What does the Bible say about reincarnation and how is it that reincarnation is not acceptable to Christianity. It’s a great question and requires a bit of explanation.

Reincarnation: rebirth of the soul, the cyclical return of a soul, of a person or animal, to live another life in a new body after he, she or it dies. Simply put, reincarnation is “the belief that the soul after death passes on to another body”, a process that could repeat thousands of times through numerous worlds. One's lot in life, according to those who believe in reincarnation, is based on the law of karma. This law says that if bad things happen in one's life, this is an outworking of bad karma. If good things happen in one's life, this is an outworking of good karma.

The concept of karma is closely associated with reincarnation. Karma is essentially the law of cause and effect. Those that profess belief in karma teach that the deeds (good or bad) of one's past lives affect this present life. Further, one’s present deeds will have ramifications for future lives.

BORN AGAIN: Compare this to the Christian term, “Born Again”: In John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” To be born again or born from above is to have a spiritual transformation which takes a person out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God.

Spiritual Transformationis defined as a, one time complete change, into something with an improved usefulness.

Regarding Jesus' words about being "born again" in John 3:3, the context clearly shows that Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth or regeneration. In fact, the phrase born again carries the idea of "born from above," and can even be translated that way. Jesus clarified His meaning by affirming that "flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit".

Regeneration is defined as the spiritual renewal of a person seeking Christ.

There are many Scriptures that clearly debunk the notion of reincarnation. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...." Each human being lives once as a mortal on earth, dies once, and then faces judgment. He does not have a second chance by reincarnating into another body. Second Corinthians 5:8 indicates that at death the Christian immediately goes into the presence of the Lord, not into another body. Luke 16:19-31 indicates that unbelievers at death go to a place of suffering, not into another body.

We must also remember that Jesus taught that people decide their eternal destiny in a single lifetime. Matthew 25:45-46 says: 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not (help) one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Thus, salvation! This is precisely why the apostle Paul emphasized in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” This “new creation” is not reincarnation, it is the transforming of the mind while on earth. The new Christian is spiritually brand new with a new family, a new set of values and new motivations.

The Bible clearly tells us about salvation, Acts 4:12 states: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven (only Jesus Christ) given among men by which we must be saved."

Salvation is defined as deliverance from sin through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, and eternal life with Jesus through His Resurrection from the dead.

These two scenarios, being Born Again and reincarnation are diametrically opposite. The first is truth and the other myth.

In addition to biblically refuting reincarnation, we must also point to some of the practical problems involved in the theory of reincarnation. For example, we must ask, Why does one get punished (via "bad karma") for something he or she cannot remember having done in a previous life? Moreover, if the purpose of karma is to rid humanity of its selfish desires (as reincarnationists say), then why has there not been a noticeable improvement in human nature after all the millennia of reincarnations on earth?

If reincarnation and the law of karma are so beneficial on a practical level, as reincarnationists claim, then how do they explain the immense and ever-worsening social and economic problems - including widespread poverty, starvation, disease, and horrible suffering - in India, where reincarnation has been systematically taught throughout its history?  

Editorial note : One of the many movements that teaches reincarnation is the Theosophical Society, which is a religious movement founded in New York in 1875, incorporating chiefly Buddhist and Brahmanic theories such as reincarnation and karma. One such group, the Temple of the People, founded in November, 1898 in Syracuse, New York, moved to Halcyon, California, in 1903. Their Teachings endeavor to help one learn the ability to realize one's human and divine form of life. The Temple Teachings are firmly rooted in Theosophy. COMMENT: The teaching that one can realize their is a very disturbing arena. Consider what God asked Job: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? In other words, how dare you! The one and only divine person is Jesus the Christ.

So, what does it take to gain this “salvation” mentioned by Christians? Study the Bible. You will discover that Jesus Christ is the One who created you. As the creator, He has the say on what should be done to gain eternal life (salvation). His Disciples asked Him that question in John 6:28-29 “Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them; This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." There is your answer; believe in Jesus and everything He said and you will receive the free gift of salvation. It’s not by works but by faith. The answers are in the Bible.

Back to Top
Back to Questions