'Resuscitation Medicine' vs. The Holy Bible

I pray that the Lord has prepared the hearts and minds of those He has led here who need to read this message today (John 6:44; Isaiah 55:11).

Yesterday, we prayerfully considered the importance of humility in the Christian life. Today, we pray for another brother to embrace humility as he is flirting with walking away from our shared and cherished faith. The culprit? Worshiping man's intellect and science as opposed to the Creator Himself.

It's just becoming more and more difficult not to have a heavy heart for loved ones when you can clearly see the truth of 2 Timothy 4:2-5 becoming more and more evident with each passing day.



2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV) 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.


Now, I know that this portion of the text is addressed to Pastors, but I've been thinking a lot about that passage lately for various and unexpected reasons. In short, doctrine (a.k.a. the teachings of the Scriptures) is the Pastor's only tool for reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. Yet, doctrine must be taught with long-suffering, knowing that people will not always accept what is taught or that acceptance might take a long time.

Why has that passage from 2 Timothy been on my mind lately? A "Christian" friend of mine (once a close friend) shared this news story with everyone recently.





Consciousness After Death: Strange Tales From The Frontiers of Resuscitation Medicine

Sam Parnia practices resuscitation medicine. In other words, he helps bring people back from the dead — and some return with stories. Their tales could help save lives, and even challenge traditional scientific ideas about the nature of consciousness.

“The evidence we have so far is that human consciousness does not become annihilated,” said Parnia, a doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital and director of the school’s resuscitation research program. “It continues for a few hours after death, albeit in a hibernated state we cannot see from the outside.”

Resuscitation medicine grew out of the mid-twentieth century discovery of CPR, the medical procedure by which hearts that have stopped beating are revived. Originally effective for a few minutes after cardiac arrest, advances in CPR have pushed that time to a half-hour or more.

New techniques promise to even further extend the boundary between life and death. At the same time, experiences reported by resuscitated people sometimes defy what’s thought to be possible. They claim to have seen and heard things, though activity in their brains appears to have stopped.

It sounds supernatural, and if their memories are accurate and their brains really have stopped, it’s neurologically inexplicable, at least with what’s now known. Parnia, leader of the Human Consciousness Project’s AWARE study, which documents after-death experiences in 25 hospitals across North America and Europe, is studying the phenomenon scientifically.

Parnia discusses his work in the new book Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death. Wired talked to Parnia about resuscitation and the nature of consciousness.


This "Christian" (who was also promoting Brennan Manning and Buddhist philosophy to others over the course of the very same week!) endorsed the above article by giving it their stamp of approval with the words "I love how much we still don't understand."


No, my friend, we do understand all we need to know about life and death thanks to the holy Word of God! As a self-proclaimed "Christian," you do remember what that is, right?

So let me get this straight. Instead of using this story as a springboard to proclaim Christ crucified for the sins of all of mankind and share with others what it is we believe, teach, and confess about Jesus Christ and the Gospel, this person decided to use it to make a single 8-word statement that will only create doubt rather than certainty for people? Aren't Christians supposed to be absolutely certain about Jesus' resurrection or are we to be like the Sadducees perhaps?

I know this individual hates it when I say that I'm "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15), because apparently referencing and quoting the Word of God is just "mind games" and "semantics" I've been told, but so much is at stake, my friend, and I still care about you too much to not keep trying with 1 Timothy 1:19 and Jude 1:23 in mind.



Hebrews 9:27 (ESV) And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment

QUESTION: Is There Life After Death?

The existence of life after death is a universal question. Job speaks for all of us by stating, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure....If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:1-2, 14). Like Job, all of us have been challenged by this question. Exactly what happens to us after we die? Do we simply cease to exist? Is life a revolving door of departing and returning to earth in order to eventually achieve personal greatness? Does everyone go to the same place, or do we go to different places? Is there really a heaven and hell?

The Bible tells us that there is not only life after death, but eternal life so glorious that “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to the earth to give us this gift of eternal life. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus took on the punishment that all of us deserve and sacrificed His life to pay the penalty for our sin. Three days later, He proved Himself victorious over death by rising from the grave. He remained on the earth for forty days and was witnessed by hundreds before ascending to heaven. Romans 4:25 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

The resurrection of the Christ is a well-documented event. The apostle Paul challenged people to question eyewitnesses for its validity, and no one was able to contest its truth. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Because Christ was raised from the dead, we can have faith that we, too, will be resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of life after death. Christ was only the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. Physical death came through one man, Adam, to whom we are all related. But all who have been adopted into God's family through the waters of Baptism and faith in Jesus Christ will be given new life (1 Corinthians 15:20-22). Just as God raised up Jesus' body, so will our bodies be resurrected upon Jesus' return (1 Corinthians 6:14).

