Reincarnation Or Resurrection?


As a new reader to your site, you may have already answered this question and I just have not discovered it. If not, could you please explain your understanding on this.

I have had serious questions about reincarnation ( God allowing man’s spirit to return to a different physical body) – none of the animal theories. Elijah’s spirit seems to have returned as John the Baptist. I understand that in scripture it speaks of ‘it’s appointed once for man to die and then the judgment’ but when taken in the context of the verses where this was written – wasn’t this speaking in terms that man could understand yet referring to the one and only sacrifice of Jesus Christ – there is no other sacrifice for our sins other than that of Jesus. It was a one time thing – as we know.

The ultimate judgment of mankind, if I understand it correctly, won’t be until the Bema seat of Christ for believers and at the Great White Throne for non-believers. Does this negate the possibility of God allowing spirits to reincarnate on earth to continue learning the lessons they may have failed to learn and for His glory the way Elijah’s spirit did?

I don’t believe that reincarnation is a second chance opportunity to accept Jesus – if it is, then fine but I’m not waiting for that. I accepted Jesus as a ten year old and am still seeking to live my life for Him and to learn what God would have me do each day. I also would not advise anyone to wait – no matter what proof of reincarnation there was.

It seems there is a lot of indication when people, even children, have knowledge of another life with no possibility of learning that by the normal senses, that reincarnation could be possible. I also discount anyone who claims to be someone in recent recognition or some historical figure.

I do believe that God can do anything and that our understanding of time and His plans are rarely clear and if it serves His purpose, then reincarnation is definitely possible.

I have also been led to believe that in the past there have been efforts to take any hint of reincarnation from the scriptures.

I am not attempting to make a case for or against reincarnation. I would just appreciate any clarification that you might share with me.


The basic problem with reincarnation is that its purpose contradicts Christian doctrine. The stated purpose of reincarnation is for man to use a series of lives to address and correct his deficiencies through human effort until finally achieving a state of perfection. The purpose of Christianity is for God to correct our deficiencies through the resurrection of those who accept His death as payment for their sins, granting us perfection by faith. Since God can’t be contradictory, He can’t advocate reincarnation.

You incorrectly alluded to Elijah being involved in a reincarnation process. In fact according to Malachi 4:5 the re-appearance of Elijah was meant to be a sign from God, not a second chance for Elijah. Advocating reincarnation for believers denies the sufficiency of the Lord’s death by claiming that we may need multiple lives to become worthy of salvation.

In Hebrews 9:27 the writer was comparing the Lord’s single sacrifice to man’s single life, saying that just as man has but one life, so Jesus made one sacrifice. The idea is that His one sacrifice is sufficient for our one life. The judgment for Church Age believers takes place just after the Rapture (1 Cor 3:10-15) the one for the Jews follows the 2nd Coming (Daniel 12:2) and the one for unbelievers follows the Millennium. (Rev. 20:11-15)

As far as people having unexplained “memories” of other lives, don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because something appears to be supernatural in its origin, it has to be from God. There’s a lot of supernatural stuff happening on Earth that God has nothing to do with, all of it intended to deceive us.