6/13/2021 From Death to Life ~Rev. Bernie Chung
Hinduism is actually not a single religion, but a multi-faceted religion formed from many mutual influences and integrations. Hinduism does not have an obvious self-proclaimed founder of the religion. There is no clear creed and statement of faith, or recognized authority. In fact, one who may believe that there is only one god, multiple gods, or even none at all can still become a Hindu! Accepting contradictory ideas is not a problem for Hindus. They believe that everything in reality, whether there are contradictions or not, is part of "a system." Almost all Hindus believe in two basic assumptions: reincarnation and cause and effect (Karma).
Reincarnation is the belief associated with the atman, the inner self or soul of a person. It is one of the most basic concepts in Indian philosophy that deals with the eternal soul of a person. This eternal soul must reincarnate in different bodies repeatedly as it circulates the world. The incarnation may cause the eternal soul to turn into different forms including animal, plant or even inanimate objects. Every atman, the so-called "inner self” or “I” must endure the painful process of reincarnation thousands of times. Only through many painful experiences and sufferings can Hindus free themselves from the worldly pain, and finally unite with infinity, which is eternity.
The law of cause and effect (Karma) advocates that an person’s accumulation of merits and demerits, gains and losses can be affected by the choices he’d made in life, and will follow his soul to different reincarnations. In other words, the cause and effect of the previous life affects one's current life, and the cause and effect of this life will determine one's life status in the next life.
There is absolutely no Hindu reincarnation and karma in the Bible. Hinduism teaches that the so-called eternal and infinite "I" of atman is not a creation, and it is perfect and free in itself. No matter how many reincarnations of life are needed, eventually every "I" will realize the divinity of "self". But the Bible clearly teaches the contrary, that everyone of us is a creation of God. Hebrews 9:27 (NIV84) says: "Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No one can escape death at the end. The Lord Jesus tells us truthfully in John 5:24: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Brothers and Sisters, we have to thank God for His free gift of uniting us with Christ. As long as we accept the forgiveness of sins from the Lord Jesus who died on the cross, we are reborn and saved. We can live in God’s "eternal life" without condemnation, crossing over from death to life. Amen!