The Bible says that it is appointed for us to die only once, and after that will come judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Those who have been made righteous by faith in Christ will go into eternal life in heaven, but those who reject Christ as Savior will be sent to eternal punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46). Hell, like heaven, is not simply a state of existence, but a literal place. It is a place where the unrighteous will experience never-ending, eternal wrath from God. Hell is described as a bottomless pit (Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1) and a lake of fire, burning with sulfur, where the inhabitants will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). In hell, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, indicating intense grief and anger (Matthew 13:42).

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires them to turn from their wicked ways so that they can live (Ezekiel 33:11). But He will not force us into submission; if we choose to reject Him, He accepts our decision to live eternally apart from Him. For believers, life after death is eternal life in heaven with God. For unbelievers, life after death is eternity in the lake of fire. How can we receive eternal life after death and avoid an eternity in the lake of fire? There is only one way—through faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die...” (John 11:25-26).

The free gift of eternal life is available to all. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36). We will not be given the opportunity to accept God’s gift of salvation after death. Our eternal destination is determined in our earthly lifetimes by our reception or rejection of Jesus Christ. “I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). If we trust the death of Jesus Christ as the full payment for our sin against God, we are guaranteed eternal life after death, in the glorious presence of Christ.


[Source]


Whoa! You mean there really is life after death!?!


Please forgive me for my "snarkiness" here, because it's not a laughing matter, but I simply cannot stand for this kind of demonic deception being endorsed and promoted by other so-called "Christians" any longer as if man can manipulate life and death to the point where he can manufacture a resurrection. Otherwise, the implication is that Jesus' death and resurrection is all just no big deal.

Sorry, not on my watch (Galatians 6:7). What's next? That Jesus was the first Person to practice "Resuscitation Medicine" perhaps? I'm just speechless. I mean, after all, to allow yourself to believe in such things as "Resuscitation Medicine" -- as a self-professing believer in Christ Jesus -- instead of the pure truth found in the holy Scriptures (or to even put it on par with the very Word of God), and to do so as a self-proclaiming Christian is deadly serious stuff, folks!

It is to play with fire -- Hell fire -- with eternity possibly at stake here too! So, for that reason, here I go again "speaking the truth in love" as it pertains to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Because all human beings die once, Christ's sacrifice cannot be repeated. One cannot hope for a second life by which he/she might appease God through his/her own actions.


Why Is The Truth Of The Bodily Resurrection Of Jesus Christ So Important?

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in history, providing irrefutable evidence that Jesus is who He claimed to be – the Son of God. The resurrection was not only the supreme validation of His deity; it also validated the Scriptures, which foretold His coming and resurrection. Moreover, it authenticated Christ’s claims that He would be raised on the third day (John 2:19-21; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34). If Christ’s body was not resurrected, we have no hope that ours will be (1 Corinthians 15:13, 16). In fact, apart from Christ’s bodily resurrection, we have no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of eternal life. As the apostle Paul said, our faith would be “useless” and the life-giving power of the gospel would be altogether eliminated.

Because our eternal destinies ride on the truth of this historical event, the resurrection has been the target of Satan’s greatest attacks against the church. Accordingly, the historicity of Christ’s bodily resurrection has been examined and investigated from every angle and studied endlessly by countless scholars, theologians, professors, and others over the centuries. And even though a number of theories have been postulated that attempt to disprove this momentous event, no credible historical evidence exists which would validate anything other than His literal bodily resurrection. On the other hand, the clear and convincing evidence of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is overwhelming.

Nonetheless, from the Christians in ancient Corinth to many today, misunderstandings persist relative to certain aspects of our Savior’s resurrection. Why, some ask, is it important that Christ’s body was resurrected? Couldn’t His resurrection have just been spiritual? Why and how does the resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantee the bodily resurrection of believers? Will our resurrected bodies be the same as our earthly bodies? If not, what will they be like? The answers to these questions are found in the fifteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, a church that he established several years earlier during his second missionary journey.

