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Pastor Who Has Studied 1,000+ Near-Death Experiences Says Claims of Visiting Heaven Prove the Bible

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John Burke, a pastor and author who has studied and examined more than 1,000 accounts of near-death experiences, believes such reports provide faith-building evidence of God and the Bible.

Burke, author of the new book “Imagine the God of Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Revelation, and the Love You’ve Always Wanted,” told CBN Digital why he believes these experiences corroborate Scripture and also detailed what a near-death experience entails.

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

He continued, “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 his latest book looks at scores of interviews with people from all over the world who’ve had these clinical near-death experiences.

“They are seeing and experiencing the God of Scripture,” he said. “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, though, knows not everyone believes these heaven visitation stories, and he explained exactly why he thinks there’s so much skepticism.

He said one factor is a failure to understand “these are testimonies” that shed light on God’s nature. Another is the complexities that come from trying to describe other-worldly experiences using the confines of human language.

“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.”

He said those who have near-death experiences are seeing “God’s reality” in an “extra-dimensional” way. What’s perhaps most remarkable, Burke added, is the similarities in these experiences — happenings he believes back the biblical narrative and provide proof to non-believers.

“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.”

The preacher believes non-Christians can see God through these experiences, but he argued Christians, too, can take away valuable biblical lessons — including the Lord’s love for humanity — coming to life.

Watch the interview here for more.

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.