It’s officially the spooky season. With the rise of the spooky season, many more people are interested in what the Bible has to say about topics surrounding Halloween, such as ghosts. The media portrays ghosts as being dead people who come back to haunt friends, family, and enemies.
Sometimes, the film industry even portrays ghosts as being friendly as in the case of Casper. Nonetheless, what does the Bible say about ghosts? Are they real? Can dead loved ones really come back to haunt us?
Are Ghosts Real?
The Bible is clear that once a person dies, they cannot return from the dead. The author of Hebrew tells us each person is destined to die once and then to stand before God (Hebrews 9:27). A person does not get to choose whether they are going to return to haunt the people of their earthly life. When a person dies, they are immediately before God (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Depending on whether or not they accepted Jesus will determine if they go to Heaven or hell. All individuals who have placed faith in Jesus will go to Heaven; however, all of the people who have not accepted Jesus will go to hell. Each person will either go to one or the other. There is not a third option to return to the earth and complete “unfinished business.”
Many people still report seeing dead loved ones or experiencing the paranormal activity of a haunting in their home. How can one explain this? There are no such things as ghosts, but there are demons. What people report as being ghosts are actually demons.
Demons are known to masquerade themselves in an attempt to fool people. In 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, Paul tells us, “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
Since demons can masquerade as angels of light, it is completely possible that they can make themselves look like dead loved ones. Believers need to be aware of this as demons will try to trick us in any way they can.
If you believe you have experienced the ghost of a dead loved one, it was not your deceased loved one. If your deceased loved one is a believer, then they are with Jesus in Heaven. The “dead loved one” you would have seen was a demon.
What Does the Bible Say about Spiritual Beings?
Demons are spiritual beings. The Bible does attest to the fact that there are spiritual beings. In addition to demons, the other spiritual beings are angels. Since demons and angels do not have physical bodies, they are spiritual beings.
The main difference here is that angels are good, but demons are bad. Angels help believers and protect them. The Bible tells us angels are ministering spirits sent out to help believers (Hebrews 1:14). In contrast, demons seek out mankind’s downfall.
What Is the Paranormal?
Becoming involved with the paranormal is not encouraged for Christians. God warns us about not seeking out mediums or necromancers (Leviticus 19:31). Believers need to flee from any fascination with ghosts as the ghosts are only demons.
Paul warns all people that you cannot have a seat at God’s table and the table of demons (1 Corinthians 10:21). Satan and his demons want to cause your downfall. They want to scare, harm, and hurt you (John 10:10).
Becoming involved with ghosts can cause bad things to happen to you. God is more powerful than the devil and his demons, but we should never test the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7). The Lord wants you to live in the freedom, love, and joy of knowing Him. God’s plan for you does not involve becoming involved with demons, mediums, or the occult.
Demons can be extremely convincing and can easily lead a person astray. As believers, we do not have to fall victim to their tricks. The One who is in us is greater than the devil and his demons (1 John 4:4). The Holy Spirit will keep you safe from demons, but we also have to use our own knowledge to abstain from the paranormal.
After the death of a loved one, we can be particularly vulnerable to the attacks of demons. Demons have been around for a long time, so they can accurately predict human behaviors. If demons know that a loved one has passed, they may try to deceive you with visions, dreams, or encounters with your loved one.
Even in the difficult times of losing a loved one, you still must stand your ground against Satan and his schemes (Ephesians 6:10-18). As a follower of Jesus, you do not have to fall victim to Satan and his demons’ tricks. Lean on God, talk with Him, and pour out your sorrow to Him (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus knows what it feels like to lose a loved one. He wept when His friend Lazarus died (John 11:35). When a loved one passes away, turn to God. Do not run after ghost-hunters or contact a medium to try to communicate with dead loved ones (Deuteronomy 18:10-13).
When Jesus rose from the dead, His disciples thought He was a ghost (Luke 24:36). Jesus did not tell His disciples, “Yes, I am a ghost. Dead people can come back from the dead and visit their friends and families.”
What Jesus actually said was, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:38-39).
Some people believe that Jesus affirms the existence of ghosts by His statement in Luke 24:39; however, He is not affirming the existence of ghosts. The more correct word that should be used here is “spirit” rather than ghost.
Jesus was showing His disciples that He has truly physically risen from the dead. He was not a spirit — He was the resurrected Lord. Jesus came back from the dead because He is God. Nobody else has ever come back from the dead because mankind cannot rise from the dead.
Why Does This Matter?
Ghosts are not real; however, demons are real. Demons want to trick you in any way possible. Therefore, it is essential that all believers abstain from the paranormal and abstain from a fascination with ghosts.
You will see your loved one again if they are a believer. There is no need to try to seek out the dead while you are here on earth because you will not be communicating to your loved one or a “ghost.” Rather, you will be communicating with a demon.
Before I graduated from high school in 1970, I learned that the best way to win a battle, even in debate class, was to know your enemy. The 1960s and 1970s ushered in a strong interest in New Age philosophies and the occult, so the best way to combat it with logic and rational thinking was to understand it, so I read a lot of books on it. I also read a lot of books on UFO abductions and the like, as public interest in such was also on the rise then. Did my reading lead me to believe in these things? No, they did not, but they did equip me with enough knowledge to argue against these beliefs, including UFOs and ghosts. In all the stories about encounters with these things, there were too many flaws for them to be logically believable.