Preaching About The Spirit World

Preaching About The Spirit World

In this post we are going to think about preaching about the spirit world to your listeners. We considered last time that there are two realities.   The story I shared in that post could be shared as an introduction to the subject.


A passage in the Old Testament is a good place to start a series of messages about the reality of the Spirit World.  Here is a great story found in 2 Kings 6:8-23:


Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.”10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

Spiritual Battle and Open Eyes

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Major Points For Preaching About the Spirit World

There are several major points to be made in preaching this passage:

The Reality of the Battle

  • In the temporal world there is war.  You could summarize the story with an emphasis on what God knows –even the intimate things that the king of Aram says in his bedroom.  Then transition to the reality that we all face war at times.   The response in such situations is: “What are we going to do?”  The servant was saying what we say at such times.  You can even include a story about someone you know who asked this–a personal story would have power.
  • The prophet’s first words are instructive: “Don’t be afraid!”  What?  You should be afraid, shouldn’t you?  David Powlison put it this way:   “Scripture treats spiritual warfare as a normal, everyday part of the Christian life, and so we should as well. It’s not about spooky special effects. It’s about how we think, feel, live, desire, and act in the presence of our enemies.”.   If Jesus is Lord, our reaction needs to go beyond fear.

The Prayer

  • The prophet makes an amazing statement: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  If I were that servant, I would ask, “Where are they?  Did they sneak in during the night?”
  • So the prophet prays: “Open his eyes.”  In other words, take away the veil between the physical and spiritual realms for a moment so that he can see.  This is the prayer that we need to pray.  Asking God to let us know what’s going on beyond what’s going on in the physical world.
  • This kind of vision promotes faith, which drives out fear.  A cute story here is the boy is being abused at the bus stop by the neighborhood bully.  His brother says, “Tomorrow I’m going to be there hiding in the bushes.  If he tries anything, I’ll stop it.”  What a change in attitude for that little boy!

The Conclusion

Encourage people to pray for open eyes to what is going on in their lives and how it relates to the greater reality of what God is doing on our behalf.