Reincarnation

It seems incredible to me that anyone could profess to be a Christian and yet believe in reincarnation.  However such people do exist.  Here is a post I read in a Christian forum by one who claimed he was a Christian.

Was John the Baptist really Elijah? If so, does that mean reincarnation is a biblically backed position? What do you make of these passages—

Matthew 17:11-13
11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Reincarnation of Elijah

The author of the post didn’t say that he believed in reincarnation but he was open to the possibility that it is true.  Even if it were true Elijah could not have been reincarnated because he never died.  Here is what the Bible says about him:

And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  (2 Kings 2:11)

Today Elijah is still in his physical body in Heaven waiting for the time when he will return to earth.

The fact that Elijah didn’t die proves he wasn’t reincarnated but it doesn’t necessarily prove that the Bible teaches that reincarnation is false.  Since there are a lot of people who think this belief is compatible with the Bible we need to look at what the Bible actually says.

Reincarnation is based on the belief that we are spiritual beings; the bodies we inhabit are not an essential part of us but are like clothes that we put on.  When one body wears out it is replaced by another.  We need to see what the Bible says about this.

The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)

God created the body first and then made it alive.  The bodies that die will be resurrected.

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voiceand come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.  (John 5:28,29)

Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ includes the salvation of the body as well as the soul.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Each of us lives only once and will die only once.

It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.  (Hebrews 9:27)

There are some exceptions to this last statement.  The Bible tells of people who have been raised from the dead and so have to die a second time.  When Christ returns to take the church out of the world believers who are alive then will never die.  But the vast majority of those who have ever lived will live once and die once.

The Bible does say that those who are lost will die a second time but not because they lived more than once.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:12-14)

If reincarnation is true than each of us must have lived in many bodies.  The Bible plainly teaches that our bodies will be resurrected.  It is impossible for anyone to inhabit more than one body.  Resurrection and reincarnation are mutually exclusive beliefs so only one of them can be true.

Posted on April 30, 2020, in Bible study and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Reincarnation.

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Tulips & Honey

Christian, wife, mom, homeschooler, podcaster

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