What Happens After You Die?

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Can Spirits Interact with the Living?

Based on our English definition of the term ghost, the answer is yes. Webster defines ghost as “a disembodied soul; esp. the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear in bodily form to living people.”

We already know that when we die our bodies fail but our spirits live on. By strict definition, although it is not the one I prefer, these spirits can be referred to as “ghosts.” Overall, the Bible teaches that human spirits are in one of two places: they are either with the Lord, awaiting their bodily resurrection, or in Hades, waiting for the final judgment. Human spirits, therefore, do not inhabit the earth and move among us.

Apparently the disciples believed in the concept of ghosts during their pre-resurrection relationship with Jesus. One night they were in a boat and saw a figure approaching them, walking on the water. Their first inclination was to believe it was a ghost. When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, they, once again, assumed he was a ghost. John’s account of this event tells us that they were meeting behind locked doors for fear of the Jews, and Jesus appeared in the room with them out of nowhere.

Jesus responded, “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.” If by ghost we are referring to a spirit, either humans or angels, then Jesus believed in them. But I am convinced that as the disciples grew in their knowledge of truth, they came to conclude that angelic spirits do exist and move among us, but human spirits, while they do exist, reside in either heaven or hell during Life In Between.

It appears the work of mediums can, at times, be real. However, over and over again the Bible warns us to stay completely away from this activity of calling up departed spirits. If we need information, if we need truth, if we need direction, we are admonished to consult God. If we do that, we will never be led astray.