I used to be comforted by the idea of reincarnation because it implied that I would return to Earth after death. However, when I became focused on my salvation, I learned more about Heaven. Nevertheless, I was conflicted regarding my belief in Heaven and reincarnation. When I finally enrolled in Theology school, I used the opportunity to understand the two beliefs from a Christian perspective. I consulted our Professor, who gave me answers and Bible verses on the topic. I also consulted other Christian theologians and got clarity. Last week, a new convert to Christianity from Buddhism posted the same question on my online Christian forum. He asked if it was wrong to hold his reincarnation beliefs and still believe in Heaven. There were so many conflicting answers. I put the heated debate to rest and offered my answer based on my vast knowledge regarding this topic. So, can you believe in Heaven and reincarnation?
It is not possible to believe in Heaven and reincarnation because the belief in Heaven directly contradicts the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation beliefs imply that souls can die more than once and live multiple times. However, regarding Heaven, souls die and are judged; if they pass the judgment, they go to Heaven, not return to Earth. ( Hebrews 9:27).
So, join me in this article as I discuss what the Bible says about reincarnation. I will also talk about whether Christians can believe in reincarnation. Read on to find out more.
What does the Bible say about reincarnation?
Studying the Bible, it is not possible to find any scriptures that support reincarnation; instead, some scriptures seem to refute the idea of reincarnation. Reincarnation means that a person dies multiple times and lives multiple times. Yet, the Bible says that a person only dies once, and after their death, they are judged, as seen in Hebrews 9:27. Biblically, there are only two fates after judgment; going to hell or Heaven. A Soul can’t undergo judgment and then return to life through reincarnation. In the book of Luke 23:43, Jesus promised the thief on His left during crucifixion that He would be with Him in paradise. From this verse, believers can be sure that the fate of believers could be Heaven while the fate of unbelievers could be hell—not reincarnation.
Is the concept of reincarnation more realistic than going to Heaven and hell?
The concept of reincarnation might not be more realistic than the concept of Heaven and hell because reincarnation implies that God makes mistakes. If you say that a soul has come back to life in another body, you might be equally saying that God had made a mistake in creating the previous body for that soul. According to the Bible, God does not make mistakes. In addition, reincarnation is out of the Bible and directly undermines the sacrifice that Jesus made for believers and lowers the resurrection of Christ from being a miracle; this cannot be realistic to a faithful follower of Christ.
Faithful followers of Christ follow the teachings of the Bible that directly say each soul will be judged, and the good will go to Heaven, and the bad will go to hell. Furthermore, believers do not get any example of reincarnation in the Bible, yet some say Elijah reincarnated. You need to remember that Elijah never died in the first place; he went straight to Heaven in 2 Kings 2:11. Therefore, when Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah, He did not mean a reincarnate Elijah, but meant that John the Baptist came in the power of Elijah. In any case, coming from Heaven means to descend and not to reincarnate. Therefore, biblically, reincarnation is less realistic than Heaven and Hell.
Can a Christian believe in reincarnation?
Christians may not believe in reincarnation because it parallels the Bible’s teachings. Christians ought to believe in Heaven, which is what the Bible preaches. Christian authority comes from the Bible, and they are not supposed to rely on what is outside the Bible. The Bible heavily talks about souls going to Heaven or hell after death, being judged, and not coming back to life in a different body.
Also, as a Christian, you are not supposed to believe in reincarnation because, in the process, you might be making Christ’s incarnation look like a mere appearance. You might be supporting the idea that what Christ did was typically done by humans—incarnation by reincarnation. Consequently, you still imply that His death on the cross could have been a mere accident if you believe in reincarnation.
If reincarnation is not true, why do some people remember their past lives?
Some people are believed to remember their past lives. However, in Christianity, this does not support the idea of reincarnation because most of the memories might be inspired by supernatural powers. Demons can influence the thoughts of someone and intentionally mislead them with memories of “past lives.” This is considered a deceitful way for the Devil to destroy Believers. According to the Bible in John 10:10, the Devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. The Devil, who was an Angel in Heaven, was made before every human being, even his angels. This could mean he has been around before us, as we live, and even after we die. So, some believers suggest that the Devil could provide Christians with false memories of past lives that can even make sense naturally.
Also, even though some people say they have memories from past lives, it does not logically prove that reincarnation could exist because the human brain might not be reliable enough. This might be true, especially when you ask lawyers and doctors if they can solely rely on human memory for data; most will say no. People might claim to have past live memories, yet these memories could not be genuine enough because they might mistake dreams, fantasies from movies and books they have ever read, and reveries for memories of past lives. There is yet to be sufficient proof that these memories have happened in the past, even though experts try to explain diseases using such ideologies. Therefore, believers still believe that reincarnation might not be true.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.