There are many who believe in reincarnation, which is the theory that after death the soul is recycled and sent back to earth as someone else.
It is not uncommon to hear someone say that a person, place, or thing looks familiar; meaning possible reincarnation. In 1972, the theatrical film "The reincarnation of Peter Proud" was playing around the country about a drowned man who returns as someone else to seek his love. People can relate to such a film because they believe and practice the theory in real life.
But what does the Bible teach about this subject? Are we recycled and sent back to live another life? I know people don't care for God's word, but it is the only source that can give the true answer. Notice some of the things taught by the word.
After death the soul goes back to God: Ecclesiastes 3.20-22 and Eccl. 12:7 teaches that our souls return to God, and the body returns to the dust from whence it was made. Take note that the scriptures make known what happens to both spirit and flesh. Spirit back to God. Flesh back to dust. One doesn't have to be a Solomon to figure that out. The scriptures taught nothing at all about a recycling process, so the soul stays there where God has it. Paul also acknowledged nothing about being reincarnated. He spoke of being with Christ after death and certainly not being sent back to earth as someone else (Philippians 1:23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
The dead don't return to this life: With few exceptions during which God's purpose was carried out, the dead stay dead. David said in 2 Samuel 12:23 that he would die and join his son, but the son wouldn't return to him. David knew that the soul of his son wasn't going to be recycled and sent back. He knew the boy would stay where he was.
Ecclesiastes 9:6 teaches that the dead have no part forever in anything done under the sun. If the ideal of reincarnation is true, then Solomon lied because the dead do have part once again in things under the sun; that being another life in another body. Job also knew nothing of a person being reincarnated, for he wrote "he that goes to the grave rises no more, neither shall he return to his house or his house know him as they did," that is in this life (Job 7:9-10).
The whole theory of reincarnation is destroyed by the words of Abraham when he said that in Hades a soul cannot leave because a gulf that prevents anyone from coming back to this life (Luke 16:25). Abraham is not lying—he knows what it is like after death, and we need to listen to him.
The Bible teaches that we live only one life: Hebrews 9:27 teaches that men die once, not several times because of reincarnation. The judgment is the only thing we face after death. We don't face recycling and being sent back here again. 2 Corinthians 5:10 teaches we have one life because we give account for deeds done in the body—meaning one body is all we have. Reincarnation has us having many bodies because of our many lives.
The dead that did come back came as the same person: Remember it was said that God brought some dead back to life to serve his purpose or confirm his word as taught by Jesus or the apostles (Mark 16:17-20).
All the souls that came back from the great beyond went right back to the body they had left at the time of their death, because that was the only body they ever had (1 Kings 17:22; Luke 8:54-55; John 11:43-45; Luke 7:11-17; Acts 9:36-42; Acts 20:9-10).
We must take what God has told us about death and not listen to people who teach and believe things that don't harmonize with the teachings of God's word. Reincarnation goes contrary to the Biblical principles so plainly taught. We as a people in the United States of America must speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).