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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Limitations of Reincarnation

Can reincarnation realistically offer hope and a sense of justice to a troubled world? And what comfort does it offer regarding the nagging problem of death? The law of karma is unmerciful. Yet the message of Jesus Christ is different. Jesus did not deny there is unjust suffering. He offered forgiveness for those who inflict it and comfort for those that experience it.

Jesus taught that no one can keep the moral law. The human heart is impure, given to wrong attitudes and actions which are offenses against a loving and absolutely good God. Jesus said he offers us forgiveness as our savior, himself paying for our offenses against God. Jesus spoke of people receiving either eternal reward or eternal punishment according to whether they accept his forgiveness during their ONE lifetime on earth (Matthew 25:31-46; see also Hebrews 9:27). Jesus explained that he came into the world "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10). He said that he "did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).

Jesus showed his forgiving love even while being executed on a cross. A thief on a cross next to Jesus confessed his sin and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus responded, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Only faith in Jesus was required for paradise, not lifetime after lifetime of working off bad karma and building up good karma. As Jesus announced: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). That, indeed, is good news--for this life and beyond.

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