As a child, I didn’t believe in spirits. As an adult, I do. I’ve just seen too many things to doubt that there are unseen beings present among us on this planet. The bad news: they aren’t our friends. Jesus encountered these beings during his earthly ministry. The people of his culture called them “unclean spirits” meaning they were the spiritual part of deceased individuals who had somehow defiled themselves. Having been forced to leave their bodies, they still crave human experience and so harass the living.
What I’ve just written might seem like superstition to many, but could it be that we only relegate such ideas to that idealogical scrap heap because we’re products of a culture that assumes a naturalistic explanation to everything? While the scientific method has helped us explain much about the universe we inhabit it doesn’t explain everything. Those who insist that it can and that it must end up actually explaining away very real experiences and observations made by a great many people. I remember being in the home of couple that had spent much time in the kingdom of darkness. It was just the three of us in the apartment. As we talked a light came on in the bedroom directly adjacent to the living room where we sat. A few minutes later, the door to the room at the end of the hall slammed. I’ve had other experiences and I know others who have more dramatic experiences than these, but I share this instance as a challenge to those who insist that such things cannot happen.
I suspect that even many people who claim to disbelieve in a spiritual realm have had similar experiences or have close associations with those who have. I further suspect that skepticism in many owes more to an unwillingness to accept such propositions than to the result of a full rational assessment. Those who do not want to acknowledge the existence of a God to whom they owe their allegiance certainly don’t want to consider the existence of more malevolent beings over whom they have no power. Ironically, the admission of a spiritual reality logically can lead a person to submit to God. When we acknowledge the good news that Christ has overcome, we can face without fear the bad news that such a realm exists.
The beloved apostle, John said it this way:
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. – 1 John 5:18-20