By Hope Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
Reincarnation can seem like an appealing notion to many people. After all, when loved ones pass, people may hope they’ve been reborn in another body moments later and that they will find ways to reunite on earth throughout all time.
This concept can also seem all the more convincing when people recall moments from “past lives.”
Nevertheless, we, as Christians, believe that reincarnation runs contrary to our beliefs. After all, why in the world would Jesus Christ die on the cross and resurrect for our sins, if he doomed us to repeat lives here on earth, with no or little inkling of past lives? Even when some religions seek to find Nirvana or Enlightenment, to break the cycle of past lives, none provide a clear path on how to achieve this.
A person has no way of knowing how many lives they have to go or why any deity would doom them to repeat life cycles over and over again.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the Bible has to say about reincarnation. We’ll also discuss the problems with the concept of reincarnation, and ultimately, why this matters.
What Is Reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the rebirth of a soul into a new body, often with the person carrying little or no memories of past lives. Certain religions believe that good deeds in a past life can lead you to have a better standing or social position in the next life (or bad deeds can lead to lower positions).
Often to break the cycle of reincarnation, a person must reach some sort of Enlightenment or must pass through enough lives at a high enough position to make it into a Nirvana or eternal bliss.
Religions who believe in the concept of reincarnation include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Kabbalah Judaism.
What Does the Bible Say about Reincarnation?
Even with Hinduism being the oldest amongst the religions, those who wrote the Bible lived during the origin of these religions and likely encountered people who held certain beliefs similar to the ones listed above.
Let’s dive into some verses that discuss the biblical thoughts on the concept of reincarnation.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return (Psalm 78:39).
For more verses on the Bible and its stance on reincarnation, check out this article here.
Scripture makes it clear that we have one life on earth before we receive an eternal judgment and verdict, based on whether we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We don’t get several lives here on earth to make the right decision; we have only the one.
Major Problems with Reincarnation
“That seems harsh,” a person may say. “Wouldn’t you want a bunch of do-overs to finally choose Christ as your Savior?”
To that person, I would want to show a number of reasons why reincarnation is actually a distasteful concept, even to those grieving loved ones whom they wish to see again, myself included.
First, heaven is a far more beautiful destination than another life here on earth.
Think about how painful life is. How much loss hurts and how much sickness and disease and age can as well. Now imagine enduring that for countless lives — that’s reincarnation.
Worse than that, reincarnation does not allow one to clearly remember past lives, in most cases. (Check out this article on a Christian explanation for people remembering “past lives”). The concept of reincarnation in itself is cruel because it makes someone relive an often painful and finite life over and over again with no clear sense of how to overcome the cycle.
Secondly, reincarnation doesn’t solve the problem of sin.
Sin has lifetime staining effects. That means, even if we live thousands of lives and do only good deeds, we still cannot overcome the debt toll of sin. Reincarnation doesn’t eradicate the problem. In fact, it compounds as we carry our past debt of sin into new lives and continue to increase it.
Finally, there are a number of intellectual inconsistencies with reincarnation, as mentioned in this article. For instance, karma allows for no mercy, cannot ensure justice, and no moral basis.
Why Does This Matter?
Many Christians believe in reincarnation, 25% back in 2015. This worldview doesn’t exist just outside of churches.
Although reincarnation can have its appeal, it actually has some sinister and less-than-pleasant implications. The Christian solution, reuniting with loved ones in the eternal joy that is heaven, has a far more beautiful outcome than repeating life cycles on earth, with no clear sense of how to reach Enlightenment.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/wildpixel
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021) Find out more about her at her website.