Q. I have a friend who believes in reincarnation. Can you tell me a little bit about it, and the biblical arguments against it?
A. Who hasn't heard of "past lives readers"? Those who, for a fee, will inform you of who you were in one of your past lives. It always seems to be someone glamorous, or famous, never an ordinary person. Reincarnation is a fantastic phenomena for those in the West, because Western New Age advocates embrace a sugarcoated reincarnation, not the reincarnation that Ghandi called, "a nightmare."
The Western concept of reincarnation that is enamoring so many individuals is a series of lives, each one bringing the individual closer to godhood. This ascension to becoming one with the "god force", while attractive, is not "true" reincarnation.
The Eastern concept of reincarnation is based on karma. The law of karma dictates that your actions in this life determine if you will progress...or digress...in your next life. The cycle of birth and rebirth is endless, and is not enviable. The reason so many beggars in India are not helped is because to do so would mess up the beggar's karma, and he would have to go through this misery again in his next life, because he didn't go through it in his present one! The true reincarnationist is constnatly trying to atone for his bad deeds (not sins-those in the East do not adhere to the idea of sin).
The best Biblical defense against reincarnation is found in Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgemnet." If we only die once, and are then judged, our future is eternally determined in just one lifetime. This one.
Share the news with your friend that it isn't going to be a contest between our bad deeds and our good deeds, but that our eternal destiny is based on whether or not we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and lived with Him as our Lord and Master.
In the end, it is not a question of progressive lives - but eternal life - or eternal death. The question is, where will we be living it? Reincarnationists will not be fellowshipping with God throughout eternity. They will be cursing their deception in the lake of fire - eternally.
Today is the day of salvation.(c) 1996, Valerie Duffy. All rights reserved.