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Near-Death Experiences — Witnesses Describe the Afterlife

The Meaning of Life

With the understanding relayed to us by numerous near-death experiencers, we can answer the age-old question, “What is the meaning of life?” I will state it based on my understanding of their collective testimonies:

We are eternal souls who choose to come to Earth to have human experiences not available in our eternal home of perfect peace with the Creator. By experiencing the negative, we come to more deeply appreciate the positive. It’s the contrast that provides spiritual growth. The goal is to increase our understanding so that we can love more deeply. After returning to our eternal home, we may, at some point, reincarnate to reap the benefit of new human experiences in the earthly realm of contrasts. We take on roles as though actors in a play. Even the negative roles have been chosen in love. Evidently, it’s a very serious play.

To many, the meaning of life as stated above may sound absurd. However, I would suggest that, to some degree, you already know this. Do we not appreciate warmth so much more after coming in from the cold? Could we internalize that lesson in a realm where we are in perfect comfort all the time? No, we need to incarnate. Who hasn’t heard the phrases, “we learn by experience” or “experience is the best teacher?” Most realize that classroom training can never adequately prepare one for anything in life. Eventually, one needs hands-on experience. A weight-lifter cannot increase muscle mass without struggling against the heavy resistance of weights. Have you heard the song, Stronger (What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger) by Kelly Clarkson? We grow through adversity. This is common knowledge. Upon reflection, it should not seem all that strange that we come to Earth for the development of our souls. This aspect of the meaning of life should not be news to Christians. James said this:

2My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance (Jas 1:2–3, NRSV).

Our souls joyfully chose to come here to experience trials for the purpose of achieving spiritual growth. James knew that, ultimately, trials should be faced with joy. This is difficult, and sometimes, impossible for humans. However, spiritual growth is what our eternal souls desire. Gold is refined by fire, and the Bible refers to this process as an analogy for spiritual growth. (See 1 Pet. 1:6-7; Rev. 3:18.)

My reference to the Bible should not be deemed an endorsement of the Judeo/Christian scriptures as the “inspired word of God.” I am simply pointing out that Christians should be familiar with the need for trials. However, many other common elements of near-death experiencers’ testimonies contradict major biblical doctrines.