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Why do so many Christian believers do not believe in the possibility of reincarnation?

KevinK

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You die once, then a judgment. You die once more, then a judgement. You die once again, then a judgement. That's three onces already.

The passage *may* only be saying that you never go 2 or more lives before a mandatory judgment. One life, one judgment.

In the very passage you quoted (26-28), it states that Christ will appear a second time. That's more than once.
 
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KevinK

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I'm wondering if the OP has any more comments at this stage.
 

OzSpen

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Your Spirit existed before the Earth was ever created.

Dave,

Here you teach the doctrine of pre-existence or premortal existence that

'refers to the belief that each individual human soul existed before mortal conception, and at some point before birth enters or is placed into the body. Concepts of pre-existence can encompass either the belief that the soul came into existence at some time prior to conception or the belief that the soul is eternal. Alternative positions are traducianism and creationism, which both hold that the individual human soul does not come into existence until conception' (Wikipedia, Pre-existence).​

Origen taught it, quoting Romans 9:11-14 and Jeremiah 1:5 to support his view in Origen. De Principiis. I.VII.4.

Ancient Greek thought and Islam affirm pre-existence, but it is generally denied in Christianity. It is a fundamental teaching of Mormonism. See Joseph Smith's King Follett discourse.

Hinduism teaches it, 'Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be': Chapter 2 Verse 12 Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.
The Bible says nothing about the pre-existence of souls because this is a man-made idea with no basis in truth. The Bible makes it clear that every human being is a unique creation of God (Genesis 2:7; Zechariah 12:1; Jeremiah 1:5). Each unique human soul begins at conception (Psalm 139:13–16; Isaiah 44:24) and will continue forever because we are created as eternal beings (Genesis 9:6; Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 102:27; Matthew 25:46) [What does the Bible say about the pre-existence of souls?]
Pre-existence of the sould was condemned as heresy at the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553.

Oz
 

OzSpen

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Yes, but my point is that Hebrews 9:27 does not necessarily say we only die once, it may say (paraphrasing) that for every death there is a separate judgment. In other words, suppose you had 6 successive lives- after each death, there is a mandatory judgment. 6 lives, 6 judgments.

Kevin,

Do you read NT Greek? If you do, you will know that the Greek uses hapax in Heb 9:27, 'it is appointed for people to die hapax'. What is the meaning of hapax? Does it mean to die multiple times, 10 times, twice or once?

Oz
 

KevinK

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No, I don't read Greek. What does it mean?
 

stovebolts

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Belief in reincarnation will result in the rejection of the Gospel. So it is more than a distraction. It will lead people to Hell, who are falsely believing that they will have dozens of opportunities in the future.
Anything when distorted can lead a person to hell. Not believing in a literal 6 day creation can lead a person away from the gospel and to hell. Alcohol, sex, drugs, addiction, hobbies, studies etc can all lead somebody away from the gospel and to hell.

But all of these things can also draw many to the gospel and salvation. So it's not as cut and dry as you make it out to seem and it really calls for discernment and understanding. Scripture calls it being wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.
 

stovebolts

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Yes, but my point is that Hebrews 9:27 does not necessarily say we only die once, it may say (paraphrasing) that for every death there is a separate judgment. In other words, suppose you had 6 successive lives- after each death, there is a mandatory judgment. 6 lives, 6 judgments.
My wife is a genealogist and has been exploring the science behind DNA. Ironically, just yesterday she told me about how our DNA actually holds memories of our ancestors going back x generations, most prominent are traumatic experiences. Science uses this DNA information to explain migratory geese and ducks etc and explain behavior traits of children not raised by their biological parents and more.

Personally, i have had out of body experiences as well as flashback from past lives. In my 20's, this led me to $cientology where both experiences are validated. But not only that, but explained.

LRH believes our memories take up physical space in our mind and our 'past' lives are locked in our reactive mind. "Auditing" moves those memories from "past lives" into the active mind and into our cognitive awareness so they can be resolved.

$cientology borrows heavily from Hinduism when it comes to past lives and yes, even the OT hints at past lives as well and Orthodox Jews embrace reincarnation as the norm which in their thinking, serves purpose.

But here is a thought i had in my 20's. What if these experiences and memories of past lives were simply memories from our parents, grand parents etc? Science is now affirming this as my wife shared yesterday with me.

On another interesting note, Moses writes about generational sin. I believe this is passed down through our DNA as noted above.

When i look at it this way, it helps me understand why reincarnation is so real in not only my life, but others with similar experiences. But another thought I've held is this.

Let's say you or others don't buy into the whole DNA thing. The beauty of the gospel is this. In Jewish thought, reincarnation serves the purpose of fulfilling all 613 commandments. In Christ, all was fulfilled which makes reincarnation unnecessary for those in Christ.
 

Randy

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For example, there are so many testimonies on YouTube from people who say they have memories and experiences of a past life on earth. It is hard to say that reincarnation does not exist.
That presents problems even if the judgment is in their favor they would have to overcome the world a 2nd time. If the judgment is not in their favor we hold to a resurrection of the unrighteous to the 2nd death. Salvation isn't by multiple lives in the body. And for those who died in the Lord they live and never die and at the resurrection are clothed with immortality. Bodies not of the dust of the earth.

And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment

And third if such a important event as reincarnation were true wouldn't Jesus teach about reincarnation? He didn't because that's not the Fathers will.

All at once on the last day.
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."
 

Not_Now.Soon

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Belief in reincarnation will result in the rejection of the Gospel. So it is more than a distraction. It will lead people to Hell, who are falsely believing that they will have dozens of opportunities in the future.

I could be wrong, but it doesn't sound like KevinK rejects the gospel.

However there are several ideologies and theologies that are not in the bible that many people hold. Some to the point of accepting the gospel, but rejecting parts of the gospel or of rejecting most of the bible because it doesn't line up with their ideals.

When I say that reincarnation could be a distraction, I mean that on a basis that can turn people away from their faith and trust in God, in Jesus, or in the bible. That is a very heavy risk in my opinion. In the parable of the sower, one of the soils that seed is sowed into is fill of weeds. They choke out the plant from growing. Then as the parable is explained, the seed is the message of the kingdom of Heaven; and each soil is explained as well. The one with weeds is full of distractions. Filled with worry or desire of the things of this world.

On the other hand though, everyone faces some weeds in their life, things that they focus on more then they do on God. The hope is that if you believe in Jesus you have not lost your salvation. Even if you get swept up in worries of the future or the present, or get drawn by the enticement of seeking weath (a good job) or on spending what you have (really want that new car...).

I think reincarnation can be one of those ideologies that can be a distraction from what is actually in the bible. Regardless if there is any merit behind people's experiences and memories, there's no context to explain it in Christianity. But there are explainations and theories in Hindusm, and New Age philosophies of past lives. Both of those can draw a person away from their faith.

In my opinion since reincarnation isn't talked about in the bible it either is that it doesn't exist, making the memories of past lives something else and having an explaination not known; or because it's not in the bible, it's not important enough to be focused on for our faith and our journey in life. But the bible also talks about the afterlife, about heaven and hell. So this makes me think that those concerns are more important, and a foundation of being true, with no question of it.
 

Not_Now.Soon

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My wife is a genealogist and has been exploring the science behind DNA. Ironically, just yesterday she told me about how our DNA actually holds memories of our ancestors going back x generations, most prominent are traumatic experiences. Science uses this DNA information to explain migratory geese and ducks etc and explain behavior traits of children not raised by their biological parents and more.

Personally, i have had out of body experiences as well as flashback from past lives. In my 20's, this led me to $cientology where both experiences are validated. But not only that, but explained.

LRH believes our memories take up physical space in our mind and our 'past' lives are locked in our reactive mind. "Auditing" moves those memories from "past lives" into the active mind and into our cognitive awareness so they can be resolved.

$cientology borrows heavily from Hinduism when it comes to past lives and yes, even the OT hints at past lives as well and Orthodox Jews embrace reincarnation as the norm which in their thinking, serves purpose.

But here is a thought i had in my 20's. What if these experiences and memories of past lives were simply memories from our parents, grand parents etc? Science is now affirming this as my wife shared yesterday with me.

On another interesting note, Moses writes about generational sin. I believe this is passed down through our DNA as noted above.

When i look at it this way, it helps me understand why reincarnation is so real in not only my life, but others with similar experiences. But another thought I've held is this.

Let's say you or others don't buy into the whole DNA thing. The beauty of the gospel is this. In Jewish thought, reincarnation serves the purpose of fulfilling all 613 commandments. In Christ, all was fulfilled which makes reincarnation unnecessary for those in Christ.

Intreasting thoughts. I've wondered some simular things about some past life memories not actually being your own. But unlike your wife, it's all speculation for me. Nothing to reasurch to find a foundation on.

Regarding generational sin, here's a counter theory. The sins being passed down could just as easily fall into the arguments of nature verse nurture. Basically that sins being passed down could become part of our nature from either spiritually passed down, or in a physical form like DNA coding. Or it could be passed down entirely by the way we are nurtured. The sins of the father taught and passed down to the next generation by what they do and how they live their lives.

Either way, it's an interesting take with regard to past memories, but it is not nessary to be a Christian. So all good points. :)
 

Nathan12

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I could be wrong, but it doesn't sound like @KevinK rejects the gospel.
I certainly did not suggest that. However, if Kevin believes that reincarnation can be true, he needs to thoroughly review his beliefs, as well as the Bible's teaching on the afterlife. Reincarnation is totally incompatible with Christianity.

But Hindus and Buddhists have no worries about the afterlife since they have been taught that they will have a cycle of reincarnations in order to shape up.
 

KevinK

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if Kevin believes that reincarnation can be true, he needs to thoroughly review his beliefs, as well as the Bible's teaching on the afterlife. Reincarnation is totally incompatible with Christianity.
Why is that? If the path to finally accepting Jesus Christ as your ticket to salvation can occur over the span of a single lifetime, why could it also not take place over several?
 

Nathan12

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Why is that? If the path to finally accepting Jesus Christ as your ticket to salvation can occur over the span of a single lifetime, why could it also not take place over several?
Unless you can find a biblical basis for that idea, you might as well give it up.
 

KevinK

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Unless you can find a biblical basis for that idea, you might as well give it up.
That would apply only if I use Scripture exclusively as a basis for my faith. I do not. Yes, that does make me a little different from other members here.
 

KevinK

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Speaking of Scripture, there is an interesting passing reference to what may be reincarnation. John 9:

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."

The disciples ask Jesus if a man sinned before his birth. Thus it's a question about reincarnation. They ask in a rather nonchalant way, as if it's not even an unusual topic. The Lord answers it another way, but the argument goes that if there was no such thing, wouldn't He have come right out and said, "There's no such thing as reincarnation"?
 
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Edward

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Dave,

Here you teach the doctrine of pre-existence or premortal existence that

'refers to the belief that each individual human soul existed before mortal conception, and at some point before birth enters or is placed into the body. Concepts of pre-existence can encompass either the belief that the soul came into existence at some time prior to conception or the belief that the soul is eternal. Alternative positions are traducianism and creationism, which both hold that the individual human soul does not come into existence until conception' (Wikipedia, Pre-existence).​

Origen taught it, quoting Romans 9:11-14 and Jeremiah 1:5 to support his view in Origen. De Principiis. I.VII.4.

Ancient Greek thought and Islam affirm pre-existence, but it is generally denied in Christianity. It is a fundamental teaching of Mormonism. See Joseph Smith's King Follett discourse.

Hinduism teaches it, 'Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be': Chapter 2 Verse 12 Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.

Pre-existence of the sould was condemned as heresy at the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553.

Oz

He did not say that our soul pre-existed but that our spirit did. That is true. How else could the Lord know us before we were in our mother's womb?
 

Edward

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There is no reincarnation. I think the closest that comes to a reincarnation in scripture is when God renamed certain people. like Abram to Abraham. This changed the man's character within for a name carries character within.
 

for_his_glory

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I apologize for the length of my reply, but tried to make it as short as I could.

There is no logic or a carnal understanding when it comes to the Spiritual things of God. There is no logic or a carnal understanding when it comes to the Spiritual things of God as reasoning has to line up with what is already written in the Bible. Either you accept the Bible as being the word of God in all its parts, or you reject the whole as one can not pick and choose that of what they want to believe in part.

John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

You speak of reincarnation which is a philosophical concept of Greek philosophers like Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato. It's a central tenet/belief of all Indian religions namely Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, spiritism and todays New Age movement that reject the true God of all creation and His Son Christ Jesus.

There is no foundation for the concept of reincarnation found in what has already been written in scripture. In Luke 23:43 Jesus told the criminal that was being crucified beside Him"today you will be with me in paradise", meaning that the criminal believed that this was Christ as He hung on the cross and asked Him to remember him when Jesus comes into His Kingdom.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The belief in reincarnation is an ancient phenomenon that is unbiblical and according to scripture is rejected as a false teaching.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Here dust + breath/spirit from God = a living soul. When the flesh dies physically it returns back to the dust of the ground and our spirit is preserved with God for final judgment.

Genesis 3:19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Ecc 12:7 then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

We return to the dust of the ground when this physical body dies and our breath/spirit returns to God as we wait for Gods final judgment.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Our spirit can never die and is preserved until Gods final judgment on the last day when Christ returns, John 6:40.

Ruach, the Hebrew word for spirit means "breath" or "wind" as well as "spirit".

Ecc 9:5 for the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

Dan 12:2 and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

James 2:26 for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

This body/flesh dies and deteriorates as it turns back to dust while in the ground. The breath/spirit goes back to God who gave it, Ecc 12:7. The soul which makes up the conscious part of ones being is that of thought, action and emotion. The spiritual nature of man regarded as immortal and separable from the body/flesh at death and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state.
 

Not_Now.Soon

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I certainly did not suggest that. However, if Kevin believes that reincarnation can be true, he needs to thoroughly review his beliefs, as well as the Bible's teaching on the afterlife. Reincarnation is totally incompatible with Christianity.

But Hindus and Buddhists have no worries about the afterlife since they have been taught that they will have a cycle of reincarnations in order to shape up.

My issue with reincarnation is that it leads people away from God and onto other philosophies to supliment their faith and understanding from the bible and Christianity as a whole. As KevinK said, he uses other sources for his faith outside of the bible. It's a kind of logic that I would recommend to turn away from and to hold the bible as a solid foundation to test and filter other philosophies by.

However, both KevinK and Edward say they've had experiences or memories that are best explained by reincarnation and a memory of a past life. My own faith is strongly supported by my experiences, and I value our experiences as a means to test our ideas and philosophies. I just think our experiences are less of an authority then the bible, and anything we know that is from God.
 
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