How do you explain that the dead can not speak to the living?
Pastor Doug: Ok Deanna. You're on.
Caller: Yes. First off, I'd like to say how much I appreciate your program. I've had a real hard last two years and I feel like, through your program, that the Lord has provided - the Holy Spirit has been talking to my heart and trying to woo me back to Him again. I just want to say how much I appreciate your program.
Pastor Doug: Well thank you! Can you say that again? We're going to start to record here! No, actually I think we did record it ? your question?
Caller: Actually I was just seeking some advice if I could. I had a recent conversation - actually my husband did - with my mother and father-in-law. They had a favorite aunt that just passed away and she was very dear to them. And she said that a situation came about where the family was gathered around her bedside, and that this aunt was talking to her sister that had died and a son that had died.
And my mother-in-law found great encouragement from that. She thought that was wonderful. She thought that was really neat. And me and my husband are sitting off to the side because we don't believe that. We believe that when you die, you are sleeping until Jesus returns.
Pastor Doug: Yes.
Caller: And so my question is, I did respond to it - I told her what our beliefs were - but I didn't know. Was that the way I should have responded? Should I have not said anything or?
Pastor Doug: Well you know, that's a very...I'm sorry, go ahead.
Caller: Yeah I just didn't know if - she just looked like she got so much encouragement from it and that she wanted a response from us because she was so excited about it. But yeah I felt like for me to not say anything I was agreeing with her. So I felt compelled to say something, because we have told her what we believe in the past and I gave her some Scripture too.
Pastor Doug: Well that's a very delicate situation.
Caller: I just want to be tactful. I don't want to be offensive neither.
Pastor Doug: Right. You want to be careful especially when it comes to loved ones who have gone to sleep. People miss them, and they'll seize upon almost any threads of hope that they can talk to them, communicate, that they're alive and well.
And you know, what's really tragic is that sometimes parents loose a child, and then, you know, the minister will say, 'Well you know your child is going to speak to you, they're going to be near to you.'
Pastor Doug: And parents long to believe that.
Pastor Doug: ...and um, you need to be very gentle. But the fact Biblically is, there's only one Biblical example of someone dead talking to the living. And that person was conjured up by a witch.
Pastor Doug: And so that ought to tell us there's something very dangerous about that.
Caller: Correct - and I try to kind of indicate that too. That was my first response that well I'd be a little bit leery of that, and then I mentioned Ecclesiastes, 'For the living know that they will die, but the dead know not anything' and I didn't want to start quoting Scripture and this and that but....
Pastor Doug: Well you know sometimes - let me tell you one way I deal with that Deanna is - a doctor explained to me - there is even a medical explanation. When you have a person who is close to you through the course of your life, you've got parts of your brain that are filled with memories of them. And it's not uncommon for a widow, years after her husband dies, to call out their name forgetting they're gone.
Pastor Doug: ...And to have a sense of their presence, and it doesn't mean they're in the room talking to them. It means their mind is sometimes playing tricks on them because there are so many memory banks filled with that person.
Caller: I believe that too.
Pastor Doug: And so sometimes I'll use that explanation to say, 'You know, I can see why Aunt So-and-So would think that these sisters were talking to her, or departed loved ones, because there were so many dear memories.'
Pastor Doug: Maybe the Lord is allowing that for them to have peace and comfort, but technically, that wasn't them. And that's how you have to deal with it.
Caller: And I just wondered because this kind of ordeal has come up before. My father-in-law had a dream one time that, to me, was kind of was on the spiritualistic side and so I thought, 'Well here's another instance. Maybe I should say something.'
Pastor Doug: You know one thing that we wrote this lesson for - it's written gently, but it has a lot of Scripture - is for people who are confused on this subject. So you and others who are listening may find this lesson, even though you understand this subject, you may want to use it as a sharing resource.
Pastor Doug: Are The Dead Really Dead. Lot of good information there, ok?
Caller: Ok. All right.
Pastor Doug: Thanks a lot Deanna.
Caller: Thank you.
Co-Host: Thanks for the call Deana.
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