What Does the Bible say About Reincarnation?

What is reincarnation and is it biblical? Reincarnation refers to the belief that the soul, after death, returns to earth in a different body or different form.

According to Definitions.net, Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions.

For example, many religions believe that upon death, a human being can later reincarnate as an animal or experience a rebirth in a new human body so as to experience a new life back on earth.
To a reincarnationist, life is an unending cycle of continuous death and continuous rebirth in a different form or different body and the quality of one’s new life is dependent on how he/she lived in the previous life.

Reincarnation is a primary doctrine of many religions and belief systems from Hinduism, Buddhism to the New Age movement and various other pagan religions.

However, what does the Bible say about reincarnation? Should Christians believe in reincarnation?

Hebrews 9:27 says: And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment

The Bible does not suggest that reincarnation is possible. Instead the Bible consistently teaches that as humans we will experience biological death once, and then we face God’s judgment as to whether one enters eternal punishment or eternal life upon death.

In Matthew 25:46 Jesus says: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Therefore the Bible does not suggest that humans have a second chance at life nor a third or more chances at life.

Reincarnation does not acknowledge the Gospel nor the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Reincarnation dismisses the fact that the only rebirth that God accepts is when a person becomes born again by believing and accepting Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Saviour.

In John 3:3-6 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

The belief system of reincarnation does not generally acknowledge the God of the Bible, nor man’s need of a Saviour or Messiah who will save humanity from sin.

Reincarnation is also a false teaching that one’s spiritual redemption or salvation is found through personal good works rather than through the grace and mercy of God.
Since reincarnation teaches that the quality of life you live in the present will affect your next life cycle in your new body, the concept of reincarnation is a works-based form of living.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

 

Conclusion

The parable of The Rich Man & Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 further reveals that the concept of reincarnation does not exist.
Instead the opportunity we have whilst we live is to know God and have a personal relationship with Him. We should not miss this opportunity whilst we live today, because when we die – we will face judgment.
Jesus Christ presents Himself as the only way to eternal life and to an eternal relationship with God after our biological death (John 14:6).
However when we reject God and reject the Gospel and the finished work of Jesus Christ by accepting such false teachings as reincarnation, then such a decision will lead to an unfortunate judgment of eternal punishment.

 

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