Reincarnation is the belief that the soul of a man or woman who has died will later be born again into another physical body. The idea of reincarnation was practiced during the time of the Greek and Roman empires. Plato (c. 428–348 b.c.e.) alludes to reincarnation in many of his essays and spoke of the law of karma, which is the spiritual balance of cause and effect. He wrote, “Know that if you become worse, you will go to the worst souls, or if better, to the better.”
Today, most Eastern religions embrace the belief in reincarnation, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism. It is also a belief of Wicca, which is witchcraft, New Age, and Native Americans. Reincarnation is not, in any way, supported by the Bible. Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
The scriptures offer only two options for the soul’s existence after this life: eternity in heaven with the Lord or eternal punishment apart from the Lord.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
Scripture counters the Karma/Reincarnation philosophy loudly. In Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them.”
Psalm 139:13 -16, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
One of the most amazing things that happened by Christ’s death and resurrection was that not only did God forgive all the sins forever for those who accepted Jesus as their Savior, but he chose to forget them. Yes, the creator of the Universe, the sovereign and all-knowing God, chose to forget, forever, our sins as if they never happened. All this proves that Karma could never be a part of the Christian faith.
“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
On a human level, the average person struggles to forget evil acts that caused both physical or emotional pain caused by another person. We will most likely remember all of it for as long as we live, but, unlike us, God chooses to forget what He forgives. We have to learn to do the same. Yes, there are consequences to our sins, sometimes they are very severe. We deserve His judgment. We are helpless because we can’t erase the extreme penalty of our sins nor wipe away the shame and guilt that resides in our hearts. However, God can and He does through His Son! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,” (Romans 8:1-3).
Karma and reincarnation are not biblical; they undermine everything that Christ accomplished while He lived on earth. Not only are we forgiven through Christ, with no strings attached, but when God chooses, in the future for all believers, He will create a new heaven and a new earth where His people will dwell with Him forever. Our future with Jesus is secure, not based on our performance or fear of reincarnation, but solely on the grace of God!
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” (Revelation 21:1-5).