“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
A few minutes spent with an internet search engine will quickly uncover hundreds of websites that detail the accounts of those who have undergone a “near death experience.” This phenomenon is defined as “an occurrence in which a person comes very close to dying and has memories of a spiritual experience…” (1) One common element associated with many of these reports is an encounter with a “light” that serves to welcome human beings to the afterlife.
While the overwhelming number of those who report such experiences do so positively, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 informs us of the need to exercise caution before we embrace these descriptions of the afterlife. Knowing that humanity’s greatest adversary possesses the ability to masquerade as an angel of light should prompt us to consider the possibility that such experiences may not be as benevolent as they appear.
You see, the only genuine way to assure a warm and loving acceptance to the afterlife is through accepting Christ as savior before we pass from this life. As Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
However, this passage is applicable to our present-day as well. Consider the following observation: “If Satan himself poses falsely, it is not surprising if his agents do the same. How do they pose? As false teachers? As atheists? As infidels? The answer is no. They pose as ministers of righteousness. They profess to be ministers of religion. They profess to lead people in the way of truth and righteousness, but they are agents of the evil one.” (2)
Unfortunately, this is something we should expect to see in a world that is “…under the control of the evil one” as we’re told in 1 John 5:19. Since the adversary is capable of disguising his appearance, it should come as no surprise that those who follow him possess the ability to masquerade as representatives of Christ as well. But such disguises come at a price, for “In the end they will get exactly what their actions deserve” (GNB).
(1) “near-death experience.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary Retrieved August 14, 2018 from merriam-webster.com website https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/near-death%20experience
(2) William Macdonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary Edited by Arthur Farstad Thomas Nelson Publishers (2 Corinthians 11:15)