Should I Talk to My Dead Relative?

Josh Buice

Should I talk to my dead relative?  This is a common question that I hear as a pastor.  Death is often a very difficult finality in this life.  We’re faced with the reality that we will not see our loved one again on this side of eternity.  The moment of last words, good-byes, and that final embrace is often extremely painful.  As a pastor, I’ve stood beside many caskets as family and friends passed by the body of their loved one for the final time.  I’ve watched Christians endure their final moments with great assurance.  I have also watched unbelievers lunge into the casket and pull the body upwards in one last outburst of grief.  Death is a painful enemy to endure.

After the funeral ends and you return to your loved one’s grave site, should you talk to your dead relative?  Will your father or mother hear you when you speak to them?  Is it possible to consult with the dead who are already in eternity?  While it may be tempting to try to reconcile with a relative or pay respect to a close friend by communicating with him, it’s actually unbiblical and a practice that you should refrain from engaging in.  Consider the following reasons why you should not talk to the dead.

People are not Omnipresent

God is able to hear the prayers of the entire world’s population at once.  How is this possible?  God is not limited by geographic location.  In fact, God is not limited by anything.  God is in the presence of people in Zambia and Iowa at the same exact time.  That same attribute of God is not transferable to people.  When people die, they still retain certain limitations.  In other words, a person cannot be on earth and in heaven at the same time.  When a person dies and goes to heaven, they are unable to hear conversations that you may desire for them to hear as you stand over their grave or lie in your bed in the late hours of the night.

Demons are Deceitful

As a boy, I recall going to a friend’s home where he had a ouija board.  I had never had any exposure to something like this, so naturally I was skeptical and intrigued at the same time.  My friend made several attempts to get a response from a dead relative.  When I told my father about this, he schooled me on how this was not unbiblical.  I still recall him saying that it’s possible to get a response, but it wouldn’t be from his relative – it would be from a demon.

As we know, the devil is called the father of lies (John 8:44).  As the deceiver of this world, we can rest assured that when people seek to channel spirits and communicate with the dead, a response will often come, but it will not be from their friend or relative.  Demonic spirits are alive and have a strong presence in this world.  It would be wise to refrain from such practices.

God’s Word Forbids the Practice of Talking to the Dead

All throughout the Bible, we see clear warnings issued to God’s people about consulting mediums and talking to the dead.  Consider Leviticus 20:5-7, the Law of God opposed such practices and clearly warned the people to pursue holiness.  God’s people were to be set apart from the rest of the world.  Once again, in Deuteronomy 18:10-14, the people of God were commanded to abstain from sorcery and all such practices.

In the New Testament, we are encouraged to test the spirits because not every spirit is from God (1 John 4:1).  We must be alert and on guard when it comes to the spirit realm.  God desires for His people to pray and communicate with Him, but to  pray to a dead relative, friend, or as some suggest – a saint – is forbidden in Scripture.  No person has greater access to God than Jesus Christ and He alone is our mediator between us and God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5).

Although death may seem overwhelming and can create great loneliness, we are encouraged to seek comfort and peace in God alone.  We should direct our prayers and concerns to Him.  If you are tempted to talk to your dead relative or friend, just remember, if your loved one was a Christian, you will see this person again if you too are a child of God.  Death will not separate God’s children.  Death has been defeated.  Find your hope and your ultimate healing by communicating with God rather than your loved one who has passed away.

Isaiah 8:19-20 – And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

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Author Should I Talk to My Dead Relative?

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.