Scriptures

Reincarnation And Karma

Introduction

Reincarnation is a popular belief in Buddhism and Hinduism and although it’s roots can be traced back to India, this belief can be found in many countries throughout the world, especially India.

Reincarnation is basically the belief that our soul never dies but goes through a succession of lives, it’s a never-ending cycle. Although, it was originally thought that our soul can reincarnate into animal form or plant form, these days it’s believed that the soul just goes from one human body into another.

Reincarnation

The doctrine of reincarnation and being reincarnated isn’t taught anywhere in the Scriptures, in fact the Scriptures teach the opposite.

‘Just as people are destined to DIE ONCE, and after that to face judgment.’ Hebrews 9:27

The Hebrew writer clearly tells us that life isn’t an unending cycle, but ‘people are destined to die once.’ Notice also that people don’t go into another human body when they die but go ‘to face judgment’.

It’s here we see the biggest difference between Christianity and those who belief in reincarnation. With reincarnation there is no beginning, and there is no end, life is one big continuous cycle.

Christianity teaches that God created us from the dust of the earth, Genesis 1:26-27 / Genesis 2:7, and we all shall return to dust when we die, Genesis 3:19 / Ecclesiastes 3:20, and then we will be judged by God, Romans 14:12.

Déjà Vu

Déjà Vu is the feeling of having already experienced the present situation. Have you ever visited a place you’ve never been before and yet something inside you seems to recognise certain things?

A friend of mine spent many years in the army, one time he was on tour in Iraq, a country, which he’d never been to before but he says that he recognised the terrain, as a result of this experience, he now believes in reincarnation because he couldn’t explain why he knew his way around without ever visiting there before.

Science

One possible explanation for his experience is that he would have been informed about the terrain before going to Iraq and so, subconsciously he would be aware of the terrain.

However, another strong possibility for his experience is found in science. Scientists tell us that there’s a strong and consistent link between déjà vu and the seizures that occur in people with medial temporal lobe epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that affects the brain’s hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a key role in managing short and long-term memories.

This phenomenon has led some experts to propose that déjà vu, like an epileptic seizure, may be the result of a neural misfiring, during which neurons in the brain transmit signals at random and cause healthy people to experience a false sense of remembered familiarity.

Karma

The Merriam Webster dictionary says Karma is

‘the force created by a person’s actions that is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine what that person’s next life will be like’ or ‘the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person’.

The belief of karma is very closely linked to reincarnation, this too is a very popular belief throughout the world. Karma is basically the law of cause and effect, or reaping and sowing, it’s the belief that the good or bad deeds we do in our ‘past life’ affects our present life. Likewise, the good or bad deeds we do in this life will affect how we live in our ‘future lives’.

In other words, if you do good deeds in this life, then good things will happen to you in the next and if you do bad things in this life, you will reap bad things in the next. If good things happen to you in this life, this is the result of you doing good things in your ‘past life’ and vice versa.

Reaping What You Sow

‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.’ Galatians 6:7-8

At first glance when we think about karma and the idea of reaping what we sow, it’s very easy to conclude that it’s a very Biblical concept, especially when we read what Paul wrote to the Galatian church.

The Bible teaches that we reap what we sow in this life, Hosea 8:7 / Matthew 7:15 / Romans 2:6 / 2 Corinthians 9:6, but it would be a serious mistake to believe that we can escape the consequences of our actions, Romans 2:6.

Paul is basically teaching, what he’s been teaching throughout the book of Galatians, he’s contrasting all those who sow to please the Spirit, Galatians 5:16 / Galatians 5:18 / Galatians 5:25, with those who sow to please the flesh, Galatians 5:13 / Galatians 5:19. Those who sow to please the flesh will reap the curse of God, Galatians 1:6-9, but those who reap to please the Spirit will reap eternal life, Galatians 5:21.

When we put our faith in works, ‘karma’ in order to determine our earthly outcome, we’re sowing to please the flesh but when we put our faith in Christ, we’re sowing to please the Spirit and we shall reap eternal life.

In other words, with karma you trust in yourself and your own righteousness, and you reap corruption but if we trust in Christ, and His righteousness, 2 Corinthians 5:21, we will reap everlasting life.

Karma teaches people to believe that they will always get what they deserve, if they do good, good things will naturally come their way, if they do bad, bad things will inevitably come, and so on and so forth.

While the idea of having good come around again for the good things we do and having bad come around again for the bad things we do, sounds like the sowing and reaping principle of Galatians 6:7-8, but it really isn’t.

Karma insists on receiving the returns of what we do today in the afterlife, something like ‘if you’re a bad man today, you’ll be a dirt-eating fly in the next life,’ but the Bible gives us just one simple explanation to say what we deserve, because of our sin we deserve death, Romans 3:10 / Romans 3:23 / Romans 6:23.

The Bible simply says that all of us deserve nothing good for what we’ve done and how we’ve lived, karma says we can do good and receive our due after this life, but the Bible says there’s nothing we can do in this life to make us worthy of receiving goodness in this life or in the life to come.

What’s more, karma says all of us will live again, to either a better or worse life based on what we do today but the Bible, however, says that we can only live, if we believe in the Son of God, John 3:16-17. In other words, our actions can’t win a better afterlife for us, only the blood of Jesus can, Hebrews 9:12-14 / Hebrews 10:38 / 1 Peter 1:2 / Ephesians 1:7.

Conclusion

The doctrine of reincarnation and karma are foreign to the Scriptures, both of which are free from any accountability to anyone, Romans 14:12.

It’s very true that how we live in this life will affect where we end up for eternity, and it’s also true if we don’t know God or obey the Gospel, we will end up in hell, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, but the belief that we can determine where we spend eternity by our good or bad karma, isn’t Biblical, Isaiah 64:6 / Ephesians 2:8-9.

‘There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.’ Proverbs 14:12

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:10

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