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What do you know about ghosts?

By: veronica sexton

Ghost Hunters, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Haunted Highway, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Activity, and now a reboot of Ghostbusters — it seems like every other TV show or movie is about the supernatural. We are fascinated with the spirit world, but how much of what we believe about ghosts is actually real?

Are Ghosts Real?

Spirit beings are in the Bible, but these are not the spirits of dead people who haunt the living as ghosts. We die once, then we're judged, destined to either heaven or hell (Hebrews 9:27, Matthew 25:46).  

Jesus illustrates this point in a story about a rich man who dies and goes to hell. In his torment, the rich man begs Abraham to warn his living relatives of what awaits them after death (Luke 16:19-31). We see that the condemned are not able to return, and that the righteous dead are not allowed to return.

If Ghosts Aren't Dead People, What Are They?

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 says, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.” If demons will disguise themselves as angels in order to deceive us, it’s entirely plausible that a demon might also impersonate a deceased loved-one in order to lead us away from God — even if it means offering us comfort, guidance, or even a bit of truth/prophecy.

Why The Trickery?

Tricking us into mistakenly identifying a demon as the spirit of a dead person, or even as an angel, is a win-win for Satan.  If we’re unable to discern a spirit for what it truly is, we might fail to understand that God alone is our source of truth, comfort, and guidance. And if Satan can trip us up, he succeeds in blurring the line that crosses into dangerous occult practices.  

As Christians, we’re protected by the Holy Spirit, but the enemy can surely attack, confuse, tempt or physically defeat us.  It would be foolish to intentionally expose ourselves to demons by investigating hauntings, psychic readings, Ouija boards, etc. The Bible warns us not to dabble in the paranormal (Deuteronomy 18:10-12), but to be on guard against evil forces (Ephesians 6:12)

3 Ways To Avoid Being Deceived

1. Be confident in our salvation, through which we possess the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who will reveal the truth to us (1 John 2:20).   

2. Seek God and ask Him for spiritual discernment.  We are told “not to believe every spirit, but [to] test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).   

3. Read the Bible, which is God’s truth, written to equip us for questions such as these (2 Timothy 3:14-17).  

If it’s not drawing you closer to God and more reliant on God, then it’s not of God.

Learn more about God and His truth; visit www.newspring.cc/bible to get started.

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