CBN recently reported on the experience that Tina Hines had after having a heart attack in 2018. When her husband, Brian, called 911, Tina was not breathing and her heart was not beating.
A friend performed CPR until the ambulance arrived and rushed her to a nearby hospital. At the hospital, doctors were finally able to restart Tina’s heart, but since she was without a heartbeat for about 28 minutes, they were not hopeful of recovery, and if she did, they prepared the family for significant brain damage.
But despite this prognosis, as the family prayed for Tina’s recovery, some experienced a deep peace that she would be fine.
The doctors put Tina into an induced coma to help her body recover. But no one was sure what would happen when they brought her out. But to everyone’s surprise, Tina’s eyes opened and, though she initially couldn’t speak, Tina was aware of everyone in the room.
Brian gave his wife a pen and paper to write on, and initially, she scribbled meaningless marks, but eventually, Tina wrote the words “ITSREAL.”
They weren’t sure what this meant. But when their daughter finally asked if she was talking about heaven, Tina nodded yes.
It took Tina a while to get her voice back, but when it happened she explained what she saw:
“I just wanted to share that I saw Jesus face to face and the unbelievable rest and peacefulness of what I was experiencing was Jesus standing there with His arms open wide, and right behind Jesus standing there was this incredible glow it was the most vibrant and beautiful yellow.“
In what can only be described as a Near-Death Experience (NDE), Tina saw Jesus and heaven.
What should we make of these types of reports?
There have been reports of NDEs throughout history. Are they real? Are they evidence of a heaven and an afterlife?
Recently, God Reports reported on a study of Near-Death Experiences conducted by John Martin Fischer, a philosophy professor at the University of California Riverside, based in Riverside, California.
As part of his $5.1 million grant, Fischer compiled and studied some of the most reliable NDE experiences from around the world.
Fischer said that not everyone who’s brought back to life reports having an NDE, but when they do, most share similar themes, such as seeing a tunnel with a light at the end or being guided in a journey. Others felt unconditional love.
Some reported having out-of-body experiences, while others were able to recount the exact conversations taking place in the room, despite the fact they had flatlined, which Fischer believes may be evidence something was going on after death.
While most described their NDEs as paradise, Fischer found that about 10% experienced a negative, hell-like, environment. However, Fischer suspects this percentage is low, because people who experienced negative NDEs felt such deep shame, that he believes many are reluctant to share them.
One thing that he discovered in his interview with Pim van Lommel, a cardiologist based in Holland, is that these NDEs changed people’s lives.
In an interview with Fischer, Dr van Lommel, who has been a heart surgeon for over 26 years, said
“These individuals have less death anxiety and are more spiritual. They appreciate relationships more, spending more time with family, friends, and relatives.
“They are also more compassionate and more attuned to morality and justice. The transformations are often profound.”
In other words, these NDEs profoundly impacted people and transformed how they lived their lives after the experience.
And this reminds me of the vision that the Apostle Paul had on the road to Damascus, where he encountered the risen Christ (Acts 9:1–9).
Paul told the Corinthians:
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. (1 Corinthians 12:2-4 NIV)
Paul had no idea if he was in his body or out of it, but notice in his testimony that Paul not only encountered Jesus, but he saw paradise.
And similar to many who had NDEs, this encounter completely transformed Paul’s life.
Paul went from persecuting believers, throwing them in jail, and even participating in an execution, to being willing to brutally die for his faith in Rome, under Emperor Nero.