Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 10th May 1998
From the Pastor: The Resurrection V
"And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened ..." Revelation 20:12|
With the growing paganism of our society one belief that is growing with
it is reincarnation. This is the belief that we are on a "wheel of life",
that all life is essentially on a continuum, that I can be an insect now,
then die, and come back as a giraffe, then another time as a man and so on.
As the wheel turns, so the cycle of life and death goes inexorably on.
Apart from the fact that there is no real scientific evidence for such
a belief, there is just the same a superficial, but deceptive,
attractivness for it. Involved in reicarnation is the doctrine of karma,
the law of inevitable retribution: what goes up must come down. There
is no escape. Of course, on this view there can be no Divine judgement,
but this "relief" comes at a high price: equally, there can be no
However the price is higher still: reincarnation offers no real hope for
the future. What comes at the end of this almost endless run of cycles?
Nirvana - nothingness! An absorption into the "totality", and loss of
identity. How different is the Bible! Here we have a hope of a final
resurrection in the same body which died, but glorified and invested with
new properties. There will be no loss of identity. And it is guaranteed
by the fact of Christ's resurrection.
There remains one issue: the fact of Divine judgement. The dead will be
raised and judged in the body for the things done in the body
(2 Corinthians 5:10). The God of all the earth will do right in the end.
But better to face judgement with Christ the Advocate, than be on a
"wheel of life" from which I cannot escape.