|Dr. Couch, what about those who say they see ghosts? They say they see their loved ones who have passed away. Is it because they are so emotionally drained? But the Bible seems to say that the lost and the saved are in other places. What do you say?|
ANSWER: For a specific purpose God allowed the spirit of Samuel to come to speak with Saul. Saul had gone to a medium in Endor in order to have her raise Samuel to speak with him. (1 Sam. 28:7-25). The Lord allowed Samuel to come forth. This shocked the medium witch because before, she probably had brought forth evil spirits, but now, Samuel actually comes and speaks with Saul. Only God could cause that to take place. This was an extremely rare occasion in Scripture!
Before the dispensation of the church we find the righteous beggar Lazarus, after death, comforted in repose with father Abraham (Luke 16:19-31). But the unrighteous rich man "was in torment, and [he] saw Abraham far away" (v. 23). He cried out in pain because of the punishment he was undergoing. While this story takes place before the period of the church age, the principle would be the same even today, though with some differences. In almost all normal circumstances, the saved are "with the Lord" ("absent from the body, present with the Lord" [1 Cor. 5:8]) and the lost are in a place of confinement and punishment. Christ said "the lost are cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:48).
Thanks for asking.
-- Dr. Mal Couch