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Is Reincarnation Biblical?
Today approximately 30 million Americans (one in four) believe in reincarnation. The word "reincarnation" literally means to "come again in the flesh." The process of reincarnation is continual rebirths in human bodies - - - allegedly continuing until the soul has reached a state of perfection and merges back with its source (God or the "Universal Soul").
A person'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. "Karma" refers to the "debt" a soul accumulates because of good actions OR bad actions done during one's life (or past lives). If one accumulates good karma by performing good actions, he or she will be reincarnated in a desirable state. If one accumulates bad karma, he or she will be reincarnated in a less desirable state. In Shirley MacLaine's book 'Out on a Limb' we are told, "Reincarnation is like show business. You just keep doing it until you get it right."
Some people completely twist the Scriptures and say that Jesus Himself taught reincarnation. Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (KJV) . . . This Passage does NOT support reincarnation. It does NOT teach that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah. Jesus was really saying that the ministry of John the Baptist was carried out "in the spirit and power of Elijah."
Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (KJV) . . . "He" is John the Baptist! Reincarnationists so easily forget that John the Baptist, when asked if he was Elijah, told them, "No!" (John 1:21).
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV). . . Jesus' words about being "born again" in John 3:3, are also taken out of context. This Passage clearly shows that Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth or regeneration. The phrase born again actually bears the idea of "born from above," (John 1:12-13), and can even be correctly translated that way.
Jesus clarified His meaning in the following: John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (KJV)
There are other Scriptures that clearly expose and discredit the notion of reincarnation. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (KJV) . . . Man dies ONCE, then judgment! Each person dies only ONCE and then they face the Awesome Judge! NO person has a second chance by reincarnating into another body!
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (KJV) . . . This clearly tells us that at death the Christian immediately goes into the Presence of the Lord, NOT into another body.
Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV) . . . This plainly reveals that unbelievers at death immediately go to a place of suffering, NOT into another body.
Jesus taught that people decide their own eternal destiny in a SINGLE lifetime! Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (KJV) . . . This is why the apostle Paul emphasized that "now is the day of salvation."
Jesus taught the concept of resurrection, NOT reincarnation. He predicted His own resurrection early in His public ministry. John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (KJV) . . . After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He appeared to some disciples. Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.(KJV) Jesus resurrected in the SAME body that went into the tomb. His body kept the scars and wounds in His hands, feet, and side from the crucifixion. John 20:27-28 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (KJV)
In addition to the Bible refuting reincarnation, there are also some practical problems involved in the idea of reincarnation.
#1 . . . Why does one get punished (via "bad karma") for something he or she cannot remember having done in a previous life? Make sense to you? It sure doesn't to me!
#2 . . . IF the purpose of karma is to rid humanity of its selfish desires (as reincarnationists say), WHY has there not been a noticeable improvement in human nature after all the millennia of reincarnations on Earth? Make sense to you? It sure doesn't to me! Last, but not least
#3 . . . IF reincarnation and the law of karma are so beneficial on a practical level, as reincarnationists claim, how do they explain the immense and ever-worsening social and economic problems? the widespread poverty? the starvation? the disease? and horrible suffering throughtout the world? HOW can reincarnation anawer these questions.
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