Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The above passage sets forth the basic biblical teaching of the general judgment that awaits all mankind when Christ comes back. It is pretty plain that those saved by the grace of God in Christ Jesus will live forever with God and those whose names are not found in the Book of Life will spend eternity in the fires of Hell.
Unfortunately America has become thoroughly secularized so that if you ask people on the street if there is a judgment or hereafter or any accountability after death by far the answer you will get the most will not be based on the Bible at all. Listening recently to just such a survey all the answers either brought in a sense of Karma or just a sappy, “If I do more good than bad, I will be Okay”, or both.
It is amazing how even those who call themselves Christians will refer to Karma as how life and death generally work. They assume that what goes around will come around when it comes to the hereafter. Of course, they have neither studied Karma nor the Bible and so even though they are nominal Christians, their doctrine of the judgment is thoroughly pagan because humanism and paganism is allowed to be taught in the schools and airwaves but not the Bible.
The next time you hear someone say they believe in Karma ask them to explain Karma to you. You can pretty much be sure you will hear an Americanized form of it that isn’t biblical and isn’t Hindu either. The fact is that Karma teaches that one pays for past life’s sins in the following life until you finally are freed from earthly existence entirely after countless life cycles. But here is the kicker. If one is suffering in this life it is because of something they did in a previous life and so to be relieved of suffering means that you will have to suffer at some point in the future or you will never move to a higher level of existence.
This helps explain why social conditions in a place like India have always been so deplorable and continue to be so. Karma works well with the caste system or we might say the caste system is a result of Karma. Charity work was pretty much unheard of before the English brought Christianity and reform to India. That is because if you see people who are suffering you mustn’t give them relief because you aren’t allowing them to pay for their sins. On the other hand if you are born into wealth, you must have deserved it and so it is perfectly acceptable to look down on the less fortunate.
In other words, what forms the basis for western civilization when it comes to human rights and charity is turned on its head in societies that hold to Karma or a system of judgment similar to it. So the next time you hear someone say they believe in Karma find out if they do or not and you have an opening to give the gospel of grace. Karma is just impersonal law keeping in which grace has no part. Some mindless, nameless force makes sure that every bad thing we do will be paid for with no hope of escape. Grace is God paying the price for our sin so that we can escape the punishment.
And by all means let’s make sure we don’t use terms like Karma that just causes more confusion and darkness in a world that is too dark to begin with.