What does the Bible say about karma?



Question: "What does the Bible say about karma?"

Answer:
Karma is a theological concept found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how one lives one’s life will determine the quality of life one will have when one is reincarnated. In other words, if one is unselfish, kind, and holy during their lifetime, one will be rewarded by being reincarnated (reborn into a new earthly body) into a pleasant life. However, if one lives a life of selfishness and evil, one will be reincarnated into a less than pleasant lifestyle. In other words, we reap in the next life what we sow in this one. Karma is based on the theological belief in reincarnation. The Bible does not agree with the idea of reincarnation, so therefore, it does not support the idea of karma.

Hebrews 9:27 states, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” This Bible verse makes clear two important points which, for Christians, negate the possibility of reincarnation and karma. First, it states that we are “destined to die once,” meaning that humans are only born once and only die once. There is no endless cycle of life and death and rebirth that is inherent in the reincarnation theory. Second, it states that after death we face judgment, meaning that there is no second chance, like there is in reincarnation and karma, to live a better life. You get one shot at life and living it according to God’s plan, and that’s it.

The Bible talks a lot about reaping and sowing. Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” And Luke 12:24 says, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

In each of these instances, as well as all the other references to reaping and sowing, the act of receiving the rewards of one’s actions takes place in this life, not in some future life. It is a present-day activity and the references make it clear that the fruit one reaps will be commensurate with the actions one has performed. In addition, the actions or sowing one performs in this life will affect one’s reward or punishment in the afterlife.

This afterlife is not a rebirth or a reincarnation into another body here on earth. It is either everlasting suffering in hell (Matthew 25:46) or everlasting life in Heaven with Jesus, who died so that we might live everlastingly with Him. This should be the focus of our life on earth. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:8-9, “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap everlasting life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Finally, we must always remember that it was Jesus whose death on the cross resulted in the reaping of everlasting life for us, and that it is faith in Jesus that will gain for us this everlasting life. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Therefore, we see that the concept of reincarnation and karma is incompatible with what the Bible teaches about life, death, and the sowing and reaping of everlasting life.


Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias.


Related Topics:

I am a Buddhist, why should I consider becoming a Christian?

What does the Bible say about reincarnation?

I am a Buddhist, why should I consider becoming a Christian?

What is Hinduism and what do Hindus believe?

What is Confucianism?



Return to:

Questions about Cults and Religions


Return to:

elhijodedios.com Home


What does the Bible say about karma?