Is Cremation Biblical?
By David J. Stewart
I personally don't think it's wrong to be cremated for a couple reasons. First, burial expenses range anywhere from $8,000 and up. God wouldn't want us to place that kind of burden upon our loved ones at death. Second, the Apostle Peter was burned upside down at the stake. Certainly God can give us new bodies, and will, at the Rapture (1st Corinthians 15:52,53). Lazarus was dead for 4-days and the Bible said he stank from the rot of his dead body; but Jesus raised him up alive and healthy again. So, I'm not worried about that.
I do think burial is preferred, as the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; however, there is NO Biblical command to do so, and it would be wrong for us to mandate what the Bible does not.
The issue is whether or not it pleases God one way or the other how we are placed to rest. Since the Bible does not give a direct command on the issue, I think it is a matter of preference. This is just my opinion. Cremation is much cheaper than burial and God doesn't expect us to pay today's exorbitant funeral expenses. I know it's a morbid subject; but such is life.
The fact of the matter is that most of the people in the world today, and throughout history, have been buried directly into the soil (with no casket not embalming). This means that their bodies rotted in the soil from decomposition. Out of over 6,000,000,000 people alive on earth today, two-thirds of them live on less than $2 per day, and one-third on less than $1 per day. Do you think most of them will be embalmed with formaldehyde to prevent decay and rot? No, most of them are simply buried and allowed to deteriorate into the soil. This would seem to thwart the notion of burying one's body in anticipation of being raised up again at the Rapture. In most cases there won't be a body to raise because it will have decomposed into the earth.
So, in my opinion, it is wrong to teach that cremation is sinful, when the Word of God does not address this issue. The Lord is able to do anything and will resurrect all bodies from the earth, whether previously buried or burned into ashes. If God could speak the universe into existence by the mere Word of His mouth, then he can certainly can resurrect our human remains into a new incorruptible body at the Rapture. Amen!
The Lord understands that death is a scary thing for many of us. Who'd want to be buried 6-feet under and their brain still be conscious in a casket? No doubt some people worry about this. God understands, "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). God knows our concerns and fears. I don't think it is a lack of faith in God to have genuine worries and concerns about the afterlife. The important thing is that we BELIEVE (i.e., trust) on the name of Jesus Christ for our salvation, in spite of any doubts we may have. No amount of doubt can prevent a person from going to Heaven just so long as they "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 16:31).
So, I think cremation is acceptable if it comforts one's heart and makes one feel better. If God had wanted us buried in the ground, then He would have stated so. Jesus spoke openly to the world and said what He had to say, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). Jesus never said anything about how we should be placed to rest, he simply said to let the dead bury their dead... "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead" (Matthew 8:22). This Scripture, to me, shows that burial wasn't an issue with Jesus. The big issue is that we follow Jesus, trusting Him to forgive our sins and take care of everything else.
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