This season is very beautiful as the fields are ready for harvest. Things are moving along here. We are nearing the end of the Fall semester for the 2008-09 school year. Our finals week will be DEC. 29-31. We are very thankful for God's help and for all your prayers.
I have been teaching through a series about death, resurrection, judgement, and heaven in my Sunday school class. I started the study after a local teenager fell walking up the stairs to her house at night, hit her head, and died soon after. It was very tragic. Many of our students knew her and she even studied English in our after-school program. They did not think she was a believer though.
Many people around here believe the souls of the departed wander around and are potentially dangerous. When a death happens in a certain area, the local monks will come perform some type of ritual and ask the evil spirit/spirits that caused the death to stay away as well as ask the soul/souls of the departed to not cause any mischief. Well, in this case, the deceased girl's mother went to see a medium who supposedly brought the girl's soul back and she had a conversation with her daughter. Many people in the area believe in these types of things and that the souls of the departed are all around everywhere. So it seemed to be a great time to study about death etc.
The beginning part of our discussion was that the Bible teaches people are made of two parts - body & soul - physical & spiritual. When we die our body will soon return to dust and our soul will return to God.
Ecc 12:7 then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
When we die our souls immediately return to God, to paradise (Heaven) with Christ for the believer or to Hades (Hell) without Christ for the non-believer.
Luke 16:22 And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich one also died and was buried. 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.
There is no reason to fear ghosts. All souls go back to God. Evil spirits, though, are in fact very real and we should stay away from any activity that would attempt to communicate with them.
I encouraged them again and again that we would all do well to fear God.
Psalm 27:1 ...The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Talk to you all again soon,