Most of us who profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior agree that we would not want to return twice to this world. We did not want to return to this world after we first encountered Heaven, but many like me believed they were returned for a purpose. At no period during my time with Jesus was reincarnation ever a possibility. I, like all of those who experienced a near death encounter have returned to their own body. Reincarnation can seem like an appealing notion to many people. After all, when loved ones pass, some hope they’ve been reborn in another body moments later and that they will find ways to reunite on earth throughout all time. The fact remains that in Heaven, there is no time as we know it, and even though we feel like a lifetime must pass before being united with our loved ones, to those in Heaven it will seem like just a moment before they see their loved ones again.
This concept of reincarnation can also seem convincing when people recall moments from past lives. Indeed, I’ve spoken with a number of people who claimed to have lived in a prior life.
Nevertheless, those of us who testify of Jesus as the Messiah our Savior believe that reincarnation runs contrary to our beliefs. After all, why would Jesus Christ die on the cross and resurrect for our sins, if he doomed us to repeat our failures here on earth, with no or little remembrance of past lives? Even when some religions seek to find Nirvana or Enlightenment, to break the cycle of past lives, none of these provide a clear path toward achieving total enlightenment.
A person who believes they have been reincarnated has no way of knowing how many lives they must live in order to attain perfection and they cannot understand why their god would doom them to repeat a series of difficult life cycles over and over again.
In this video, I’ll talk about what the Bible and my own experiences say about reincarnation.
Let’s Begin by Asking What Is Reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the rebirth of a soul into a new body, often with the person carrying few 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 that bad deeds can lead to lower positions, a condition commonly referred to as karma.
In these beliefs it is felt that to break the cycle of reincarnation, a person must reach a kind of Enlightenment or he/she must pass through enough lives in a graduated degree of success to make it into a state of Nirvana or perfect tranquility.
Religions who believe in the concept of reincarnation include Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Kabbalah Judaism.
So What Does the Bible Say about Reincarnation?
Even with Hinduism being an ancient religion, those who wrote the Bible lived during the origin of these religions and likely encountered people who held certain beliefs similar to reincarnation.
Let’s start by discussing my experience. During my journey with Jesus in Heaven I implicitly understood my earthly body to be the only body I would inhabit on this earth, and that only in Heaven would I receive my new body, but never would my spirit possess another human being. That same belief is confirmed in some verses that discuss the biblical viewpoint on the concept of reincarnation. Here are two Scriptures that refer to 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)..
Scripture makes it clear that we have one life on earth before we receive an eternal judgment and verdict, and for those of us who profess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, having confessed our sins to Him while asking Christ’s forgiveness, we will have already been judged and found not guilty in Heaven. God will welcome us into Heaven without blame because we will have been renewed with the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. This was my experience in Heaven, and if you are a believer in Christ, it will be yours as well. This life is all we get, which makes this life critically important. We don’t get several lives here on earth to determine whether to follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus made it abundantly clear to me that His sacrifice was a one and done process of salvation and perfection.
There are Some Significant Flaws with Reincarnation as a Belief
I’ve studied many cases of near death experiences, especially with individuals who have clinically died and returned to this world, like me. None of them earnestly wanted to return to this world. They found Heaven infinitely more preferred. Returning to this world in our own bodies often elicited a degree of remorse that we were no longer with God in paradise. Some may say that they would like a lot of do-overs, but the good news is that by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice by asking Him to forgive us once and for all time is much more preferable. When we invited God’s Holy Spirit to possess us, there’s no need for our spirit to indwell anyone – we will just desire a greater and greater indwelling of God’s Spirit.
Reincarnation at its core is a rather distasteful process whereby suffering is made into a constant state of being. Even those with loved ones whom they desire to see again, no one should desire that their loved one is forced to relieve their failures and struggles over and over again like some sadistic form of Groundhog Day.
Believe me, Heaven is far more wonderful than anything we could experience here on earth. When you consider how painful life can be, reliving the past can seem like a nightmare. Suffering is a constant possibility and inevitability in our fallen world. Imagine being reincarnated and having to endure that for countless lives — that’s not only reincarnation, it’s almost like hell.
Even more depressing, reincarnation in most cases does not allow anyone to clearly remember their past lives. The concept of reincarnation in itself is sadistic because it makes someone relive an often painful and guilt ridden life over and over again with no idea how to overcome the cycle of failures.
Reincarnation offers no solution for overcoming the problem of sin. There’s no reformation of the heart that occurred when I became born again, and when my born anew spirit entered Heaven freeing me to become the person I had always wanted to be. In Heaven, I was full perfected through Christ – not the same as Christ, but completely freed of my sinful nature. In Heaven I never even desired to do anything apart from God’s perfect will, and every thought was consumed with the goodness of Jesus Christ.
But for those who believe in reincarnation, even if they live hundreds of lives and do only good deeds, they still cannot overcome the innate ability to do wrong. Reincarnation doesn’t eradicate the problem of wrongdoing; it only perpetuates the cycle of wrongdoings. Moreover, it recycles abusive or dysfunctional behaviors as we carry our past debt of sin into new lives so that the habit of sinning oftentimes becomes more ingrained, more intensified, not lessoned – because the sin is repeated to the point of becoming the norm, not the exception.
Finally, there are a number of intellectual inconsistencies with reincarnation. For example, karma allows for no mercy, as with the Judeo-Christian belief, and it cannot ensure justice, as with a just and forgiving God as found in Jesus, and there is no moral basis described by reincarnation, such as the Ten Commandments.
Why Does This Matter?
Many Christians believe in reincarnation, 28% according to a recent poll. This worldview doesn’t exist just outside of churches.
Although reincarnation can have its appeal, it actually has some devastating and unpleasant implications. Just the other day, a young Christian man confided in me that even considering reincarnation caused him to fall into depression. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the hope of reuniting with loved ones in the eternal joy that is Heaven, the one I experienced only briefly after dying and meeting Jesus in Heaven, and I can assure you that this outcome will reveal a far more beautiful outcome than repeating life cycles on earth, with no clear sense of how to reach Enlightenment.
You have a lot to look forward to, and thank God that once you experience paradise in Heaven, you will never want to leave!