Arguments against ReincarnationQUESTION: What are some arguments against reincarnation?ANSWER:
There are many arguments against reincarnation. There is simply no way to prove that the "past life experiences" that these people talk about are in fact true and not simply the developments of an active imagination. From a strictly logical viewpoint, since no one has ever died and come back to life (except our Lord, Jesus Christ) there is no empirical proof of the claims of those who say they have been reincarnated into this day and age.
Putting aside the lack of empirical data, the Bible
provides many arguments against reincarnation. First of all it says, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). This makes it pretty clear that man only dies once and is not given a second chance at life or to redeem him/her self through reincarnation.
The next argument against reincarnation comes from Jesus Himself. It is found in the story of Lazarus. In this story, Lazarus is a poor beggar whose pleas for assistance are ignored by a rich man. When they both died, Lazarus went to heaven, but the rich man went to hell. The rich man begged for water from Lazarus, but without avail. Jesus tells the story: "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us'" (Luke 16: 25-26).
In this story, we see concrete images of the afterlife. It is a strong argument against reincarnation for the rich man reaps what he sowed immediately after death. There was no chance of redeeming himself through reincarnation. Likewise, the poor beggar, Lazarus gained comfort in the afterlife, a comfort he did not have while living. In addition, Jesus speaks of a gulf that is fixed which does not allow the souls to pass through from one life to the next.
Another argument against reincarnation lies in the story of the witch of Endor. In this Old Testament story, King Saul asks the witch to call up the spirit (or ghost) of Samuel because he desires to know the future since God is no longer speaking to Saul because of his disobedience. The witch, or medium, does as King Saul asks and the ghost of Samuel appears and says to Saul, "The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines" (1 Samuel 28:19).
This story provides not only one but two arguments against reincarnation. First, if reincarnation is a legitimate fact, the ghost or spirit of Samuel could not be "called up" as it would have already been reincarnated into another body. Second, Samuel tells Saul that both he and his sons would join him in the realm beyond death. He does not say that they would die and be given another chance at life. He says simply, "you and your sons will be with me."
Finally the Bible teaches that we are all sinners. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And the penalty for sin is death, not reincarnation. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." This verse from Romans 6:23 is the best argument against reincarnation. For Jesus died for our sins that we might have eternal life in heaven, not eternal reincarnation.
It is God's love for us that is the final proof and argument against reincarnation. God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to redeem and save the world. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" (John 3: 16-17). We are not saved through reincarnation, but saved through God's love, mercy, and grace.