapter 16 where I want us to spend a major part of our time, there is a very vivid account not of an OBE but a literal scene Jesus tells of regarding a man who died and went into Hades. And what we have is not some physician's word, not some well-meaning researcher's appraisal, but what we have is an account spoken by Christ himself and he tells the truth.

Luke 16 sets the stage in verses 19 to 21. Familiar words to some of you, for you who are familiar with it remember many are hearing it for the very first time. I'll never forget the first time I read this passage.

It had a tremendous impact on my life and I trust it will in yours. Now there was a certain rich man and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate full of sores, longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table.

Even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. It's a pathetic scene. Here is a rich man who as we will see is eternally lost and here is a poor man who is eternally saved and there is a remarkable reversal of events at death.

It is the greatest of all levelers and at this moment please observe what occurs. Verse 22, now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom. Here is a believer who dies, the body is probably thrown in the local dump, the refuse pile, not even a decent burial but the soul of this man is exiting his body and is taken into this presence of the Lord called here Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and he was buried.

I'm sure there was a burial of great pomp and a lot of ceremony but the real man is seen in the verses that follow and in Hades we find the spirit or the soul of this unsaved man. Now by the way this is not a parable. Parables don't have proper names. Verse 20 includes a proper name.

This is an actual account. Jesus knew of it and told his followers of it because he had the ability to know all things. He knew the scene. This dialogue, this interchange between the lost soul and the Lord God is unique in scripture.

You won't read of this somewhere else. This is a remarkable passage and Jesus says this man in Hades lifted up his eyes being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. Chuck Swindoll has a lot more to say about this passage in the New Testament and we urge you to keep listening when he continues. He titled today's message, An Interview with One from Beyond. This is message number 18 in a classic 22-part series called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. If you'd like to dig deeper on your own remember that every sermon you hear on Insight for Living is paired with Chuck's online study notes. We call these free resources Searching the Scriptures Studies.

To take advantage of this helpful tool just go to slash studies. Several years ago Chuck said something in one of his messages that's become widely quoted by other Bible teachers and speakers. He was preaching about the virtue of developing a Godly perspective. In his message about attitudes Chuck said this, I'm convinced that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. Well Chuck went on to say that all of us are on a journey but when it comes right down to it we're the only ones who can choose how we will react to what life throws at us. That's how he came up with the title for his latest book, Life is 10% What Happens to You and 90% How You React. You can purchase a copy by getting in touch with us today.

If you can't recall the complete title just mention The Book on Attitudes and we'll know what you mean. Here's how to call us if you're listening in the United States call 800-772-8888 or go to slash store. Bear in mind that Insight for Living is a non-profit ministry solely supported by voluntary contributions from listeners and your gift no matter the size truly makes a difference in providing these daily visits with Chuck. To give a donation today give us a call.

If you're listening in the United States you can call us at 800-772-8888 or you can give online at Cruise ships leave the harbor for Alaska all the time but there's only one that's hosted by Insight for Living Ministries. You're invited to travel with Chuck Swindoll this summer. Every moment of your vacation is thoughtfully prepared and protected so that you can enjoy the perfect balance of rest, adventure, relaxation, sightseeing and just plain fun.

All in the company of those who share your respect for God's word and God's creation. Yeah I'll put it this way God had a very good day when he created Alaska. I was awestruck by the majestic mountains the wildlife the quaint little seaports.

All my life I've wanted to see a glacier when I stepped out on the deck of our ship and witnessed the massive wall of ice wow it was truly breathtaking. Escape with Insight for Living Ministries to the great frontier July 1st through July 8th, 2023. Call 1-888-447-0444 that's 1-888-447-0444 or learn more at slash events.

The tour to Alaska is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer Chuck Swindoll conducts an interview with one from beyond next time on Insight for Living. The preceding message an interview with one from beyond was copyrighted in 1985, 1987, 2005, 2011 and 2014 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2014 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 14:05:29 / 2023-02-27 14:13:47 / 8

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime