AfterLife: What You Need to Know About Heaven, the Hereafter & Near-Death Experiences
Answers to questions about what comes next
by Hank Hanegraaff
Have you ever what comes next? If you are honest you'll probably admit that you have. But what will the After Life be like? Hank Hanegraaff offers some answers by turning to the Scriptures.
Death is the great unknown, but what comes next? According to Hank we have 3 distinct phases of life in which we metamorphosis from the first to the last. The first stage is life in the present which starts in the womb and ends with death. The second stage is life after life which is the separation of our soul from our body. The third stage is life after life-after-life which is the reuniting of our transformed body with our soul after Christ's second coming.
Death is our entryway into a new sphere of existence - Heaven and with it eternal life. Heaven is where God is, there is no whereness in regard to the spiritual only awareness. Heaven is earth's Easter when the Creation is transformed during the restoration of our Creator's return.
There is an overabundance of Near Death Experiences and they should not be believed as they may be satanic subterfuge to confuse us and to draw us away from God. NDEs add nothing to our knowledge of the afterlife and are subjective to the individual's beliefs and past experiences.
Heaven is not limited by time or space but is rather another dimension of God's creation that we are unable to experience in our present state of life. Heaven and Earth are divided by a veil that sin created and until the creation is restored through renewal and rebirth at the second coming we will never experience the new Eden.
What we do in the now determines our eternity. Will it be Heaven with eternal life in the presence of our Creator? Or will it be the eternal torment of Hell? The choice is yours. What will you decide?
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
March 4, 2013
biblical answers to many questions
Ã¢ÂÂAll of us will spend eternity somewhere. It stands to reason, therefore, that we know precisely what that entails.Ã¢ÂÂ (9) But how do we know? There has been much written by people who died and returned to tell about it. Hank argues that we must get our information from the bible.
He writes about the three phases of life: life now, the transitional state (immaterial soul), and heaven and hell (when the soul and body are reunited).
He spends quite some time on the transitional state, something new to me. It is important to note, I think, that Hank takes the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16) as an actual description of this transitional state.
Hank has an excellent section on the Ã¢ÂÂnear death experiencesÃ¢ÂÂ and their divergent accounts. He also has a good section on the reality of hell.
Other issues Hank addresses include animals in heaven, ghosts, soul sleep, reincarnation, cremation, people who commit suicide, proof of the resurrection, the secret rapture (not biblical), the millennium (none), salvation, spiritual growth, sacraments, and much more.
There are a couple of areas where I think Hank does not do a good job in answering the question. One is the meaning of 1 Peter 3:19, Jesus speaking to the Ã¢ÂÂspirits in prison.Ã¢ÂÂ The other is Matt. 24:30,34 where Jesus says Ã¢ÂÂthis generationÃ¢ÂÂ will see the Ã¢ÂÂSon of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.Ã¢ÂÂ
It was interesting to me to read that Hank appealed to the Ã¢ÂÂplain and literal senseÃ¢ÂÂ of a passage (176) but then disagreed with an author for taking a Ã¢ÂÂwoodenly literalistic interpretationÃ¢ÂÂ of a passage (171). We like a literal interpretation when it serves us.
And something else to be aware of when reading this book. Hank uses phrases like, Ã¢ÂÂThe New Testament unambiguously communicatesÃ¢ÂÂ (80), and Ã¢ÂÂas is obvious from the account of StephenÃ¢ÂÂ (81), and of Matt. 24:30, Jesus Ã¢ÂÂwas obviously not speaking of his second comingÃ¢ÂÂ (173), and Ã¢ÂÂIt seems obvious thatÃ¢ÂÂ (173). Just be aware that some authors use phrases like those to intimidate the reader. If an interpretation is Ã¢ÂÂobviousÃ¢ÂÂ and I don't agree with it, what does that say about me? In each of the above cases, Hank's interpretations were anything but Ã¢ÂÂobviousÃ¢ÂÂ since the issues have been debated by people for years.
Hanks steps on lots of toes. He is certainly not a fan of those who write about their trips to heaven while dead, Christians included. And he is not a fan of the pretribulation rapture and all that dispensational teaching entails.
A glossary is included at the end of the book as well as suggested reading for further study.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
February 16, 2013