Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Hello and welcome all - today I’d like to discuss the belief in reincarnation. You’ve no doubt heard about it at the very least. Reincarnation is the belief that, upon death, your soul moves on to another body to live another life if you have not done good enough in the one you just lived, and after so many chances you move higher and higher and eventually get to heaven, or to the level of “ascended master” as described in some religions as well. Some religions even take this as far as believing you can be reborn into an animal in the next life. The entire Bible refutes reincarnation many times, yet, as much as 25% of Christians believe in reincarnation to some degree today. It is my belief that you get one shot at life, then judgement. This is my attempt to explain to you the falseness of the belief in reincarnation, with, as always, the Word as proof.
To begin, let us examine a couple religions that practice the belief in reincarnation, and what they have to say about it, this way we can get a deeper idea of just how serious it is in some religions. Paganism and Buddhism are just a couple of religions that believe in and teach reincarnation. Please note that there is no particular reason I chose these two religions to discuss today, and also note that this in no way means 100% of Pagans and Hindus believe in reincarnation, but I did choose them for their similarities and origins in the belief.
Pagans generally view the concept of salvation as meaningless, and a foundation of their religion is practicing polytheism, the belief in more than one God. Since they believe no single God exists, rather multiple Gods (such as Mother Nature, the Sun, the Moon, the Rain, are all Gods we must worship) that can judge them, they throw salvation away and render the need for a Savior in Christ as meaningless. The Bible contains no reference to this being correct, yet, you see it done in various religions. It is a ploy to get you to commit idolatry, and worship false gods or inanimate objects. What does the Word say about this?
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Deuteronomy 32:39 'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
Psalm 83:18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.
I strongly recommend you read all of Timothy and Deuteronomy, they contain a lot of great information on the subject of the Laws of God, and most Bibles now include a guide to read ‘A Psalm a Day’, or at least it is very easy to find online (it is a daunting task to read the entirety of Psalms in one sitting, and likely better to break it down into multiple readings so that you can really learn them).
Crazy as the prior belief sounds, I wish I was exaggerating, but check me on this and you’ll find these beliefs practiced in the core of Paganism. This leads to another cornerstone of their beliefs - the belief in Karma. Some believe it to be as simple as the idea of sowing and reaping; everything good and bad you do in life will either get you something good or come back on you negatively. Older, Eastern Pagan concepts take it further and say that karma is a system in which we live out our future reincarnated lives as a ransom for crimes we committed in our past life or lives, and that we must suffer for said crimes, before finally ascending to a higher realm and leaving earthly life. This is generally the path that lead most Pagans to the belief in reincarnation.
Hindus have similar beliefs. Hinduism teaches that we do, indeed, have one God who watches over all things, which includes endless cycles of creation, preservation, and separation. They firmly believe the soul is eternal, and returns multiple times to earth in a new body to live out a new life. They refer to this as ‘samsara’, a cycle of births and deaths linked by reincarnation. They then believe this is linked to karma, very similarly to Pagans, in which good actions create good karma, and bad actions created bad karma, which knocks you up and down a scale, until you finally have enough good karma to reach “moksha”, or salvation, and access to the “highest realms”.
So, now you have a general idea of how rooted the belief in reincarnation is around certain religions, and this was just two examples, and short recounts at that.
Lets dispel the notion of Karma. To say that someone has unlimited lives and chances to do good or evil is a demonic doctrine that seeks to trap you and pull you away from the Word of God. There IS an idea of sowing and reaping in Scripture that states if we sow negatively to our flesh, we reap spiritual consequences such as destruction and broken relationships, but does not necessarily say evil is returned back to us if we put it out into the world. Take a look at a couple of Scriptures on reaping and sowing:
2 Corinthians 9:6; "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
Proverbs 11:18; "A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
This is where salvation comes in to play. Salvation is our request to God for washing away our sins, and forgiveness and repentance so that we might not sin again. This is a confession of our hopelessness before God and an acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us. The goal of sincere repentance is to turn away from sin, not to it. When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we understand that we are sinners and incapable of saving ourselves. We acknowledge that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and that He is our Lord and Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:12.
Life will have challenges, and depending on our moral decisions it could definitely be better or worse, but to say that there is a mysterious force in the universe making sure we receive our due of evil done back on us is a stretch. Many people live a life full of greed, but never experience poverty. People will steal and never be stolen from. Someone will physically harm someone else, but never experience that same physical pain back. A spouse will cheat in their marriage without ever experiencing the other doing it back to them. I could go on and on, but I think you see the point. There really is no, “What goes around, comes around.” law in the universe, though do not mistake that our actions don’t have consequences! If you steal, and get caught and sent to jail, that is a result from you performing the act of stealing, knowing full and well that you could get caught by authorities and face consequences. If you choose to do that and sow negatively, then negatively will you reap.
Jesus gave His life as atonement for our sins and moral failures, so that if we believe in Him we can have ever lasting life and be saved.
Romans 8:1 8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Mark 10:45 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
However, do not confuse this for not having to face judgement one day and face consequences for our sins, especially if we are not saved and don’t accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We must accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and after death face judgement. We are saved from the wrath of God: Romans 5:9 "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.", but will still face judgement: Revelation 21:8 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
You have to be careful here as well. Another common demonic doctrine would have you believe that as long as you accept Jesus, you can steal, kill, slander, and idolize all you want.
Revelation 20:11-15: Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
I draw this second point so that there is no confusion in salvation. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and apply His Word to our life and the way we live and conduct ourselves. Romans 2: 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”
Remember, faith without works, is dead, and likewise, works without faith, is dead as well. Another way to look at it, I can't just sit around doing nothing with my life, continously sinning, stealing, cheating, being a liar, and never trying to do good or do better, and simply say "I believe in Jesus." and be saved, and likewise, I can't just go around being nice and a generally good person, but not accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and expect to be saved in the end for my good works. You have to have faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and do the work of being a good Christian and spread His Word and apply it to your life.
James 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Now, lets circle back to the main topic - reincarnation. The Bible clearly refutes the idea of reincarnation. I’ll summarize some points:
--You get one shot at this. Hebrews 9:27 And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment.
--Reincarnation would render the death of Christ in vain, pointless, because if you believe we get unlimited chances then you are saying that nearly every Word God spoke is a lie, and that the entirety of Jesus Christ as our Savior is a lie. John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
--It renders our bodies almost meaningless, and takes away from the work God did to create us. 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
--The premise of it makes no sense either - if I can’t remember my past life or past mistakes, how can I learn from them in this life and future ones?
All in all, I think it is very clear that reincarnation is false, and a doctrine of demons to trap you into sin, for if you go around believing that you have unlimited chances to do good, chances are you won’t and will sin greatly. Demonic doctrines are all around us. We must remember to test everything to the Word. Pray often. Read your Bible daily. And keep your hearts on Jesus, our Lord and Savior.