Heaven’s Love Story Between God and Man


Before John Burke became one of the world’s foremost experts on near death experiences or NDEs, he was an analytical, agnostic engineer. His motto, “Proof before belief.” When his father died in 1978, he left behind a book on NDEs that aroused John’s curiosity. He read the book in one night. “I was shocked. Here were people who clinically died, were revived, claiming to have visited an exhilarating world beyond our space time dimension, and some even reported they encountered God Himself. NDE’s opened my mind to the possibility of God being real.”  

Yet, John still had many questions whirling through his analytical mind: Are NDEs just tricks the mind plays when clinging to life or the effects of anesthesia or other drugs, or maybe even hallucinations? That’s when he began three decades of exhaustive research and first-person interviews that ultimately led to the answers he sought. Along the way, the agnostic engineer became a Christian, and then a pastor.


John’s research was deep and thorough. He carefully studied all the historical evidence that preceded him. He began a study of all the NDEs on record. He noted the striking similarities. He also did interviews of his own, people from many continents with varied religious and cultural backgrounds. The new interviews were consistent in their similarities. People reported traveling through tunnels toward a light and reaching a world of indescribable beauty. They reported being greeted by loved ones who died before them. Some even reported encounters with God. They reported seeing angels who responded to God’s bidding. John made sure these accounts were consistent with scripture and the Bible. Finally, John was ready to share what he learned with the world. In 2015, the busy pastor wrote his first book, Imagine Heaven. The book includes his exhaustive research on 1000s of NDEs. The book quickly became a New York Times bestseller and proved that people are eager to “Imagine Heaven.”

The phenomenal popularity and success of Imagine Heaven did not end John’s interest or his research into NDEs. On the contrary, he decided to dig deeper to explore the NDEs that claimed to have encountered God. Another reason John continued was his firm belief “that NDEs are God’s gift and global evidence of His great love and grace offered to all nations.” John believed God had much more to reveal. He began a series of seventy new NDE interviews. “He brought people from all over the globe. They may not have had an expectation of meeting Jesus or the God of the Bible, but that is who they are meeting.

They would consistently say that nothing could compare with being in God’s presence…that God is the love they always longed for. They reported that God was “magnificent and powerful, yet personal, full of tenderness, mercy and grace.” They also said, “this was a God of love, and what seemed to matter most to Him is how we love and treat one another.” Another NDE reported, “I was overwhelmed by a radiant, white light that seemed to embody all the concepts of love. It was unconditional, like a mother has for a child. It was a warm, joyful presence.” And another NDE reported, “He is life. His love was healing my heart… and I began to understand there is incredible hope for mankind.”   

All the experiences weren’t so heavenly. There were people who saw or experienced hell and heaven, and said God sent them back with a choice to make. Other people reported a “life review” in the presence of a God of light and love. One woman described it as a “3D panoramic view of all my good and bad deeds, and how my actions affected other people. Yet, I still experienced His unconditional love and acceptance. That’s when I was told I must return. He still had a purpose for my life.”  

Six people reported they met siblings who died before they were born. Several others saw, “Prayers that went straight to the throne room to the Father.” One man reported he met Jesus who explained what happens when we pray. Jesus told him that there are warring angels, and prayers are what moves them. God hears our prayers and sets angels into motion in response. “But our prayers must come from our hearts. Honest, heartfelt prayers move the heart of God.”

Several years ago, John began writing his latest book, Imagine the God of Heaven: Near Death Experiences, God’s Revelation, and the Love You’ve Always Wanted, released in November 2023. An early endorsement by Jeffrey Long, MD said, “This book is a treasure trove of wisdom about God’s love for you and all of humanity.” 

John takes it all in stride, the glowing endorsements and the negative reviews. He is writing for an audience of one, and his goal is clear, “To provide overwhelming evidence that God exists, and His character is loving, compassionate and merciful. He unconditionally loves each person uniquely. I believe that God is giving our global village evidence not only of His reality, but also of the relentless, unconditional love He has for every single person on the planet.” 

To learn more about John Burke and his ministry, please visit ImagineHeaven.net. To purchase John's latest book, "Imagine the God of Heaven," please visit: Imagine the God of Heaven.



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