The Research on Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and Randy’s Own Experience
After life encounters, or what most people commonly refer to as near-death experiences (NDEs) are reported by an estimated 200,000 Americans a year, and numerous studies confirm that NDEs are in fact common. Five percent of the nation’s population have experienced an NDE according to a 1992 Gallup poll.
Dr. Jeffrey Long, a recognized world expert on NDEs and founder of the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (www.nderf.org) that provided Gallup with the data that led to Gallup’s conclusion, said: “NDEs are reported by about 17% of those who nearly die.” Dr. Long concluded in his exhaustive study that “the combination of all of the presented lines of evidence provides powerful evidence that NDEs are, in a word, real.”
Another survey of 2,000 people in Germany published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies in 2011 found that four percent had experienced an NDE. About nine percent reported the “classic out-of-body experience,” 11 percent said they entered another dimension, and eight percent encountered spiritual beings. Findings were published in the book “Adventures in Immortality,” by pollsters George Gallup Jr. and William Proctor.
In a 2005 survey of doctors in the United States, it was shown that 59 percent believe in some form of afterlife. The most notable finding was that doctors, those closest to dying or recently deceased patients, believed in NDEs more than almost all other professions where dying was not an observable part of the job. Hence, those trained clinicians who were most discerning of whether NDEs are real or not deemed NDEs as a valid experiential outcome.
Randy Kay clinically died for almost 30 minutes during which he experienced the afterlife in heaven. This profound experience changed his life after recovering from cardiac arrest caused by multiple blood clots compounded by septic shock from a rare and deadly form of bacterial infection that was resistant to antibiotics.
“My life changed,’ he said, ‘because I could no longer question whether God was real or not, or even how he viewed my life, because I had met him following my greatest desperation that was immediately thereafter turned into the most spectacular experience of my life.”
He wrote about his experience following almost 14 years after keeping it silent from all but a handful of close loved ones. Randy’s change of heart happened after a former pastor asked him to share his story on a television episode about his recently published book about thriving in life. “I had no intention of talking about my NDE,’ says Randy. ‘I was invited to talk about my research firm’s study about the foundational skills needed to thrive in life, but my former pastor who was the show host asked me to share my NDE, and on the return flight while writing a book about brokenness I sensed that God’s Spirit wanted me to share our special time together.
Since the proverbial ‘cat was out of the bag,’ meaning that my story had already been made public, I decided to write about my experience in heaven. I had kept journals during and after my discharge from the hospital, and I had been a writer all of my adult life, so I thought I could at least try to express the incredible experience of meeting Jesus in heaven. All the while I kept thinking that my career would be jeopardized by sharing my story.
Prior to this, I was considered as a very logical and practical business professional not prone to any fanciful thinking. I knew that would all change, and in fact my life has been dramatically altered as a result. However, my financial sacrifices have far outweighed my blessings in being able to share the hope of heaven and Jesus Christ to people. No amount of money can surpass the joy of giving someone hope by helping them to realize that God and heaven are absolutely, positively real.”
Now Randy would like to share some of his insights of what you might expect for your next life (after this life), with the hope that each person’s God-given purpose in this world might be fulfilled before encountering Jesus Christ in heaven.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens immediately after death?
Immediately after his heart stopped, Randy entered a period of darkness that gradually became illuminated by a light from above. He cried out the name of Jesus Christ and was instantly ushered into the presence of Jesus. There was at no time a feeling of separation from God for Randy, only a sense of peace. Many people ask about the concept of purgatory. Purgatory is a tradition maintained by some churches. They believe there exists a place of purging where someone goes immediately after death if they are found not worthy of heaven. The Bible contains no reference to purgatory. Instead, it teaches that salvation and entrance into heaven are not earned through a process of personal perfection. Contrary to the concept of purgatory we cannot earn our way into heaven. We can only be saved through the grace of Jesus Christ.
What happens to our pets when they die?
God delights in giving good gifts to his children. Randy experienced animals of every kind in heaven, including a vision of his childhood dog Casey. Through Jesus all things are possible, including giving to you your furry friend in heaven, because God loves you. “Delight yourself in the Lord,’ the psalmist wrote in Psalm 37:4, ‘and he will give you the desires of your heart…” You can expect to find everything that is good and causes joy in heaven.
What do the angels in heaven do? Do angels and believers who have died lose their independence in heaven?
All of the angels in heaven serve joyfully at the pleasure of God Almighty. Randy experienced how the condition of our hearts in heaven transforms our desires to serve God without feeling obligated. “Joy is the ethos of heaven,” explains Randy, and pleasing the One who loves us beyond measure happens naturally, or supernaturally. Randy perceived angels in heaven, although he was consumed with being in the presence of Jesus. Heaven is not boring because activities in heaven are intentional, not wasted, and more fulfilling than any experiences in this world.
How will God’s people relate in heaven?
Randy witnessed many people in heaven and personally encountered a few, including his deceased grandmother. As he explains in the forthcoming book, Revelations from Heaven, everyone related to each other in a familial way. He explains how those in heaven maintain their spiritual affection for family members, as he experienced toward his own grandmother; however, he observed a similar koinonia (close) relationship between everyone in heaven. God in heaven assumes both a paternal and spousal role in heaven as explained in Hosea 2:16 and Jeremiah 31:32, absent the carnal desires experienced in the flesh.
Will People Who Commit Suicide Go to Heaven?
Suicide is a long term consequence in response to a short term problem. In the context of eternity this life is very short. Each life born into this world carries a purpose that can only be fulfilled by that one person and departing this life without fulfilling that singular purpose leaves a void in this world for all of eternity. One desperate act does not vanquish God’s love for the person who committed suicide, and salvation as explained earlier is based on a belief in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). That said, no one will want to appear before God in heaven needing to apologize for denying God of his plan for that person. Randy died from natural causes, but he was angry at God shortly before this happened. He discovered that the grace of Jesus exceeded his lack, and Randy was instantly struck with the embracing love of Jesus such that to this day, almost 15 years after his death, the memory of meeting Jesus face to face sometimes moves him to tears.