It doesn’t matter if they nearly died in an auto accident or a drug overdose, giving birth or attempting suicide.
Among the thousands of people who chose to share their near-death experiences with the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, the report is often the same: They come back with a profound understanding of God’s love.
Theologians sometimes talk about the omnibenevolence of God, the idea that God’s grace and charity is unlimited or infinite. For many who talk about encountering God, this term comes closest to the reality they describe. Here is a sampling of what some NDErs had to say about God’s love:
- “No human can ever love with the love I felt in that light. It is all-consuming, all-forgiving. Nothing matches it. It is like the day you looked into the eyes of your child for the first time magnified a million times. It’s indescribable.”
- “I felt the presence of pure love. This is very hard to describe. Everything made sense: God exists, God is love, we are love, and love creates all that is. … I was surrounded by pure love. First I was cold and in pain, but then I was warm and comforted.”
- “I know that love is all there is and that God loves all of His children deeply and equally. There are no stepchildren in the family of God. We are all divine.”
- “God loves us all infinitely.”
- “I felt God as an all-encompassing presence — complete, total, and unconditional love in its highest form! I was surrounded by God’s unconditional love, which was so much greater than human love. I was given the knowledge that God is real and loves me unconditionally — He exists and is real, and He is love.”
- “I came to realize that God is more loving and caring than I could ever imagine.”
- “The entire encounter was about God, the ultimate power of God, and God’s forgiveness. The message was, ‘Love is the greatest power in the universe.’ ”
Love is clearly an important part of near-death experiences. This experience of deep love often carries within it an affirmation of unity or oneness between all people or even all things.
About 400 people volunteered answers to a long survey we offered, including this question: “During your experience, did you encounter any specific information/awareness regarding love?”
The results: 58.1 percent of those volunteers said yes, 32.4 percent said no and the rest were uncertain.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post
Dr. Jeffrey Long