‘When the single course of our earthly life is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives’ (CCC 1013).
Reincarnation fails in the following respects:
1. Our longing to escape from ourselves and our failure to recognize God’s unique purpose for our lives. Why? Because with reincarnation, we lose our identity and our core gifts. We shift from one kind of person to another that we don’t know anymore who we really are.
2. Living over and over again is short of God’s mercy that only wills for us to live this painful life once.
3. Reincarnation seeks our attraction on the satisfaction of our desires in this life rather than in the perfect life God wills for us in the new earth.
4. It deceives us into believing we can overcome the weakness of the flesh and of our fallen nature on our own.
5. It eradicates the existence of a loving personal God in whom alone we can find happiness.
6. It makes us believe that all our current sufferings is a just punishment and a result of karma. It ignores the wisdom and truth that even the innocent can suffer and that their suffering is not their due punishment.
7. It ignores the power of grace and mercy.
8. If it evokes us to feel tired of this life and long for the next, won’t we get more exhausted living successive lives starting over and over again rather than receive perfect life in heaven?
9. If reincarnation’s goal is to correct a mistake, how can we ever succeed and get out of the cycle when a new life only breeds more and more mistakes?
10. Belief in reincarnation brings danger of the occult and influence of deceiving spirits that can make people imagine an illusion of a past life.
1 Corinthians 14:32 (WEB) The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,
2 Kings 2:9-17 (WEB) When they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be on me.”
He said, “You have asked a hard thing. If you see me when I am taken from you, it will be so for you; but if not, it will not be so.”
As they continued on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Elisha saw it, and he cried, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” He saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes, and tore them in two pieces.
He also took up Elijah’s mantle that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
He took Elijah’s mantle that fell from him, and struck the waters, and said, “Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah?” When he also had struck the waters, they were divided apart, and Elisha went over.
When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho over against him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
They said to him, “See now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. Perhaps Yahweh’s Spirit has taken him up, and put him on some mountain, or into some valley.” He said, “Don’t send them.”
When they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send them.” Therefore they sent fifty men; and they searched for three days, but didn’t find him.
John 1:19-23 (WEB) This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.”
They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”
They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Hebrews 9:27-28 (WEB) Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment,
so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.
1 Corinthians 15:12-26 (WEB) Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised.
If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.
Yes, we are also found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn’t raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised.
For if the dead aren’t raised, neither has Christ been raised.
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep.
For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming.
Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
1 Corinthians 15:35-58 (WEB) But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies.
That which you sow, you don’t sow the body that will be, but a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind.
But God gives it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.
All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial.
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown perishable; it is raised imperishable.
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body.
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
However that which is spiritual isn’t first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let’s also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can’t inherit God’s Kingdom; neither does the perishable inherit imperishable.
Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
“[Scripture says] ‘And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” and he said, “I am not”’ [John 1:21]. No one can fail to remember in this connection what Jesus says of John: ‘If you will receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come’ [Matt. 11:14]. How then does John come to say to those who ask him, ‘Are you Elijah?’—‘I am not’? . . . One might say that John did not know that he was Elijah. This will be the explanation of those who find in our passage a support for their doctrine of reincarnation, as if the soul clothed itself in a fresh body and did not quite remember its former lives. . . . [H]owever, a churchman, who repudiates the doctrine of reincarnation as a false one and does not admit that the soul of John was ever Elijah, may appeal to the above-quoted words of the angel, and point out that it is not the soul of Elijah that is spoken of at John’s birth, but the spirit and power of Elijah” (Commentary on John 6:7 [A.D. 229]).
“As for the spirits of the prophets, these are given to them by God and are spoken of as being in a manner their property [slaves], as ‘The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets’ [1 Cor. 14:32] and ‘The spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha’ [2 Kgs. 2:15]. Thus, it is said, there is nothing absurd in supposing that John, ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah,’ turned the hearts of the fathers to the children and that it was on account of this spirit that he was called ‘Elijah who is to come’” (ibid.).
“If the doctrine [of reincarnation] was widely current, ought not John to have hesitated to pronounce upon it, lest his soul had actually been in Elijah? And here our churchman will appeal to history, and will bid his antagonists [to] ask experts of the secret doctrines of the Hebrews if they do really entertain such a belief. For if it should appear that they do not, then the argument based on that supposition is shown to be quite baseless” (ibid.).
“Someone might say, however, that Herod and some of those of the people held the false dogma of the transmigration of souls into bodies, in consequence of which they thought that the former John had appeared again by a fresh birth, and had come from the dead into life as Jesus. But the time between the birth of John and the birth of Jesus, which was not more than six months, does not permit this false opinion to be considered credible. And perhaps rather some such idea as this was in the mind of Herod, that the powers which worked in John had passed over to Jesus, in consequence of which he was thought by the people to be John the Baptist. And one might use the following line of argument: Just as because the spirit and the power of Elijah, and not because of his soul, it is said about John, ‘This is Elijah who is to come’ [Matt. 11:14] . . . so Herod thought that the powers in John’s case worked in him works of baptism and teaching—for John did not do one miracle [John 10:41]—but in Jesus [they worked] miraculous portents” (Commentary on Matthew 10:20 [A.D. 248]).
“Now the Canaanite woman, having come, worshipped Jesus as God, saying, ‘Lord, help me,’ but he answered and said, ‘It is not possible to take the children’s bread and cast it to the little dogs.’ . . . [O]thers, then, who are strangers to the doctrine of the Church, assume that souls pass from the bodies of men into the bodies of dogs, according to their varying degree of wickedness; but we . . . do not find this at all in the divine Scripture” (ibid., 11:17).
“In this place [when Jesus said Elijah was come and referred to John the Baptist] it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul is spoken of, lest I fall into the doctrine of transmigration, which is foreign to the Church of God, and not handed down by the apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the scriptures” (ibid., 13:1).
“But if . . . the Greeks, who introduce the doctrine of transmigration, laying down things in harmony with it, do not acknowledge that the world is coming to corruption, it is fitting that when they have looked the scriptures straight in the face which plainly declare that the world will perish, they should either disbelieve them or invent a series of arguments in regard to the interpretation of things concerning the consummation; which even if they wish they will not be able to do” (ibid.).
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