No to ghosts?

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) — Ghosts star in major motion pictures from “The Shining” to “Scary Movie 2.” Some ghosts are friendly (Casper) and some are frightening (Bloody Mary). Television shows like “Ghost Adventures” use the latest technologies to “prove” that spirits of the dead are all around us and want to make their presence known.

But is this true?

The short answer is no. As Christians, we must gauge all truth claims by the Bible, the ultimate and unchanging measure of reality.

Some people argue that the apostles believed in ghosts and even thought Jesus was one when He walked toward their boat on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:22-33).

Later, after Christ’s resurrection, the apostles once again mistook Jesus for a ghost. He assured them that “a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have” (Luke 24:39).

Let’s be clear on two points: First, Scripture teaches that all humans possess both physical and non-physical properties — the body and the soul/spirit, the second of which survives physical death.

Second, nowhere does the Bible support the notion that spirits of the dead (“phantasma” or “pneuma” in the Greek) are free to return to the physical realm.

In other words, the departed are just that — departed.

The souls of the dead either are in the presence of God in heaven or separated from Him in torment in Hades.
( Should you believe in ghosts? )

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