The doctrine of reincarnation has been spread widely across America today. Many Christians will buy into this other gospel being ignorant of its implications. For this reason, we need to be aware of exactly what lies at the base of this doctrine. That's the reason for this study.

Looking at reincarnation, several doctrines stand out:

1. It offers salvation through time (eventually get it right).
2. Salvation is by works.
3. Ends the cycle apart from Christ.
4. We die many times.
5. We gain knowledge of previous lives through hypnosis.
6. Teaches to not help the afflicted, since all suffering is a payback for past evil done.

Why would anyone believe in reincarnation apart from spiritistic revelations, hypnotism or other pagan religions?

Let's look at each doctrine itemized, brought out by reincarnation, from a biblical view point:

1. It offers salvation through time:

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   

In referring to Jesus, Luke said:

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.   
Acts 4:12

Jesus alone is the Way, not chance after chance through reincarnation.
Jesus alone is the Life, not persistence of life force until it finally improves.
Jesus is the only way to be saved. Reincarnation offers salvation through time. It removes the need and urgency of preaching the gospel and the call to do good to the afflicted.

2. Salvation by works:

The Bible teaches all our righteousness is as filthy rags, and we all deserve death (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-20, 23; 6:23). Works, therefore, could only bring a worse reincarnation each return, since no matter what, our best still deserves the fires of Hell. Reincarnation teaches that if we do good, the next time we return, we'll come back to a nicer life. This is opposite what the Bible teaches our independent living from God deserves. We only find the answer of hope in Christ:

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
     2 Corinthians 5:21

Our righteousness doesn't come by works, but by grace. Being the righteousness of God, there's no improvement from there. Either Christ is sufficient to answer to all requirements of justice, or He isn't. The Bible says He is. Reincarnation is irrelevant to the truth, and the sufficiency of Christ also puts the bunk on purgatory.

The reason a person would desire reincarnation, would be due to refusal to accept man's ways as truly evil and deserve, not a second chance, but eternity in Hell. They would have to say, "Oh, he was so bad he came back as a pauper or so good he came back as a prince," but not accept the reality that we've earned the fires of Hell.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.   
Luke 13:2, 3

Jesus shows evil befalling us isn't necessarily a pay back. For those who don't repent, there'll come a time when life will be snuffed out. Jesus said this was to 'perish'. Why? We live our life and die to no good end, nothing better to look forward to. Thus, 'we perish'. Hell awaits the judgment. For the repentant though, Jesus didn't tie them in with the "shall all likewise perish". He excludes them in His sentence. How? Won't all die, both the righteous and the unrighteous? The end is the difference. A Christian doesn't 'perish' at death. He goes to a better place. A moving upward, not a sad fate of ceasing in tragedy. Jesus clearly showed the death of all, apart from repentance, is 'to perish', not be recycled. Recycling, as in reincarnation, isn't perishing.

3. Ends the cycle apart from Christ:

As we already saw from Acts 4:12, "for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved". Jesus is the only way to be righteous before God. Reincarnation supposedly saves Buddhists or perfects Hindus or anyone who seeks to live a good life. Salvation, however, is through no other method than the repentant sinner trusting on someone else - namely and only - Jesus!

4. We die many times:

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:       
Hebrews 9:27

To define 'die' we must look at the definition based upon how the user defines the term. The Bible lists two deaths. The first death and the second death. The second death is being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15). All who accept Christ, never partake of the second death. Christians only die once. All Christians, except the 'to be raptured' ones, die once (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). If the physical death of the body wasn't 'death', then to physically die isn't to die.

Jesus said of Lazarus, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;" v.11 (Luke 11:11-14). The disciples didn't understand Jesus was referring to death, so Jesus clarified by saying, "Lazarus is dead" v.14. Jesus defined the other of the two deaths as our physical bodies ceasing to have life.

Reincarnation must deny this principal of "once to die". The Bible also gives a clear definition of death in the expression, "he died, giving up the ghost" (Genesis 35:8, 29; Acts 5:10 ). To die is the act of the body - "giving up the ghost".

5. We gain knowledge of previous lives through hypnosis:

Stories of past lives remembered with supernatural accuracy is gained, most often, through hypnosis or trancelike states. The Bible teaches that God didn't create us to be enslaved. He desires us to maintain control of ourselves and our freedom. The Bible encourages us to, "watch and pray always" (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Satan, however, enslaves and controls. Hypnotists and mediums operate through the sacrifice of the natural guard. It's impossible to pray or watch and guard in an hypnotic or trancelike state. These violate the Spirit of Christ.

6. Teaches to not help the afflicted, since all suffering is a payback for past evil done:

The Bible teaches us to help the afflicted (1 Timothy 5:10). Consider of those made perfect in Christ, some still suffer. Paul the apostle suffered and he was a godly man.

Reincarnation teaches sufferings a payback for evil lived in past lives. In Christ we're made pure, payback would be a contradiction and denial of Christ's sufficient atonement. The scriptures teach we're to help the suffering, relieve the afflicted. According to reincarnation, if we help those suffering, we're stopping paybacks for past evil. Helping the afflicted would interfere with true justice. Such kindness would be evil. India embraces reincarnation and the results are obvious. The rich refuse to help the suffering poor. The suffering are left alone. No works of charity, since such would only make matters worse for the sufferer the next life around. They would have the sins of several lives compounded, if they were helped. Your charity would keep them from paying the debt now.

Thoroughly flee this abominable false gospel. Recognize it for what it is! Stand firm in the faith proclaiming true salvation. May the grace of God be with you!

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Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

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