What about Karma?

Karma is the idea that what goes around comes around. Karma is tossed out in casual conversation, especially at times when a bad person has something bad happen to him. Karma is a concept that comes from Buddhist teaching and stresses personal responsibility for actions with an emphasis on cause and effect. Karma is the mystical application of “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” to behavior. What happens to one today the was earned by past behavior. One teacher said it this way, “Your world today is just a reflection of your past.” Karma teaches that thoughts and actions are powerful. They carry energy that ripples across the universe and that will eventually echo back to the person who committed them. Karma is akin to the common proverb, “what goes around comes around.” In the eastern religions Buddhism and Hinduism karma is also a reflection of past lives. A person who was bad in past lives may face greater suffering in this life. All wrongs must be atoned for in life and in the end, everything must balance out.

The Bible does not teach Karma. People do not have multiple tries at life and not all wrong will be punished during a person’s lifetime. Actions have consequences, but nowhere does the Bible teach that good in this life will come to those who do good or that evil in this life will come to those who do evil. Instead, the Bible teaches Divine judgment on sin. The Bible teaches that sin has awful consequences. Some of those consequences will be felt in life, but the consequences of sin will be felt most severely after this life. In the end judgment or blessing does not find it’s primary basis in the behavior of the individual. Judgment and blessing is based on the person’s relationship with God. He who has turned to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation will never suffer punishment for the wrong he does. He who has not accepted Jesus as Savior will be punished for all his sin and the good he has done will one day be revealed to be worthless. The Bible doctrine of punishment and reward is a doctrine of eternal judgment or eternal joy based only on a person’s saving faith.

This may seem very unfair. Why are those who ask Jesus to save them absolved from all consequences of their sin? How is it justice for God to ignore all the wrong done by certain people? God remains a righteous judge because He provided a substitute who stepped in and suffered the full punishment of sin. Jesus’ death was more than a horrible injustice done by man to the perfect Son of God. Jesus’ death on the cross was the act of God by which God the Son took the place of mankind and endured in His own body the full and just wrath of God on sin. Jesus paid the complete penalty of sin, spiritual death and physical death, so those who will trust Him for salvation will not suffer eternal consequences themselves. The Bible does not teach a version of karma. The Bible teaches Divine justice which will punish all sin. Either one will suffer the eternal punishment of his sin in his own body or he will in this turn to Jesus to have all guilt and sin removed. The Bible teaches divine mercy which provided a legal substitute and offers that substitute freely to all who will rely on Him for forgiveness.


2 thoughts on “What about Karma?

    • That’s a question worth a long answer, but the short answer is both. God has given in this world means for wrong to be revenged and justice accomplished. He instituted governments to prosecute crime and bring penalties against those who do wrong. From the very beginning God has declared the wages of sin is death. Every sin comes with it’s own immediate consequences. The consequences of sin include separation from God, broken relationships, mental distress and physical damage. Despite these consequences, it seems that many times evil men do not suffer for their wickedness. Though justice may not always be served in this life, after a man’s death he will see the full justice and vengeance of God on evil.

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