Some of the world’s religions profess a belief in a doctrine of reincarnation. This is not an option for a Christian. The Letter to the Hebrews is quite straightforward. Human beings only die once and then there is judgement. We have one life to work out our relationship with God and then we stand before Him and have that life judged.

If we think about it carefully enough this description of life is the only one that really makes sense if we want to talk about our lives having any meaning morally. If we keep getting another chance to fix up what we did wrong in a previous life, there is no real imperative to act according to what is right and good because there will always be another chance! Morality loses any sense of obligation towards the good and it becomes a type of waiting game; waiting until the individual is tired of seeking pleasure for pleasure’s sake and decides to seek truth and holiness for truth and holiness’ sake.

The doctrine of reincarnation also seemingly does away with the need for a Savior. It just becomes a matter of time, of trial and error, before we save ourselves by living a more virtuous type of life. The necessity of having Jesus as Savior and Lord is lost in the midst of a ‘God helps those who help themselves’ type of mentality. The unique role of Jesus as the One who was totally obedient to the Father’s will, is lost in the midst of our own, personally achieved perfection, that comes after repeated attempts at living our lives here on earth.

Jesus is the only mediator between Man and God. He is the one who mediates salvation. Yes, we can become co-redeemers in Christ, but this is only by virtue of first uniting ourselves with Jesus and His once and for all act of salvation, His life, death and resurrection. Apart from Jesus; apart from embracing the cross; apart from surrendering our lives to the grace of salvation that He freely offers us, there is no salvation for any one of us!

Jesus lived on the earth once. We too only have one opportunity to ‘get it right.’ Ultimately one chance is really enough. Jesus seems to indicate this in the parable of Dives and Lazarus where He explains that there is no point in sending further messengers to the rich man’s family to change their lives. They know what the truth is, and knowing the truth they should act accordingly as it is upon their response to the truth that they will be judged.

Do I believe in reincarnation? Do I seriously take responsibility for the actions of my life? Each and every act helps to determine the type of person that I am. It is upon this that I will be judged.

Jesus, help me to understand the seriousness of all the decisions that I make. Grant me the grace to see and respond to the call to unite my life with yours as you are the only way to salvation.