Best-selling author Lee Strobel nearly died 10 years ago. That experience put him on a path to prove the existence of life after death.
Strobel first rose to prominence decades ago as an atheist and journalist trying to disprove Christianity.
Instead, he found Jesus and shared his journey and discovery in the 1998 best seller, The Case for Christ.
"I almost died 10 years ago. My wife found me unconscious. She called an ambulance. I remember waking up in the emergency room and looking up at the physician. He looked down at me and he said, 'You're one step away from a coma, two steps away from dying.' And so I lingered between life and death there for quite a while," Strobel said.
"I had a rare condition called Hyponatremia, which is a severe drop in my blood sodium level. So when you're in that position it's a very clarifying situation to be in. To be on the edge of, you don't know if you're going to live or if you're going to die. And as a Christian, I believe what the Bible teaches about the afterlife. But at the same time, I've got this skeptical gear, you know. My background is in journalism and law, so I tend to question things. So after I recovered from that, thank God, I thought, you know, I should really look at what the evidence is that supports the idea that there is an afterlife, that we do indeed live on. Because in a moment like that, nothing is more important than what happens when I close my eyes for the last time in this world."
We asked him what surprised him most when he started digging for evidence of Heaven.
"I was completely surprised by the evidence for near-death experiences," he said. "I was a skeptic about it. I thought maybe it was just a lack of oxygen to the brain that causes hallucinations or something like that. And what I discovered is there have been more than 900 scholarly studies on near-death experiences published in scientific and medical journals over the last 50 years. It's a very well-studied phenomenon and The Lancet, which is the famous medical journal in England, carried an article that analyzed near-death experiences and said that no alternative explanation could account for this phenomenon."
Strobel said, "And I know there have been people who have made claims about, 'Oh I died. I met Jesus. He is five-foot-ten, brown hair, brown eyes, nice guy,' and there have been some fraudulent cases along those lines. I only looked at cases where they had corroboration from my legal background. I wanted cases where people saw things or heard things that they could not have seen or heard had they not had an authentic out-of-body experience."
Strobel says his favorite example is from a woman named Maria who died in the hospital, was revived, and described it later. Maria claimed she was conscious the whole time, watching the resuscitation efforts the medical staff were doing on her body. She said her spirit was kind of floating there in the hospital room, and then her spirit floated out of the hospital before she was revived, and her spirit returned to her body.
"She said, 'oh, by the way – there's a man's tennis shoe on the roof of the hospital and it's dark blue, it's left-footed. There's some wear over the little toe and there's shoelaces tucked under the heel,'" Strobel recalled. "So, sure enough, they go up and they find it exactly as she said. In my book and the film, we document these cases and I think it's extraordinary."
Extraordinary, indeed – and timely. As the culture reels from the impact of COVID-19, war, and chaos, Strobel believes there's a new generation being confronted with death and desperately seeking answers on heaven, hell, and salvation. He believes The Case for Heaven will help guide them on that journey, offering evidence they need to embrace Biblical truth.
Find out more and get tickets for "The Case For Heaven" HERE. It's only in theaters for a limited time - April 4,5,6.
Who is Jesus? Is he really God’s Son? And what does Jesus have to do with Heaven? Your questions are answered here.