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Are We Reincarnated After Death?

In connection with a subject of death in the cemetery I probably need to talk briefly about reincarnation. I even meet Christians that believe in reincarnation. I admit I'm not proud of it that when I first became a Christian I came out of the New Age movement and Eastern religions, I believed in reincarnation. I tried to commingle the Bible teaching with reincarnation. I tried to make the two of them fit. I said, well, after all there's at least one reincarnation when the dead in Christ rise maybe there were others.

I tried to argue for that pretty soon as I studied the Bible I realized you can't defend reincarnation from the Bible. Yes, there's that one time when we're reassembled either you're resurrected with the just or you're resurrected with the lost and that's it, but you're you! Reincarnation teaches you come back to somebody else. There's no reincarnation, the Bible tells us. This is very clear. Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die." How many times?

Now you know there's a few exceptions like Jesus resurrected Lazarus and he died again, right? There are a couple of rare exceptions of people who were resurrected and they had to die again. If speaking in terms of general humanity it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. You don't just keep on coming back and you start out as a squirrel and or an alligator and working yourself up to a squirrel and then you come back as a man. Now I guess they say you come back as a woman, then a man and then a cow. That's the sequence that they teach, did you know that? Yes.

You've heard the expression "Holy cow"? That's where it comes from, it's true. I'm serious. What happens when a person dies? When you go to the cemetery, does it give you the creeps. If you had to walk through a cemetery middle of the night, full moon, would you be afraid because some spook's going to reach out of their grave and grab your ankle? We've been trained to think that way. Come on admit it, haven't we? We're trained to think all these macabre ghoulish things, that the dead aren't really dead. What does the Bible teach about the subject of death? What is man state? Boy, if anything is clear, if you're a Bible christian, this is clear.

The Bible refers to it as a dreamless sleep; from the time of death until the resurrection there is no consciousness. Some of you have restless sleep, and it seems like the night goes on forever. Some of you sleep well, you close your eyes and the next thing you know you may have been there for seven hours, you hear the alarm and you think, "what happened?" It seems like I just closed my eyes; no awareness of time. That's how the Bible describes the sleep of death.

For the saved and the lost, it's the same. Psalm 13:3, "Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death." Death is referred to over and over again in the Bible. Old Testament, New Testament, words of Jesus when his friends came and told him, "Your friend Lazarus is sick."

Jesus waited and he didn't do anything. He said to the disciples, "You know, our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I'm going that I might wake him." The Apostles didn't understand, they said, "Well, he had a fever. If he's sleeping that's good, he'll get better. He said, "No, you don't understand." Lazarus is what? Dead. How did Jesus refer to Lazarus death, as what? Sleep.

The story of Lazarus is a great story. I'm surprised that it's not more clear to people. When Jesus went to the tomb and he said, "Roll away the stone." He was getting ready to raise him. He had been dead for four days. Martha said, "Lord by this time he stinks: for he's been dead for four days." The body is turning back into dust, and that's not a happy process, and you don't want to roll away the stone now.

Jesus said, "Trust me." They rolled away the stone. "And when he had said this, he cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus then came forth, he had been bound by grave clothes, and Jesus said, "Loose him." How long he had he been dead? Four days.

You know one reason I think Jesus allowed Lazarus to be in a great for days, Lazarus was in the grave longer than Jesus. Some people say, well, these other resurrections in the Bible, they were probably in a some kind of induced coma. They weren't really dead yet, but with Lazarus he had been embalmed. They'd wrapped him up. He would have suffocated otherwise. They wrapped him to head and foot.

Remember even with Jesus, he had a napkin around the head and all this ointment and stuff. Lazarus had been dead four days in the tomb, already begun to smell.

I expect when they rolled away the stone I don't want to be unpleasant, but the stench probably wafted out and gagged them. When he came out of the grave, if that happened today, Larry King would have called Lazarus and said, "Look, I want an interview." Am I right? What would have been the first question? What happened? What did you see? Where did you go? What do you do? Who'd you meet? What was it like to be dead? Isn't that right?

In spite of the fact that this was one of the most public miracles of Jesus, and all the disciples knew about it, what comment do we find in the Bible regarding what Lazarus experienced while he was dead? Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zip, zilch, pick your favorite term.

The biggest question in history is what happens when you die? Lazarus has got the answer. He comes back, and what's his comment? No comment. Why? Jesus tells us why, he's asleep. Lazarus had a fever, he was sick, all of a sudden he lost consciousness, eventually he died. He didn't know anything until all of a sudden he woke up feeling great, but he's all wrapped up with this ancient toilet paper.

That is, he don't know what's going on. It he's here in Jesus call him. That's all he knew. It was like a sleep. This is what the Bible teaches. In 1 Thessalonians 4, the Apostle Paul says, "Brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant regarding them that are asleep," and then what does he commence to talk about? Death. Paul calls it, asleep. He said, "I want you to understand this." Why? Because not understanding this could lead to major deception in the last days.

That's why I've chosen the subject. Matthew 27, "When Christ comes and the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints which slept," and this is actually when Jesus died on the cross. Many of the bodies of the saints which did what? Slept. The Bible refers to it as sleep. Again, Job 17:13. "If I wait, the grave is my house." You wait in the grave until the resurrection. Another one, Job 21:32. "Yet he shall be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb."

Finally, if this is not enough scripture for you, Acts 2. Some people say, "Well in the Old Testament, they slept," but in the New Testament everybody who had been dead now goes to heaven. Peter at Pentecost, he's preaching about this, and he starts talking about King David. This is Good King David who we know will be saved, the man after God's own heart. What does Peter say about David, is he go right to heaven? "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is--," both what? "dead and buried and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. For David is not ascended into the heavens." Dead, buried not in heaven, and when David died, it says, "He slept with his fathers." If that's clear say amen.
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