Bible Study

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

I have been troubled of late by hearing so many Christians posting on social media stories of how they are comforted by the spirits of deceased loved ones and also by statements and sweet comforting poetry that their deceased loved ones are now angels in heaven.

While I respect their sorrow and understand the heavy burden of grief, Christians should know that this is a false belief.

How can you know what is a false belief? By knowing the TRUTH found only in the Holy Word of God. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my Word, then ye are my disciples indeed. Then ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32.

My friends, if you are being visited by the spirit of a deceased loved one, you are entertaining a familiar spirit. Familiar spirits are demonic and do their work under the rule of Satan himself.

Your loved one will not come to you, regardless of whether or not you feel a sense of comfort from the encounter. In the Gospel of Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells us the story of a beggar named Lazarus and a rich man.

19.  “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20.  And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at this gate, full of sores.

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

22.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

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

24.  And 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.

25.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26.  And beside all this, between you and us there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot neither can they pass to us, that would come hence. 

27.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, thou thou wouldest send him to my father’s house;

28.  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30.  And he said, Nay father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

The dead know nothing about those they leave behind or about anything that is happening on this earth. We are told in the Book of Ecclesiastes 9:5, “For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything, neither have they anymore a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.”

At the death of a Christian, the spirit goes to heaven and there they wait until the rapture. We know this because the Bible clearly tells us this is so. They will never return to this earth to visit you. Just as the rich man in the story was told when he begged Lazarus be allowed to go to his living brothers and persuade them to turn from their sinful lives, “…If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

In Luke 23:39-43, we are told that as Jesus hung on the cross, one of criminals who was crucified beside him said to him: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him saying, “Truly I tell you, today you shall be with me in paradise.” Now that criminal’s body hung on the cross until his death, his legs were broken by the Roman soldiers and he was eventually taken down and buried and over the course of time his body decayed and returned to the ground according to the scripture in Genesis 3:19 “For you were made from dust and to dust you shall return.” But Jesus promised him that “TODAY you shall be with me with paradise.” His body went back to the ground, but his spirit went to heaven.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

My friend, our deceased loved ones do not come to comfort us and neither do they go to heaven and become angels. Human beings and angels are completely different created beings.

Man is a physical being made in the image of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

Angels are spirits who at times take on a physical manifestation to accomplish the work God sends them to do. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14

We are even told that Christians will stand in judgment of the angels, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, I pray that you find the peace found only in Christ Jesus. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

If your loved one was a Christian, you can rest assured that he or she is basking in peace in the presence of the Shekinah glory of God Almighty. On the great day of the rapture of the saints, the body will be resurrected into a new eternal dwelling for the spirit. As we are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18:

  • 14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
  • 15. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
  • 16. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
  • 17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
  • 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-55 gives us another breathtaking scenario of the great day of the rapture of the saints, when all the dead and living believers in Christ Jesus leave this world behind us and the final chapter of earth’s story is revealed.

  • 51. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
  • 52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  • 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
  • 54. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
  • 55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

And in 1 John 3:2 we read some of the most beautiful words in the entire Bible.

Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

“We shall see Him as He is.” Oh, what a glorious day that will be! We shall see Him, our Yeshua Ha-Meshiach, Jesus the Messiah in all His majesty, splendor and glory. Whatever dimensionality He is, that is what we will be! It simply takes my breath away when I think of that wonderful day that lies ahead.

If you do not know Christ today or if you are unsure of your salvation, you can most assuredly have that glorious day to look forward to and you can meet your saved loved one again someday by faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood for the redemption of your sin. You can click on this link to find the Plan of Salvation, repent of your sins and find the same eternal victory as your Christian loved one.

May God bless you and keep you. If I don’t meet you here, I hope to meet you over there!


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