The following are notes that I used for the sermon I preached at Bethlehem Baptist and taught on Discord.
Question: Do Ghosts Exist? (preached 10/24/2021 @ Bethlehem Bapt., Warthen, GA)
It depends on your definition.
- an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image. – Bing.com
- the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons. – dictionary.com
Are there SPIRIT beings? Yes.
Are there disembodied spirits of the dead roaming the earth, haunting houses, abandoned mental institutions, and cemeteries? NO.
So, what about the souls of the dead wandering about in limbo? What about the Civil War soldiers on the battlefield? Ol’ Green Eyes? The Lady in White?
If the Bible is true, the spirits of the deceased cannot remain on earth to “haunt” the living.
- Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
- (Believer) 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
- (Believer) Philippians 1:21-23 – For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
- (Unbeliever) Luke 16:22-24 – And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
- However, there are two examples recorded in Scripture where the dead DID come back, but in each were specific situations that fulfilled God’s plan.
- Samuel (1 Samuel 28:15)
- Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1-8)
If the dead don’t come back, if ghosts don’t exist, then what are people witnessing?
(Don’t allow experience to be the sole determiner for what is real or not)
Answer: Angelic beings, either angels or demons
- Angels are “ministering spirits”
- Psalm 103:20-21 KJV – Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
- Psalm 104:4 KJV – Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
- Daniel 9:21-23 KJV – Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed [me], and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew [thee]; for thou [art] greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.
- Demons (fallen angels) do the will of the Devil
- 1 Peter 5:8 KJV – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
- 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV – For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
What about “hauntings”?
Aside from the endless movies about ghosts and monsters of all types, especially around this time of year, did you know that since 1991 there have been 42 “reality shows” on television that focus on the paranormal?
- Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories (1991-95) with Leonard Nemoy
- Sightings (91-97)
- Haunted History (2013- ): Are voices, spirits and apparitions trying to tell us something about past events?
- My Ghost Story (2010) – a documentary – “Frightening insight, through firsthand experiences, with the paranormal. These stories prove that ghosts are omnipresent.”
- Ghost Hunters – “Meet Jason and Grant, plumbers by day – ghost hunters by night! Ghost Hunters follows a group of real-life ghostbusters as they investigate haunted houses throughout the country.”
The funny thing about all the “ghost hunting” videos is that there’s always a “Did you hear that?” moment. There’s always a chill, a smell, a noise, a shadow, etc.
However, there are things that have been caught on film, noises that have been recorded, and things that have moved. It’s not ALL a joke or in people’s imagination.
- I believe that most of what people see or experience is nothing more than their imagination, something easily explainable in the light, or nothing more than a hoax.
- On the other hand, plenty of sane, logical people have witnessed things that do not have a natural explanation and were not fake.
KEY POINT: There are EVIL SPIRITUAL forces at work in the world.
- Ephesians 6:12 KJV – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
- Daniel 10:10-14 CSB –  Suddenly, a hand touched me and set me shaking on my hands and knees.  He said to me, “Daniel, you are a man treasured by God. Understand the words that I’m saying to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.” After he said this to me, I stood trembling.  “Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers.  “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia.  “Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”
A verse to remember: Ephesians 4:27 – Neither give place to the devil.
Unfortunately, around this time of year a whole lot of people are giving place to the devil. There is NO QUESTION that much of what our culture now has to offer is giving Satan a foothold in the lives of so many, starting with our children.
That’s why we need to discuss these things – like ghosts, Halloween, horror movies, dark music, and even the “Squid Games” – in the light of Scripture.
CONCLUSION… What we believe about ghosts and the paranormal says a lot about what we believe about God and his Word.
1. If you believe in ghosts, but you don’t believe in demons, then you don’t believe the Bible.
2. If you believe the disembodied spirits or souls of the dead can still roam the earth looking for closure or peace, then you don’t believe the Bible.
3. If you believe mediums can truly talk to the deceased, whether by crystal balls, séances, dreams, or signs, then you don’t believe the Bible.
4. IF you are a Christian, and you say you believe God and his Word, then you – and ONLY you – can repeat a line from the greatest documentary ever made on the paranormal – “Ghost Busters.” It’s the line that goes, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”
Why? Because the Bible says in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.”
But if you think THAT is great news, then let me conclude with something else Jesus said!
Luke 10:17-20 – And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.