Ask21771 wrote: What proof is there that 2 Thessalonians isn't talking about ndes
Ask21771 wrote: I'm looking for proof that ndes are not God ordained deceptions
I have been following this thread now for some time and have been looking up the said text in my own Bible, which is a German translation of the Bible. And there the text doesn't hint in any way towards NDEs. But it is one of the letters that Paul was writing to one of his Christian Groups, and Paul as we know, was not originally a disciple of Jesus, and didn't know Jesus during his lifetime. Actually he was originally Saul and was persecuting Christians after the crucifixion of Jesus.
Anyhow the thought 'NDE and Paul' suddenly made an association in my brain, and it struck me how close the experience that Saul had (when he fell from his horse and met Jesus) comes to an NDE.
Both men Jesus and Paul are the most important people concerning Christianity, but they have been fundamentally different in character.
Jesus was talking about love, and acting his word. He was full of love and compassion (up to loving his enemies), trying to tell his surroundings that God was a loving Father, which he called 'ABBA', which in English would mean 'Daddy'. He was healing and helping, especially the poor and helpless. Almost never became violent in any way.
Saul was a man of the law, sticking to the letter, and had no real love and compassion for the victims he persecuted, as he felt that he was doing the right thing as the law commended. And then one day he had his 'accident' and his 'experience'. After this experience he changed radically, (even so far to change name). Very similar to nowadays NDErs, he suddenly was able to know and speak about love, and with the same energy that he used to have when persecuting, he now took on the cause of Jesus.
In a way, today there are thousands and thousands of 'Pauls' and Paulines' that arise after their experiences.
(So now I will start to play advocatus diaboli. Not that I believe in any devil.)
If we want to tell that the devil might induce this kind of experiences 'how can we be sure that it was not the same with Paul's experience? And if this had been the case, what would be the value of his teachings today? How could they be God's word? We also only have his word for this!So how can we know what comes of God and what is not?
Well somewhere in the Gospels Jesus told his disciples something like: 'You will know them through their actions!!
What were the actions of Paul after his experience? He started to know and talk about love, worked for the rest of his life to continue Jesus' work and in the end gave his life for this. In this respect we can assume that his experience was of God.
What about today's Experiencers? Same as Paul they are changed, they know and talk about divine love, their whole lives come round in a positive way. And same as with Paul we can rightly assume that their experience was of God.
Another thing that I want to emphasize.
As is known the 'devil' is considered to be evil.
So if we have fear of evil and 'devil', then we are investing a good part of our valuable life energy into this fear, and we are unknowingly contributing to make the 'devil' stronger, to give it substance (in a way we feed the beast). I can't see any reason why we should do that. It would be by far more constructive to invest this energy in doing good, and by this, counterbalance what others do wrong. If more and more people do this, one day the scale will tip to the good side and there might be no weight any more on the 'bad' side of the scale.