What Happens When We Die?

By September 23, 2022 October 5th, 2022 Tough Questions

In 2016, a patient with epilepsy was under medical observation when he suffered a heart attack and unfortunately passed away. But this is the first time that the moments before, during, and after death were recorded in brain scans. When people speak of death, we hear about the idea of “your life flashing before your eyes,” but science actually confirmed this. This man’s brain showed a flood of memories that recalled the major events of his life for up to 30 seconds after his heart stopped.  This is only one brain scan from one death so we can’t know for sure that it’s a universal experience, but this aligns with what many people have recounted in near-death experiences.

An Athiest After Death

An atheist neurosurgeon was surprised by who he met and what he saw after he died.  Dr. Eben Alexander was a leading Harvard neuroscientist and brain surgeon who didn’t believe in God, heaven, or anything outside of the brain and then he died. He was brain-dead from rare encephalitis of the brain for seven days.  Doctors wanted to discontinue life support and declare him completely dead because he was not registering any brain activity.  But suddenly, he returned to full consciousness and had an incredible story to tell.

With no brain activity, he couldn’t possibly dream or hallucinate, and yet, he experienced the afterlife. What makes this experience important is the first-person account of thinking, speaking, and being without any registered brain function. This confirms that life is processed through the brain, but it is not produced through the brain.

We are triune beings: mind, body, and spirit. Your spirit is the eternal part of you. Your brain is part of your body, but your mind is part of your soul. The most shocking discovery from not only Dr. Eben Alexander, but from hundreds of others, is that you can think, feel, move, and experience existence without your brain.

HeavenNear-Death Experiences in Surgery

I’ve personally read dozens and dozens of first-person accounts of people taken into surgery with their eyes banded shut who died unexpectedly on the table.  In the moments before going to heaven or hell, they see an aerial perspective of the room as their spirit comes out of their body, and then they’re brought back to life through medical interventions by the team.  They’re able to give a full description of the tools that were being used, the layout of the room, and in one case, a scrolling marquee that one doctor put on top of the cabinets in the patient’s room that was intended for those who had near-death experiences to report back what they saw.

Now, there are many scientific discoveries, but what can we learn from the millions that lived before us and how they understood death? Ancient Israelites understood what science is just starting to catch up to. Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us what happens when a person dies.  It says: 

and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

What Happens After We Die?

The only real question now is what happens when our spirit returns to God and we face judgment for how we lived our lives here on earth.

Matthew 25:41 says: 

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Don’t Leave Your Eternity Up To Chance

Too many people who were not Christians have reported dying and then experiencing hell. You do not want to leave your eternal destination up to chance. There’s a reason why millions of people believe what I just said and why science is catching up with the eternal truth.  When we die, we have to give account for our lives.  The only protection that we have is that Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God, The Father, declares you are forgiven when you put your faith in Him.  

Additional Resources:

To learn more about eternity, check out these additional resources:

📝 Does God Forgive Suicide?


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