A Kentucky radiation oncologist who has spent the last 25 years studying near-death experiences says his research confirms that there is life after death.
Jeffrey Long, the founder of the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, told Business Insider that he was studying on how to best treat cancer using radiation when he stumbled across an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association describing near-death experiences.
“It stopped me in my tracks,” he explained. “All my medical training told me you were either alive or dead. There was no in-between. But suddenly, I was reading from a cardiologist describing patients who had died and then came back to life, reporting very distinct, almost unbelievable experiences.”
Long said he began to study near-death experiences or NDEs from a scientific standpoint and realized there were a few common themes in the described experiences.
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“No two NDEs are the same. But as I studied thousands of them, I saw a consistent pattern of events emerging in a predictable order. About 45% of people who have an NDE report an out-of-body experience,” he shared.
He added, “The person can see and hear what’s happening around them, which usually includes frantic attempts to revive them.”
“After the out-of-body experience, people say they’re transported into another realm. Many pass through a tunnel and experience a bright light. Then, they’re greeted by deceased loved ones, including pets, who are in the prime of their lives. Most people report an overwhelming sense of love and peace. They feel like this other realm is their real home,” Long continued.
Charlotte Holmes from Missouri described a similar experience to CBN.
Holmes was clinically dead for 11 minutes after suffering a stroke. She shares that she watched the nursing staff revive her before she was escorted to the “Pearly gates”.
“They called a code and they come running in. I was above my body. I could see them doing chest compressions. I could see them, all the nurses around. I could smell the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever smelled. And then I heard music. And when I opened my eyes, I knew where I was. I knew I was in Heaven,” she said.
“There is no fear. It’s like pure joy. When the angels take over, there is no fear. When you are going home, it’s pure joy,” she added.
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Holmes told CBN’s PrayerLink that she saw family and friends who had passed away.
“I looked and there stood my family. My mom, my dad, my sister, my best friend,” she said. “They looked young. They didn’t have glasses. My cousin that had had a leg cut off, had both legs. They looked like they were in their thirties.”
Long who has studied more than 5,000 accounts of NDE’s calls it a “phenomenon” that is real but cannot be explained by science.
“I’m a medical doctor. I’ve read brain research and considered every possible explanation for NDEs. The bottom line is that none of them hold water. There isn’t even a remotely plausible physical explanation for this phenomenon,” he shared.
Atheist turned Christian apologist Lee Strobel contends that science corroborates the Bible and the idea that Heaven is real.
“I was a skeptic about near-death experiences until I found out we have 900 scholarly articles that have been written and published in scientific and medical journals over the last 40 years,” he previously told CBN’s Faithwire, calling it a “very well-researched area.”
He pointed to a study surrounding people who are blind who go through near-death experiences. These individuals — who have never seen more than shadows — report suddenly observing resuscitation efforts, deceased loved ones, and more. When they return to their bodies, though, they report once again no longer having sight.
And while skeptics may scoff at the idea of these “experiences” and call them merely “hallucinations,” University of Virginia Psychiatry Professor Jim Tucker, who authored the 2013 book Return to Life, told a South by Southwest panel in Austin, Texas, last year that it is physically impossible for a dying person to have fantasies or hallucinations, according to Business Insider.
“Critics often argue that dying people’s brains play tricks on them, creating fantasies or hallucinations. However a near-death event compromises a person’s brain function, whereas hallucinations are usually the result of an overactive sensory cortex (the part of the brain that receives and interprets sensory information). That would make it hard for a dying person to hallucinate,” Tucker said.
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