In addition to growing factions in the young Corinthian church, there was rampant misunderstanding of some key Christian doctrines, including the resurrection. Although many of the Corinthians accepted that Christ has been resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:1, 11), they had difficulty believing others could or would be resurrected. The continuing influence of Gnostic philosophy, which held that everything spiritual was good whereas everything physical, such as our bodies, was intrinsically evil, was essentially responsible for their confusion regarding their own resurrection. The idea of a detestable corpse being eternally resurrected was, therefore, strongly opposed by some and certainly by the Greek philosophers of the day (Acts 17:32).

Yet, most of the Corinthians understood that Christ’s resurrection was bodily and not spiritual. After all, resurrection means “a rising from the dead”; something comes back to life. They understood that all souls were immortal and at death immediately went to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Thus, a “spiritual” resurrection would make no sense, as the spirit doesn’t die and therefore cannot be resurrected. Additionally, they were aware that the Scriptures, as well as Christ Himself, stated that His body would rise again on the third day. Scripture also made it clear that Christ’s body would see no decay (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27), a charge that would make no sense if His body was not resurrected. Lastly, Christ emphatically told His disciples it was His body that was resurrected: “A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).

Again, however, the Corinthians’ concern was regarding their personal resurrection. Accordingly, Paul tried to convince the Corinthians that because Christ rose from the dead, they also would rise from the dead some day, and that the two resurrections – Christ’s and ours – must stand or fall together, for “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised” (v.13).

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”
(vv. 20-22).

When Jesus Christ was resurrected, He became the “first fruits” of all who would be raised (see also Colossians 1:18). The Israelites could not fully harvest their crops until they brought a representative sampling (first fruits) to the priests as an offering to the Lord (Leviticus 23:10). This is what Paul is saying in verses 20-22; Christ’s own resurrection was the “first fruits” of the resurrection “harvest” of the believing dead. The “first fruits” language Paul uses indicates something to follow, and that something would be His followers – the rest of the “crop.” This is how Christ’s resurrection guarantees ours. Indeed, His resurrection requires our resurrection.

And to allay their concerns regarding connecting the spirit to what was deemed an undesirable body, Paul explained to them the nature of our resurrected bodies and how they would differ from our earthly bodies. Paul likened our deceased earthly bodies to a “seed,” and God would ultimately provide another body (vv. 37-38) that would be like Christ’s glorious resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:49; Philippians 4:21). Indeed, just as with our Lord, our bodies which are now perishable, dishonored, weak, and natural will one day be raised into bodies that are imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). Our spiritual bodies will be perfectly equipped for heavenly, supernatural living.


[Source]


That's the truth. I'm sorry, but I refuse to mince my words or to pull any punches, because after several months the evidence continues to mount that this dear friend is becoming hardened rather than humble. I have Jude 1:23 ringing in my ears for his sake: "save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh."


All who commit sin are urged to repent so that they might receive forgiveness, lest they remain in the fire and lose their faith. Correcting one another must be done with fear, because all Christians are sinners, attracted to sin. Sin is not to be toyed with or dallied in. Unrepented sin is like a stain on our robe of righteousness, which we have from Christ. Only His blood can make it white again with His forgiveness.

At the same time, Jude emphasizes that salvation is not based on our own reason or strength, but is wholly the Father's work in Christ.

This is no trifling matter to me and it's also why I will no longer rest on the sidelines when I hear, read, and/or see such things, because I'm beginning to witness more and more this influence taking root within the church and infecting the Body of Christ.


This ridiculous story reminds me of the "I've-Gone-To-Heaven-And-Come-Back-To-Yell-You-About-It!" phenomenon we're seeing throughout Christianity and within Christian bookstores today too. I'll defer to Pastor Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries.


So, as far as my personal concern goes, all these reports on NDEs, OBEs and DEs, especially on the part of those who claim to be evangelicals with a biblical orientation, hinge upon the question of faith. On this point I would note that no person whom the Bible records as having been resurrected/returned from the dead ever gave any report of what they saw or heard during the interim between death and return, not Lazarus (John 11:44), not Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-55), no individual resurrected when Jesus died (Matthew 27:52), not the widow of Zarephath’s son (by Elijah, 1 Kings 17:17-23), not the Shunammite’s little boy (by Elisha, 2 Kings 4:32-37), not Dorcas (Acts 9:37-40), and not Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). In light of all the reports of NDEs and DEs, ancient, medieval and modern, how does one explain the utter silence of Scripture on the afterlife other than what Jesus the Prophet has revealed and promised?

[Source]


Now, that's the true, Biblical record of such a subject. God's Word is the final and sole authority on things. I rest my case.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, there is no resurrection from the dead, no life after death, apart from the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!