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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126 Comments

  1. Regina Marie Smith says:

    The Bible, is the infallible and inspired Word, of God’s truth to all humanity. I’m a firm believer of all of it. The messanger may change but God’s message never changes.

  2. Ken Gentry says:

    Thank you!

  3. Mart says:

    Cremation is more affordable in today’s times. I feel God wants my soul not my body

  4. Sandra Burd says:

    Thank you for answering my question about cremation. When the time comes for either myself or my husband, I will leave the answer up to God. I have prayed He will direct the surviving spouse. God’s blessings to all,

  5. karen shepherd says:

    Thanks for clarifying this for me. I have always admired and respected Billy Graham, and now his son, Franklin Graham, who is continuing to teach us. I will always remember when Billy was asked years ago by someone (can’t remember who it was), what would you like the Lord to say to you when you enter Heaven someday? And he said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It shows the world where your heart was with that statement, and that you truly are a man of God. 🙂

  6. Mabel Ann Wright says:

    Thank you for answering this so well. My husband and I have disagreed on this, but you have helped me on my decision.

  7. Tatenda says:

    Keep on nurturing the world. We are growing spiritual because of your teachings. Your credit is from God stay blessed man of God.