Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Pastor James
October 28, 2021

Would you be afraid to go to an old, gothic cemetery at midnight, by yourself? Would you feel afraid to walk through the woods in the middle of the night, alone? Why? Do you believe in ghosts--the immortal souls of the dead that haunt people? Do you believe in the paranormal/supernatural?

Materialistic naturalists believe that human beings are just a collection of atoms and molecules, just like the rest of this material universe. Human beings, therefore, have no soul or anything immaterial. Our thoughts and emotions are nothing more than just chemical reactions. We do what we do because “our DNA makes us do it!” Obviously, they don't believe in ghosts. If they feel uncomfortable walking into a "haunted" house and spending the night there alone, they'd say it's because they haven't completely shaken off the residue of the primitive, superstitious belief in the supernatural. As man progresses in evolution, he'll become more like his animal cousins--fully and only occupied with this physical world and nothing more.

This may surprise some, but Christians don't believe in ghosts, either. Don't Christians believe in spirit, soul, and all that immaterial stuff? Yes. We believe God made man both body and soul (Genesis 2:7). Man's soul, though not eternal (since created), is immortal. Man's body in its fallen state is mortal. But it'll be resurrected to immortality to be joined with the immortal soul forever. Man is not complete without his body and soul together.

If the human soul is immortal, isn't it only natural to believe in ghosts? Not necessarily. Christians do believe that, when we die, our souls separate from our bodies. But our souls do not wander around the world aimlessly as ghosts, seeking revenge or trying to attend to some unfinished business. We believe our souls go to either heaven or hell immediately after death. Jesus told one of the two thieves, who were dying on the cross alongside Him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Then, why does the Bible mention ghosts (because it does!)? Well, just because the Bible mentions something doesn't mean that it affirms its existence. References to pagan idols abound in the Bible. Does that mean these pagan "gods" really exist? No. There is only one true God. These references simply describe what the pagan nations believed. The same is true of ghosts. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, they thought they were seeing a ghost. This simply describes what the disciples thought, reflecting the superstitious belief of the day.

But the Bible does affirm the existence of Satan and demons. These are fallen angels, who rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4; cf. Jude 1:6; Isaiah 14:12-15). Their main business is to deceive the nations to rebel against God (Revelation 20:3). Satan is "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). His aim is to bring down to hell as many people as possible.

Demons can certainly disguise themselves as ghosts if they can disguise themselves as "angels of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). They may do this to create erroneous beliefs that lead people away from the truth about the supernatural realm.

A proverb says, “Fish is the last to discover water.” Nothing seems more “natural” to us than the fact that we think, feel, and will with our minds. At the very least, our mind may be where our soul and our brain meet. Do you really believe that our mind is no more than just a random complex of biochemical reactions? And do you really believe that lifeless, mindless particles created our consciousness with all of its amazing abilities not only to observe and analyze but also to create works of art, literature, music, and do philosophy and science? How about our concern for the meaning and purpose of our life? Where else do we see the awareness of such categories in this entire universe outside of man’s consciousness? The human mind is so unique that it's almost "supra-natural.”

The Bible tells us that death is not the end of us. "It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…" (Hebrews 9:27). If our legal courts can expose so many humiliating facts about us, can we withstand the scrutiny of the all-seeing Judge? But we have an Advocate in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins in our place. He also conquered death by rising again from the dead, pointing to the reality of the supernatural realm. Come to Jesus and place your trust in His sacrifice for you. You can receive God's forgiveness and deliverance from eternal damnation to eternal life! What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul?