AND TRYING AGAIN
“I was watching a documentary about something a hundred years ago, and suddenly realized I’d been there myself. I remembered every detail.”
“All my life I was afraid of water. I would imagine myself going down in a large body of water ~ a large lake or the ocean, floating down, down. One day I realized it was me in a previous life drowning.”
“I have had the same dream all my life. I am in a large house with many rooms. Many of the rooms are empty and we aren’t using them. I must have lived in that house in a previous life.”
“Before my father died, he said he would be back. I was married shortly after his death and one day I saw my father in a vision. He was the way I remembered him, but gradually he became smaller and smaller until he was a baby. The next day I learned I was pregnant.”
Today, nearly 30% of Americans believe reincarnation is possible. It seems exciting and adventure-some, whether or not the previous life was happy or sad.
A HINDU SPEAKS
Reincarnation is a central belief in the Hindu Religion. An Indian Hindu woman with a good education said this about her belief in reincarnation:
”I hated my life and felt depressed because we are taught that life is an unending cycle of life and death and only a select few can break this cycle and reach nirvana (a vague heaven). I was depressed and bitter”
She bought numerous self-help books to try to make herself better and hopefully come back as a happier person next time, or good enough that she would never have to go through another life.
“Most Hindus just accept reincarnation,“ she explained, “because it is part of their belief system. The whole point of being a Hindu is not to be reborn but to pray that in your next life you will be spiritually mature enough to break the cycle of reincarnation and your essence becomes one with the creator ~ nirvana.
“No Hindu who knows the doctrines well wants to be reborn. That is why they seek the help of spiritual gurus who will guide them on the path of enlightenment. The concept of reincarnation is to show us that we need to break this cycle to reach …the ultimate goal ~ nirvana.”
She has never known or heard of a Hindu (and her family is still very strong Hindu) ever say they remember or dream about anything about their previous lives.
A BUDDHIST SPEAKS
A Cambodian Buddhist decided to take charge of his next reincarnation. He become a monk with the goal of being reincarnated hopefully as an angel.
For three years he spent time in the Buddhist temple meditating, concentrating on his own state, his own next life, hoping he could be good enough that he wouldn’t come back as a human again. His destiny depended solely on himself; he had no help.
For food, he had to go out every day and beg for a meal, He had to renounce employment, hunting, or any type of work. He had to renounce his family and concentrate solely on saving himself. “It was a very lonely life,” he said.
The number of monks at his temple came and went. Sometimes there were a hundred and sometimes fifty. Most couldn’t take the life of trying to be perfect.
Eventually he too became discouraged and quit. “I never had a hope for a future. I was depressed without hope. I didn’t want to live any more. I just wanted to die.”
THE HINDU AGAIN
The Hindu lady (now a former Hindu) explained, “Look at the world today. So many problems ~ wars, famine, genocide, terrorism, poverty, natural disasters. Why would anyone in their right mind want to be born again? Doesn't make sense.”
She gradually met people who believed in Jesus. They weren’t depressed. “You wonder what is the purpose of life if it is only to be reincarnated again and again. That is why the message of salvation and eternal life in the Bible is very meaningful to me. I now have hope and joy in my life.
“The creator of the universe takes the trouble to listen to me and then gives me comfort and shelter through my difficult times and rejoices with me in my happiest moments. No troubles are too trivial for Him. I feel like I am a child and He is my Amazing Heavenly Father who loved me even before I knew Him.”
THE BUDDHIST AGAIN
“Buddhism is a self-centered way of life. You don’t go around helping others. You know they are having problems because of the way they lived in their previous life and they deserve what they get in this life.”
One day the Buddhist met a missionary who was helping other people with their physical needs ~ hunger, illness, disease, the cold. It was foreign to him. He liked what he saw but wondered why the missionary was willing to change the destiny of those who deserved a bad life.
He learned about Jesus and how he taught his followers that part of loving him was loving others and putting others first. The Buddhist was shown Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!”
This now former Buddhist recalls, “Jesus was calling me from the darkness. My Savior gave me a new life and overcame my sins for me. Now I don’t wander any more. Jesus loves me, a sinner. He set me free and gave me hope of a future ~ heaven!”
SOMEONE WHO REACHED PERFECTION FOR US
According to Buddhist history, only seven men in the entire history of civilization have ever lived a perfect life and been able to stop being reincarnated. (Remember, the cessation of reincarnation is the goal, not looking forward to it.)
Perfection is what is required, but it is unattainable, impossible. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
But Jesus came to the earth and did what we are unable to do. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, but never sinned. It took a part of God (the Son) coming in the form of a human to live that perfect life that is impossible for us to live. And thereby he set us free.
By following all that Jesus said and did as written by his apostles in the New Testament, God says he will consider us his sons and daughters also by adoption, as much as he considers Jesus his Son. Ephesians 3:26-27 says, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
REINCARNATION ONLY ONCE
In Luke 16, Jesus said that once we die, there is a chasm keeping people from crossing over to any other place.
Hebrews 9:27 says “It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment.” When that day comes, “the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Do you really want to go through reincarnation? Jesus offers you release from that trying over and over to be perfect ~ something impossible for us to do. Jesus says even today, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!”