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Expert on Near-Death Experiences Says They're Faith-Building Evidence of God: 'These Are Testimonies'

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Death has defined the life of author and pastor John Burke. And that’s why he lives with hope.

Burke, who researched near-death experiences for 35 years, covering more than 1,000 cases before he published his dynamic 2015 book “Imagine Heaven,” is back with “Imagine the God of Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Revelation, and the Love You’ve Always Wanted,” according to The Christian Post.

“What blew me away is the people that God brought to me this time in writing ‘Imagine the God of Heaven’ are from every continent, every background imaginable,” Burke said of the new book, which features 70 stories of people who were clinically dead but came back to life.

“What I started to realize as I was researching and thinking about the book is that He wants everybody to know He is the God of all nations. He created every person of every race, color, every nation to be His child, and that His love for each one of us is so unique,” Burke said.

“In our crazy world, what feels like evil on the rise, I think God is giving greater testimony globally to His reality and His great love for all people.”

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Burke, who founded the Gateway Church in Austin, Texas, said during a recent interview with CBN News that “these are testimonies” of the truth of the Bible.

He said he hopes they do for others what they did for him.

“When I first heard about this, I was an agnostic,” Burke said. “So, hearing these experiences as an engineer got me thinking, ‘Maybe this is evidence,’ and then it got me into the scriptures, and then I started to see the evidence, and I came to faith.”

Do you believe near-death experiences are Christian testimonies?

Burke said all of the people he studied died at one point.

“What I study is when someone clinically dies, their heart stops, they have no brain waves,” Burke said. “And yet either modern medicine or miracle brings them back, and sometimes minutes later, sometimes it’s hours.”

“And when they come back, they talk about experiencing the life to come, and they talk about how it’s more real than anything they’ve ever experienced in this world.”

Burke said the common theme among the people he chronicled is that “they are seeing and experiencing the God of Scripture.”

“And we’re looking, not only at His love story told throughout history in the Bible, but also His heart and characteristics, the mystery, the majesty of God,” Burke said.

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In an interview with Faithwire, he said he understands there is skepticism.

But Burke told CBN News that he wants to “expand people’s box.”

“The way I like to describe it is: Imagine if all of our existence is being lived on a flat black-and-white painting on the wall of your home,” Burke said.

“Death means separation. Your soul separates from your body. So, imagine at death, you peel off that two-dimensional black-and-white painting, you come out here into a three-dimensional world of color, and then imagine getting pressed back in and you have to describe three dimensions of color in two-dimensional black-and-white terms.

“They are experiencing God’s reality, the reality of a life that is extra-dimensional,” he said.

Burke noted that it is not only Christians who express a similar vision of Heaven.

Burke’s website explains that, “For decades, Burke has been studying accounts of survivors brought back from near death who lived to tell of both heavenly and hellish experiences. While not every detail of individual NDEs correlate with Scripture, Burke shows how the common experiences shared by thousands of survivors—including doctors, college professors, bank presidents, people of all ages and cultures, and even blind people–point to the exhilarating picture of Heaven promised in the Bible.”



This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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