What is it about a scary story that so intrigues us? Ever notice how quickly the tales spin around a campfire, especially when children are present. My memories of summer camp are when it came time for “lights out” that was when everyone would huddle around and someone would grab a flashlight. Holding it under their chin, they begin telling their scariest story and then each in turn would tell a tale trying to out do the last. First, we’d giggle and then everyone would get really quite, listening for any strange noises, there were always strange noises. I didn’t sleep much at camp.
Why we are so preoccupied with death and the afterlife? Something in our very core tells us there is something more. Every culture on earth has myths and legends about ghosts, spirits and ideas of the afterlife. The Egyptians built the great tombs and filled them with supplies for the afterlife. Many other cultures would bury prized possessions with their loved ones, even some Christian traditions continue to this day, placing a token of some sort with the deceased, hoping it will gain them access into the heavenly realm. The ancient Celts had a tradition called Samhain, which was not only a celebration of the harvest, but also a belief that the division between the spirit world and the physical world became thinner. During this time they believed the spirits of their ancestors would come and visit with them. This festival is still practiced in some regions.
The Bible reveals the spiritual dimension and the truth about it. Whenever the Lord sent one of his angels to the people, they were very frightened, some fainted and could not speak (Daniel 8:17-18, Luke 1:19-20). The disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost, when he came walking on the water to them (Matthew 14:25-27). Peter, James and John were privileged to witness the transfiguration of Jesus in his glory as the Son of God (Mark 9: 2-9). When Jesus rose from the dead, Mary grabbed him to make sure he was real (John 20:14-17). The Roman guards fainted as dead men when the angels of God appeared at the tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:1-4).
The Bible is God’s revealed word to us and it is trustworthy and true. He has told us these things not to scare us, but to make us aware of the evil that is all around us. We are in the midst of a spiritual battle, that we can’t see but we know is there. Jesus told us of the enemy, who is the father of all lies and whose game plan is to kill, steal and destroy all of humanity. (John 8:44, 10:10). Whenever we are lulled into a false sense of this spiritual warfare or fall victim to its ways, we have One who has come to give us victory. Jesus Christ defeated Satan and his legions at the cross. The battle is won! Why doesn’t it seem to be that way?
Almighty God is continuing his plan of redemption. Our job as the “redeemed” or the“bride of Christ” is to tell those who continue in darkness, that salvation has come. No longer do we have to feel lost, confused, and defeated by the tricks and strategies of the Devil. Satan does not want you to know that the battle has been won and he will use every trick to keep you away from the truth about Jesus Christ and the power of his blood.
Jesus said, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36 NLT).
Are you afraid of death? Does the thought of the unknown frighten you? Then come to Jesus, let him relieve your fears of death and the unknown. When you accept him as your Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit will come to live within you and will lead you into all truth. The Apostle John told us, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have won your fight with these false prophets, because the spirit that lives in you is greater than the spirit that lives in the world” (1 John 4:4 NLT)
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