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Does the Bible Allow for a Doctrine of Reincarnation?

by | Feb 6, 2020 | Blog, Theology

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In Hebrews 9:27, we get this simple declaration from God: “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Here is a totally unambiguous description of our personal eschatology, i. e., the events that will happen to each of us individually in the hereafter, as opposed to the big events that will affect the whole world.

It will be the normal event for every individual to die, and to be immediately judged. We get a similar indication in John 3:18, where Jesus tells us, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” The key term here is “already,” indicating that it is not something waiting for the future.

While there is a future Judgment, these verses tell us that it will be a judgment of ratification. Knowledge of our eternal state is not waiting for that day.

However, another implication of the Hebrews verse is something quite contrary to any Christian version of reincarnation. If the person is judged already, then he cannot have second, third, fourth, etc., chances in additional lives. Rather, we are explicitly told that both the godly (II Corinthians 5;8, Philippians 1:21-23) and the wicked (II Peter 2:9) are already spiritually present in their ultimate destinations, whether Heaven or Hell, awaiting the resurrection, not to learn their fates, but rather to have their bodies join their spirits in their designated abodes.

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There is nothing to indicate a return to this world for rebirth! Any assertion to the contrary must deny either the inerrancy of the Scripture or the judgment, turning a profession of Christianity into a baptized form of Hinduism.

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