There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
This past weekend I and my family had the pleasure of making some new friends – Jason and Amy Knapp. How we came to meet is, well, different.
It all began listening to a podcast on The Confessionals, Episode 266. First, The Confessionals is run by Tony Merkel. He spent some time in seminary and is extremely Bible-literate, although The Confessionals is more about the many mysterious things that abound in our world. I appreciate his approach, because I firmly believe that too many Christians believe in Jesus and the Bible, but they are too quick to dismiss the supernatural; near-death experiences and the like.
Jason and Amy fit right into his format, because Jason died for 33 minutes and his brain became oxygen-starved. His brain waves were non-existent and there were questions as to whether he would ever recover.
He started waking up when his daughter took his hand in the ICU and told him she loved him. He squeezed her hand and moved his head. What followed was a very long, painful trek of having to relearn who everyone was, who he was, how to speak, walk, dress, eat…everything!
He was eventually able to tell everyone what was in his head, where he had gone. First, he went to hell and stood face to face with Satan. God was there, protecting him from the full force of hell’s pain. Next, he went to heaven. Without me going into too much detail, his account of the sights and paralleled another near-death experience by someone I knew at a church back in my home town. Jason met Jesus, who told him to tell people about hell and that He was coming soon.
This assignment to tell people the horrors of hell is right in line with Bill Weise, author of “23 Minutes in Hell.” There is a whole community of people who have seen hell and been told by God to make sure people know it’s real and that He wants no one to go there.
Jason told us at dinner about meeting Jesus. He said His power was staggering, but so was His all-consuming love. He also said Jesus looked just like the painting made by the girl who was the subject of the movie “Heaven is Real.” Jason and Amy’s discussion of Jesus’ blue eyes fit Scripturally. It’s fascinating part of the podcast!
My daughter asked him if he was afraid to stand in front of Jesus and feel such power. His reply was a huge smile as he told her that Jesus’ love was so pure and great, fear never even entered his mind!
It was only later that I remembered the verse from 1 John above and realized that this was something to share with you all!
Here’s the thing about such experiences, especially “23 Minutes in Hell:” They all jibe with Scripture. For example, in the book Bill describes being cut over and over in torture by a demon, but no blood came out. This agrees with Scripture that the blood is the life and again with the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich man begged for just a drop of water because of the extreme thirst.
The same goes, of course, for Jason’s account of Jesus’ perfect love leaving no room for fear.
If you want to hear about Jason’s experience, just follow the link at the top to hear the podcast!