Answers

By   •   July 6, 2005   •   Topics:

Q:

Does the Bible forbid cremation? This has been a controversial topic in our family recently, because an aunt of mine died not long ago and directed that her body be cremated. One of our cousins, however, claims the Bible says you can't go to heaven if you're cremated. Is he right?


A:

No, this isn’t what the Bible says, and I find nothing in the Bible that forbids cremation as a means of disposing of a person’s body.

It’s true that burial was the common practice in the Bible, and cremation was rare. When cremation was practiced, it showed contempt for the person (e.g., Achan, who disobeyed God and brought defeat to the Israelites—see Joshua 7:25). Cremation is often practiced today in cultures that have no respect for the human body or see it as evil; Christians in those societies reject cremation. We believe God gave us our bodies, and they should be treated with respect. After creating the human race, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

One reason burial has been preferred by Christians is because the Bible teaches that one day those who die in Christ will be raised from the dead and given new bodies. But God is able to bring together whatever has been scattered: “And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:27).

I hope your family won’t be divided over this issue. Pray for peace in your family—and may each of you face the reality of death, and rejoice in the hope we have of eternal life because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us.

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30 Comments

  1. Jane Hanlon says:

    I, too, have an issue with cremation. I am elderly, disabled, have no family (never married or had children). All my biological family is gone, and all my adopted family is almost gone. I’m marginal because of my income status, and I would have to be cremated because I couldn’t afford a burial. I know that probably sounds like an excuse, but when you live from paycheck to paycheck, it’s hard to save even $25 per month. I know, been trying for years, and always have to use it b/4 the next month’s paycheck. I am a Christian, and this issue has me concerned. ‘Cause probably when I die, since I really have no beneficiary (the person I want to handle my concerns when I die may or may not be around–she’s 8 yrs older than me)???

  2. Larry Schardan says:

    In my mind, if God found fault with cremation, The Word would not leave it to interpretation. God would have clearly given his direction for people to follow! More importantly, live your life so that it pleases the Lord and you will be found acceptable.

  3. Amber says:

    Thank you so much for this. I recently was trying to get the bible view of burial and this has helped. Thank you again!😊

  4. Linda Toyota says:

    Because of cost I was wondering about this. I did not want to do anything against Gods Will on this but did not want to burden my family with this either. Thanks for your help on this.

  5. shirley davis says:

    I want to be cremated, so I asked about it. My time is getting very short do to sickness. I also want to be baptised I live in jackson,miss, and do not belong to a church. So I do not know how to do this. I blessed to have God in my life.

    1. Cathy Daniels says:

      Shirley, sorry you are ill but very happy you know the Lord. He loves you abundantly! Maybe you can try calling some churches near you and talk to the church receptionist. They can usually answer your questions. Maybe a neighbor, friend or your doctor might know also. Praying for you to have renewed strength and clariety and that you find a good church to help comfort you. God Bless You.

    2. India says:

      Get into a good bible based church ASAP .. Make sure u pray the sinners prayer to complete accept Jesus into your heart and life ask the Holy Spirit to give u divine health that you may serve the Lord and get Baptised.. God Bless.. By HIS STRIPES I pray in Jesus name that you recieve comfort from pain and divine healing.