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  • Writer's picturePastor Paul

Can we talk to loved ones who are departed?

Q: When we lose someone close to us, a lot of us want to be able to talk to them and think that they can hear us. Is this biblical?

That’s an excellent question. It’s hard to lose someone close to you, because it leaves a huge empty place in your heart. The closer you were to the person who departed, the more intensely you feel the loss.

Therefore it’s quite natural to want that special connection to live on—even when the person has died. There are people who claim to be able to help you re-establish communication with those who are departed. Those people are called mediums and they were present in biblical times just like today. But God strictly forbade His people from going to them and using their services. There are several passages that speak of this. (Leviticus 19:31; 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-11; Isaiah 8:19)

There is nothing in the Bible that suggests that those who have died are in any way able to hear those who are still alive on earth—nor are they able to intervene in our daily affairs. There are certainly people who believe they can communicate with the dead, but their belief is not based on any biblical revelation.

Sometimes people will point to a story recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 28 as a proof that speaking to the dead is acceptable. Even though God had forbidden the Israelites from consulting a medium, King Saul foolishly attempted to do so in order to contact the prophet Samuel about his desperate situation. The Lord graciously allowed Samuel, even though he was dead, to deliver one final prophecy to Samuel—a prophecy of Saul’s own impending death. This story does not teach that the Bible is okay with speaking to and consulting the dead as some naively believe. (The verses I listed earlier will make this abundantly clear.)

God understands all about the emptiness in your heart created by your departed loved one. I would encourage you to talk to Him about it. God bless you.

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