Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Here’s a sermon for the Halloween season.

"What does the Bible say about ghosts

and hauntings?"

Luke 16:19-31

19 "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.

20But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,

21desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

23And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24Then 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.’

25But Abraham said, ’Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.

26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27Then he said, ’I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,

28for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

29Abraham said to him, ’They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

30And he said, ’No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

31But he said to him, ’If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ "

This Saturday will be Halloween.

One dark night two guys were walking home after a party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery. When they got to about the middle of the graveyard they were startled and stopped moving. There was this terrifying noise, "TAP-TAP-TAP" coming from the shadows. Trembling with fear, they spotted an old man with a hammer and chisel, chipping away at one of the headstones. "Holy cow Mister," one of them said after catching his breath. "You SCARED us half to death. We thought you were a GHOST! What are you doing working here so late at night?" "Those fools!" the old man grumbled. "They misspelled my name!!"

Do you believe in ghosts?

Many people will visit Haunted Houses.

Some will dress up like ghosts.

Is it really possible for dead people to appear as ghosts?

Is it possible for a place to be haunted by ghosts?

And what are "ghosts"?

The dictionary definition of the word ghost says that it is "the spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to haunt living persons."

Seances used to be very popular.

Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote the Sherlock Holmes mysteries

believed you could contact the dead.

So did the great magician Houdini.

Mary Todd Lincoln conducted séances in the White House.

Nancy Reagan never held a séance at the White House,

though she was reported to have consulted with an astrologer

when planning her husband’s schedules.

When she was first lady,

Hillary Clinton worked with spiritual adviser Jean Houston

to access an "Eleanor Roosevelt-like consciousness".

Mrs. Clinton wrote in a column that Mrs. Roosevelt "usually responds by telling me to buck up, or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros."

Today’s story is about two short, fat old men named Bennie and Charlie. Every Saturday night they met at the local tavern. They would spend the whole evening drinking, talking, and watching ballgames on the tavern TV set. On particular Saturday, it was Halloween night and the subject of ghosts came up. Charlie asked Bennie, "Do you believe in ghosts? "Heck no!" Bennie replied. "I don’t know! Some awful weird stuff goes on in this world, said Charlie. "I’m convinced my dead wife comes back to haunt me every now and then for all the drinking I did during those years we were married." "Nonsense" slurred Bennie.

More of that story a little later!

The Bible gives us some very clear warnings

about consulting with the supposed dead

or having anything to do with those who do.

Astrology is also condemned by the Bible.

Isaiah 8:19 says:And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

Deut. 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.

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