Reincarnation: Truth or Myth?

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on April, 08, 2022

Reincarnation: Truth or Myth?

Reincarnation downplays the importance of the human body and ignores the Scriptural teaching of the resurrection.

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Is reincarnation biblical or a myth?

Wiki definition:

“Reincarnation, also known as rebirth or transmigration, is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being begins a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death… In most beliefs involving reincarnation, the soul is seen as immortal and the only thing that becomes perishable is the body.”

Reincarnation, commonly accepted among Hindus and Buddhists and having roots in ancient Greek philosophy, is vastly inferior to the glorious Bible teaching that affirms the promise of the resurrection. Jesus teaches that He will reunite His people with their transformed bodies for eternal blessings. Resurrection of unbelievers is for eternal judgment.

Reincarnationists, those believing in reincarnation, do not welcome the idea of reincarnation, where their immortal souls will extend their imprisonment in other kinds of bodies for an indefinite time. Those who believe this false teaching view reincarnation as a curse or judgment to pay off bad deeds until the unknown time when the spirit is liberated from the body. There is, however, no God to keep one accountable for sin; it’s supposedly a self-monitoring system.

The Scriptures and Reincarnation

The teaching of resurrection and reincarnation depends on other beliefs and, therefore, become systems of thought. The Scriptures nowhere teach on reincarnation; reincarnation distorts Biblical teachings on sin, forgiveness, the human body, redemption, salvation, and our eternal hope in Christ. Let me briefly describe each system of thought.

Sin

Reincarnationists: Because there is no personal God, sin is vaguely described as bad deeds; there is no Judgment Day.

Resurrectionists: The Almighty God keeps everyone accountable to Him for their wrongs. On Judgment Day, all will rise and be judged.

28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).

Belief in reincarnation does not excuse one from Judgment day!

Forgiveness

Reincarnationists: There is no forgiveness, though sometimes they hope their false god might overlook their evil deeds.

Resurrectionists: Jesus died on the cross to forgive us completely for our sins.

28 For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Mat 26:28-29).

Human body

Reincarnationists: the body is associated with evil and imprisons the soul within.

Resurrectionists: God made people in His image; the body is good, though we can do evil with our bodies.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27).

“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27)

Redemption

Reincarnationists: Strive to avoid bad deeds, hoping that one day that their souls will be set from the dreaded existence where they will lose all personal identity.

Resurrectionists: Jesus died once for all the sins of those who believe in Him, thus gaining life eternal.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith….” (Rom 3:23-25)

Salvation

Reincarnationists: Liberating the soul from the body—not being reincarnated!

Resurrectionists: Find full redemption when our souls take on our new resurrected bodies.

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

Hope

Reincarnationists: Escape, not hope, defines their viewpoint, wishing for annihilation by escaping the present or future-assigned body, releasing one’s soul to the world’s soul (Hinduism), or being extinguished (Buddhism).

Resurrectionists: Christians have a genuine hope, seeing that Christ Jesus came alive and promises to resurrect His people.

25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (John 5:25-26).

contrasts between the resurrection and reincarnation

Discussion Questions on Reincarnation and Resurrection

1. What is the difference between reincarnation of the body and resurrection of the body?

2. Why do those believing in reincarnation not want to be reincarnated?

3. What is the difference between the two views of the body given above?

4. Why does Jesus’ promise of eternal life offer hope?

5. Does reincarnation offer forgiveness?

6. Do you believe in the resurrection or reincarnation? Why?

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