Sir Roger Penrose is a highly respected English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He received the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their work in showing the necessity for cosmological singularities.
But this brilliant scientist didn't stop there. Penrose is now convinced there is human consciousness beyond the grave, and his conclusion is based upon scientific evidence.
As reported by Sean Martin, Penrose "believes he and his team have found evidence that protein-based mircotubules — a structural component of human cells — carry quantum information stored at a sub-atomic level. Sir Roger states that if a person temporarily dies, this quantum information is released from the microtubules and into the universe. However, if they are resuscitated the quantum information is channeled back into the microtubules and that is what sparks a near death experience."
Martin goes on to write, "Researchers from the renowned Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich agree and state that the physical universe we live in is only our perception and once our physical bodies die, there is an infinite beyond. Dr. Hans-Peter Durr, former head of the institute, has said: 'What we consider the here and now, this world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible. The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger.'"
Scientific discoveries seem to always be at least a few steps behind the depth of information Jesus Christ brought to the world. Since Jesus created it all, He knows exactly how everything works. (John 1:3, Col. 1:16, 1 Cor. 8:6, John 1:10) And that includes man's immortal soul.
Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28) And "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) Jesus also said, "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." (John 6:47)
Scientists Penrose and Durr aren't the only ones proclaiming consciousness beyond the grave. There are actually plenty of scientists in the world today who believe the same thing, and a significant number of them are Christians.
Sir Roger Penrose highlights near-death experiences in his research. Since these experiences are subjective as compared to the objective Word of God, we must be careful not to assume that every near-death experience provides us with an accurate description of what happens after death.
At the same time, it is interesting to hear some people describe images of heaven and hell as part of their near-death experience. Arthur Veal had such an experience. He was clinically dead for 45 minutes, during which time he describes being led by someone to a body of water. On the left side he saw and heard souls suffering, and on the right side he saw the most beautiful world he has ever seen. Arthur said it felt like he was once again in his early twenties as he took in all the sights and sounds of that incredible experience.
Did Arthur get a glimpse into heaven and hell? Perhaps. But regardless, there is no question that these places of eternal existence are real. Jesus spoke about them so that we would know what lies beyond the grave.
A man in our church that I have known for many years had his own glimpse into the next world. One night when Mike was in high school and still an unbeliever, he had a dream. Mike dreamt he was standing in line on Judgment Day. Each person in line was either being ushered into heaven, or sent straight to hell. When Mike reached the front of the line, he stood before Jesus. The Lord told Mike, "Depart from me. I never knew you." Mike tried to talk his way into heaven, but to no avail. As Mike began to be led around the corner into hell, he woke up from his dream.
The dream shook Mike to his core, and so he asked Jesus to forgive his sins and save his soul. The following Sunday, Mike attended a Baptist church. He came forward when an invitation was given and publicly professed faith in Jesus Christ. Mike has followed the Lord ever since.
The skeptic will no doubt balk at such a story. And I can understand a person's reluctance to believe in heaven and hell. But a reluctance to believe it won't change what Jesus said about eternity. And it won't keep anyone from having their own appointment in God's courtroom one day. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." (2 Cor. 5:10)
The Lord will tell many on that day, "Depart from me. I never knew you." (Matthew 7:23) Others will be told, "Well done good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:23)
Sir Roger Penrose is convinced there is consciousness beyond the grave. And one day, each of us will experience much more than just a near-death experience. We will literally cross over to the other side.
Are you prepared to meet your Creator and your Judge? Have you come to know the Savior by trusting Christ to cleanse your soul with the blood He shed for you on the cross? (Romans 5:9, Eph. 1:7, Heb. 9:12-14)
"Today is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) You would be wise to repent of your sins and trust Jesus to wash them away. That is, unless you are the only person on the planet who won't experience consciousness beyond the grave.