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DOCTRINE QUESTION 5
Many believe that the dead are annihilated and are later reincarnated. Is there any biblical support for such a belief?
People like to believe this, because it gets around the facing of God in judgment for their sins. There is absolutely no support for either of the above in the Word of God.
There is a vast distinction between eternal life and eternal existence. Eternal life is not just quantity, it is a quality of life that only God has and can give. It is the kind of life we have to have to live in heaven with Him. Without human life we cannot live here, without eternal life we cannot live there. The Bible is clear that those who die in their sins, still exist. (Luke 16:22-23). A man died, was buried and lifted up his eyes in hell. Jesus emphasized this by saying it three times, in three separate verses. "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46 and Mark 9:48. "...and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night." Revelation 14:11. The error of such teaching is; there was no distinction made between eternal life and eternal existence.
The wicked died in their sins and exist in a state of death (separation from God) forever). The word "perish" in (John 3:16), simply means "a loss of well-being." This is not God's desired end for them. "...not willing that any should perish,..." 2 Peter 3:9. This teaching is cultic and should be strongly repudiated. The Bible is crystal clear in that it teaches both heaven and hell as the eternal abode of those who are saved and those who are lost. Resurrection of both is taught in John 5:29 but not reincarnation.
The difference between the heaven and hell, for us, is what we do with Jesus Christ. "He died for your sins." You must know Him as your personal Saviour in order to have eternal life. "He that believeth on Him hath everlasting life." John 3:36.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen