“‘Peace …the message is peace.’ That’s what the producers of a pay-television seance to contact John Lennon clained the former Beatle said when communicating with them from beyond the grave” (ninemsn.com.au April 25, 2006).
Can the dead communicate with the living? What does the Bible say?
Death like a sleep
- What did Jesus call death, when talking to His disciples about Lazarus who had died?
” ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…’ Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep” (John 11:11-13).
More than 50 times the Bible refers to death as a sleep. The term “cemetery” (Greek = “sleeping place”), first used of burial grounds by the early Christians, reflecting their belief in resurrection of the dead.
- What did Jesus say about Himself that provides hope?
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25)
What happens when a person dies?
To understand what death is, we need to go back to see how God first made humans.
- What two elements were used by God to make the first man in to a living being?
“The Lord God formed the man from the dush of the ground and breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7)
The expression “living being” (translated “living soul” in earlier versions) referes to the whole person as a “living creature”. It applies to animals as ell. The Bible presents a holistic view of humans as a spiritual and physical unity.
- What did God say would happen to Adam and Eve if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
“You will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The serpent (Satan) said the opposite:” You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Who hould we believe – God or Satan?
- Does the word soul refer to an immortal part of humans that cannot die?
“The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4)
- What happens to the body and “breath of life” or “the spirit” at death?
“…you return to the ground” (Genesis 3:19)
“…the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
The principle of life is called “the spirit” or “breath of life.” These terms are used interchangeably and indicate only the element of life, not conscious (see Job 27:3). Death is the reverse of what took place at Creation/ The body returns to dust, and the principle of life returns to God.
Thoughts of the Dead
- Where do the dead go at the time of death and how much do they know?
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it will all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge no wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
“The dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5)
“…their plans come to nothing” (Psalm 146:4).
“No one remebers you [God] when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?” (Psalm 6:5)
Could you imagine, as its commonly thought, people are going to heaven at death, and not praising God? In truth they are asleep in death with their identity secure in God’s hands untik the resurrection. If there were no resurrection, those “who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost” (1 Corinthians 15:18).
- What is God’s view of trying to contact the dead?
“Let no-one be found amuong you who…is a medium or spiritist or who consults the deat. Anyone who does these things are detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:1-12).
God will not forget our loved ones!
- What happens at the Second Coming to those who have died believing in Christ?
“The dead in Christ will rise first” (1Thessalonians 4:16)
Believers then receive immortality (see 1 Corinthians15:51-54).
- Who will enjoy eternal life?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him [Jesus] shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)