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Are Ghosts People in an “In-between” Realm?

Question:

How do I explain ghosts or strange happenings in my non-believing friend’s home. He says that there are lights that flicker and noises of people walking around. He also believes that there is an in-between that we can live in when we die. How can I explain things to him?

Response:

Firstly, lets deal with the question about Ghosts:

Ghost is a word from the old English that has taken on kind of a humorous and unsavory connotation. In modern language and translations of the Scriptures it is more appropriate to use the term spirit.

There is such a thing as the spiritual realm that Scripture acknowledges (Eph. 6:12) where the war rages now and will finish at the lake of fire which is the ultimate destination of everything that stands in opposition to God (Dan. 10:10-14; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).

Aside from the spiritual realm that transcends humans there is a spiritual reality that can dwell in the very temple of our bodies! The non-believer has a spirit of blindness that dwells in them known as the spirit of the world while in contrast the Christian has the Spirit that comes from God (1 Cor. 2:12; Jn. 14:17).

Secondly, the alleged in-between:

When we die it is terminal (Heb. 9:27). We learn from Scripture that there is no way for us to communicate with those who have passed from this life. This same truth likewise remains in an inverted sense (Lk. 16:24-27).

David “the man after God’s own heart” mourned the death of his progeny because he knew it was final and there was no bringing him back (2 Sam. 12:23).

As for the strange happenings such as the lights flickering and sounds in the house; I could only speculate. There is something more important though that stands apart from speculation and that is the spiritual condition of your friend! If he is an unbeliever as you say then there is no speculation as to where he will spend eternity if he dies in that condition of unbelief!

As you probably well know your friend stands condemned already before God because of his unbelief (Jn. 3:18). Love your friend as you love yourself (Mk. 12:30,31) with a sober love of warning about the eternal consequence and judgment of sin to come (Acts 17:31). Turn on the light of God’s law (Prov.6:23) which brings the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:19,20) and pray he be cut to the heart (Acts 2:37) with godly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10) that leads to repentance and a saving faith! (2 Cor 7:10; Jn. 16:8.)