A Message from Pastor Hale
Most Americans now claim to believe in ghosts. The tie between superstitious unbelief and paganism is clear. Everyone has spiritual beliefs, but not all are valid. By rejecting the truth of Christ, unbelievers fall for lies and old-wives tales. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles” (Rom. 1:21-23).
The scriptural evidence points to more supernatural going on than we see (angels are pervasive throughout the Bible) – and not all of it is good. But if it is not of God, it is of Satan. We are told that people are deceived: “for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
The Bible references the idea of ghosts – they did not understand that Jesus had risen in His own body when He came to them on the first Easter evening: “they were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.” (Luke 24:37). Jesus referring to ghosts, however, does not prove their existence independent of God or Satan – he is referring to what they (forgiven sinners who grew up among sinners) wrongly thought that Jesus was – some disembodied spirit. Jesus is not always worried about correcting his disciples in every error they make – or else there would have been little time for anything else. Arguing from silence is possible, but proves nothing conclusively. In any case, God created all things.
If a ghost is non-physical, how could we encounter them? The supernatural exists, no doubt, and many strange things happen that are explainable by scientific language. But what is a ghost? Is it the spirit of a person that died, roaming the earth? That defies Scripture and God’s judgment that occurs: “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27).
Of course, the possibility for a good angel to appear is also possible – a spiritual being taking on the appearance of a person: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:2). Abraham did just this in receiving visitors in hospitality.
No doubt, people encounter Satan and his tactics in daily life, deceiving many – even professing Christians. The important thing is to not be deceived by them – and worship them in any sense – to fear, love, trust them, thereby making them a false god. We need fear nothing in Christ, covered in baptism with His righteousness.