"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons..."     I Timothy 4:1 (NKJV)

I am seeing references to "karma" on facebook more and more these days so that I felt it would be helpful to write about it and try to clear up a few things. First of all, to answer the question above, "No, karma is not a Biblical teaching."

I won't try to give a detailed explanation of what karma is, but I will say that the whole idea came from eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. It basically says that you will be paid back for whatever you do, and oftentimes this payback concerns either supposed "past" lives or "future" lives. But this idea is completely against what the Bible teaches, for at least two reasons.

First of all, Hebrews 9:27 clearly teaches that "man is destined to die once, and after that face judgment." So, whenever anyone suggests that your "karma" will be worked out in the next life, they are teaching a different gospel than the one the Bible teaches. (The Bible does not teach reincarnation, but resurrection) And if someone were to take this false idea seriously, they "could" be deceived and miss out on the eternal salvation that Christ has died to obtain for all who will believe.

Secondly, "karma" teaches that we will all get what we deserve. If that were true, we would all go to hell, because we have all sinned against God and dishonored Him in many ways. But in His mercy, God has provided a way for us to be freed from our sins and receive His grace (unmerited favor). Jesus Christ, by living a sinless life, has fulfilled all of the requirements of God's justice and by dying on the cross, has paid the penalty that was due for the sins of all mankind. Now, anyone who will honor God's Son and believe in Him, may receive, not "karma," what he deserves, but the free gift of eternal life!

Although I understand that some may think that "karma" is similar to the Biblical teaching of reaping and sowing, I think we should stick with what the Bible teaches. If we want to encourage others to keep the golden rule, as Jesus taught (Matthew 7:12), or to do good things because God has promised to bless us as it says in Galatians 6:7-9, that's fine.   Or, we can tell folks that even if we are not blessed by the good things we do in this life, we will still be a blessing to those we help out, and God will reward us in heaven.   Either way, we should always avoid using the terminology of religious teachings that do not believe the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ, who is this world's ONLY hope and means for salvation. (see also - II John 7-11, I John 2:22, I John 4:1-3, Galatians 1:6-9)

"When we are called before God and His throne of judgment, it will be too late to reverse our decision. It is during our lifetime here on earth that we decide our eternal destiny."     (from Billy Graham in Quotes, Nelson Books, 2011, p. 105

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