Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

Readers are unpredictable. In the middle of our lesson yesterday, Alex asked, without introduction, “Steve, do you believe in reincarnation?”

I was stunned. We had been talking about the temptation of Jesus, and I tried to think of how his question related to our lesson. It didn’t. I stumbled in getting out the words, “No, I do not believe in reincarnation.” I decided to go with the abrupt change in topic and asked him, “Do you believe in reincarnation?”

His answer? “Yes.”

He then proceeded to say that he believes in Spiritism and gave me a brief explanation of his religion. Alex mentioned, for example, that if a person is born with some impairment or is subject to some tragedy in life, he is paying for his sins in a previous life. If a rich man in this life is selfish and does not share his good fortune with others or treats others badly, in the next life he will be poor and will suffer many losses. In each life, you evolve and your goal is to be more and more like God.

They use the same Bible and will read from it at their gatherings (not called worship services). They meet regularly at centers. He said the room is not that much different from our buildings but they don’t have music and preaching.

I left that session overwhelmed. Here is a young man who is very goal-oriented, intelligent, and a delight to be around. Yet his religion is so different from mine! I had a hard time connecting him with his approach to life. I try to respect everyone’s philosophy of life; I have to admit that this conversation broadened my knowledge of how different other people’s spiritual outlooks can be.

However, I plan to go to our next session tomorrow with faith that God can work in his life to see the truth. I want him to understand that Jesus is the Son of God, that heaven and hell are real, and that Jesus wants us to follow him. I believe that God can work through me–and others–to help this young man know Jesus Christ.

We will continue to read stories from Luke and make applications to our lives. I hope he will see me as an illustration of how the Scriptures can change us to be more like Jesus every day—for this life and life eternal.

One thought on “Do You Believe in Reincarnation?”

  1. How challenging! – Naturally in different cultures one finds various beliefs – we even experience much of that here in the US. However, in reference to this person, it sounds as if they can change their destination – finally Nirvana – as they evolve from one life to another. Ultimately, it may be difficult to change a person’s thinking until you can establish a standard – for which the Bible must be the evident “standard”. Problems arise when a person sets themselves and their beliefs to be the “standard”. Many times it is the result of what “they want to believe” – not necessarily what is “Reality”. If this is true, there could possibly be in excess of 7 Billion Standards – Each Person believes whatever they want – and follow that course! God’s word cannot be something that people pick and choose what to believe and accept – to be a foundation to prove their own personal philosophies. The teachings of God’s word promote the “Christ-like” life, yet if we aren’t careful, we take away the “Grace” aspect – and if that aspect is removed, being good in this life – or for that matter any other life – as no effect at all. Grace must be pre-eminent as we acknowledge what God has done for mankind. We can’t do it by ourselves!

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