I was recently reminded of some lines from the 1999 movie, Sixth Sense. Basically, the movie was about a young boy who had an extraordinary ability to see dead people. Ultimately, if I recall correctly, the boy used this ability to help these troubled souls find peace so that they could transition from their limbo status between two worlds. Clearly, this was a fictitious idea with circumstances that do not reflect reality; it is just a movie.
However, there were a few particular lines from the movie that have profound implications when considered from a spiritual perspective. When explaining this ability, the boy related at least four profound experiences and observations: He said, “I see dead people,” “They don’t even know that they
are dead,” “they see what they want to see,” and “somebody ought to tell them.”
Admittedly, when I first saw this movie, I was not a Christian and I did not see those words as I do today. Now, if I had seen those quotes without any knowledge of the movie, I would immediately think of the circumstances facing sinners in this world. Follow my train of thought for a moment.
First, “I see dead people.” The question for you and me is, do we see dead people? Paul said, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Furthermore, he said that “the wages (just earnings) of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This world is full of spiritually dead people. You and I pass them on the streets and in the hallways. We interact with them on the job and in our community. Unfortunately, we rarely take notice of the fact that they are dead. We have a sense that we are not using.
Second, these individuals, for the most part, do not realize they are dead. On the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, Peter and his apostolic companions preached the Gospel to a group of people who were dead in their sins. When Peter showed them that their spiritual hearts had
flatlined, they immediately became concerned about their condition. Consequently, many of them repented and were baptized for the remission of their sins. It is a frightening thought that a person could be dead (spiritually) and not even realize it.
Third, for many, spiritual wellbeing is the last thing on their mind. They truly see what they want to see and nothing else, especially if it implicates them in wrong. Most people are content to pretend that
they are alive, even those who are rotting spiritually. Self-deception is a powerful force. Repeatedly, the Bible authors caution against “being deceived” (Matthew 24:4; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 6:9; 5:33; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Galatians 6:3; 6:7; 2 Tim 3:13). I wonder which is worse, for the spiritually dead to deceive themselves into thinking they are alive, or for the Christian to deceive himself into thinking all these people are not really dead.
Fourth, somebody ought to tell them. That is a profound thought. The uncertainty of being the one who reveals such life-altering information is frightening. However, unless someone tells people that they are spiritually dead, they will never truly appreciate the need to deal with it. Christianity is a taught religion (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 2:2). Dead people must be taught the way to eternal life (John 6:68). I cringe at the possibility of someone actually saying to me, “I was dead, you knew that I was dead, I could not see it for myself, and you never took my situation serious enough to tell me.”
Are we really exercising our sixth sense? Dead people are all around.