Is Cremation A Sin Against God
A: In the Bible, cremation is not labeled a sinful practice. Frankly, the topic is not dealt with at all in terms of the detailed lists of instructions for living and dying set forth by almighty God in the Old and New testaments. The short answer to your question appears to be no, cremation is not a sin.
Is Cremation Okay According To The Bible
The Bible does not take a stance on cremation, nor does cremation in any way hamper Gods plan to one day resurrect all of humanity.
Although burning the remains of the dead is mentioned a few times in the Bible, the modern practice of cremation is not specifically addressed. One account describes a man being stoned and then burned due to his reprehensible behavior . Another refers to valiant men who rescued and burned the remains of King Saul and his sons to prevent further dishonorable treatment of their bodies .
Christian Tradition Or Heathen Practices
However, there are Christian practices and heathen practices and in our day because of a lack of knowledge, some in the church have adopted heathen practices in numerous areas, besides just the practice of cremation. We can clearly see in the Bible the tradition of the Israelites, Gods chosen people, was to always bury their dead and never to burn dead bodies, as the heathen round about them did. This is demonstrated in the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. Jesus, Himself, was buried in a tomb. Here are scriptures that record how people were buried, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Genesis 23:19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.
Genesis 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Genesis 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife and there I buried Leah.
2 Samuel 19:37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried
Acts 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
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Concepts About Life After Death
Since you cant find specific mentions of scattering ashes in the Bible, it becomes necessary to look at Biblical concepts for life after death. Looking at scriptures that pertain to the eternality and immortality of the soul, resurrection, and life after death will help piece together Biblical concepts regarding cremation and scattering of the ashes.
Bodies return to dust
God created man out of dust in the first chapter of the book of Genesis. Just two chapters later, the first man and women are told, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. In a separate book, the book of Job, the writer says in chapter one verse twenty-one, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away blessed be the name of the Lord. Later in the same book, the writer again affirms that Man would return to dust.
Given the fact that, eventually, our bodies completely decompose and return to the earth, becoming dust, it can be said that cremation simply quickens the process.
Eternality of the soul
According to the Bible, people are not just their bodies. Instead, a persons essence is their soul and their soul continues to live even after their body dies. This reality can be found in several key passages of the Bible.
Because of the concept of the souls eternal state, it is understood that what happens to the body doesnt matter since it is the soul that lives on after death.
The coming resurrection
All Physical Remains Decompose Into Dust
Whether we are buried or cremated, we shall all eventually return to dust. However, we should pray about how our lives can bring God glory both at the end of our lives and during our lives. We can plan and save for a Christian funeral and leave a final will and testament expressing our beliefs so that when we have completed our course on this earth, we will have a witness.
This will allow others to commemorate our lives in Christ with Christian service and burial, rather than accepting the practices of pagan religions, which do not recognize that Christians receive a new body at the resurrection, while our old one is laid to rest in the ground.
This essay is not intended to be a criticism of anyone who has had a loved one cremated, as we recognize that a lack of education on the matter, as well as the stress of the situation and a lack of financial resources for a burial, may have driven you and your family to that decision. It is published in the hope that anyone who has questions regarding cremation in the future may seek the Lord and pray for guidance on how to bury their dead or leave instructions on how they wish to be buried.
Leave it to God to gather the ashes of any persons body and recreate it into a new body, no matter how spread they are throughout the face of the earth if your loved ones knew the Lord as their personal savior, they are now in heaven, awaiting their new bodies at the Lords second coming.
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Fathers Take Pride In Their Kids
Dads are invested in their kids.
When you fail, your dadâs there to pick you up. When you succeed, your dadâs there to cheer you on.
There is no feeling quite like that of a dad who sees his child become a woman or man of integrity, love, service, and work ethic.
âChildren are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in oneâs youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.â
âYour wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.â
My child, when the Lord God speaks to you, never take his words lightly, and never be upset when he corrects you. For the Fatherâs discipline comes only from his passionate love and pleasure for you. Even when it seems like his correction is harsh, itâs still better than any father on earth gives to his child. â Proverbs 3:11-12
âThe righteous lead blameless lives blessed are their children after them.â
âThe father of a righteous child has great joy a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.â
3 John 1:4
âIt is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth.â
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Why People Choose Cremation
The main reason cremation is becoming more popular is because it is cheaper and more convenient. You would not need burial plots anymore. Moreover, you can bring with you the ashes anywhere you go.
Another reason for cremation is to ensure the dead body wont spread diseases. This is especially true in the COVID-19 pandemic when people who died of the coronavirus are cremated to prevent the virus from infecting other people.
Heres a quick look at some of the most common reasons why cremation is preferred by some people:
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All Bodily Remains Return To Dust
Eventually, we will all return to dust whether we are buried or cremated. However, we should pray about how our lives can bring glory to God at the finish of our lives, as well as during our time on this earth. We can plan and save for a Christian burial and leave a last will and testament outlining our beliefs so that when we have each finished our race here on this earth, we can still have a witness at the end of our lives. This will allow others to celebrate our life in Christ through a Christian service and burial instead of accepting the ways of heathen religions that do not understand that, as Christians, we get a new body at the resurrection, as our old one is put to rest in the ground.
This article is not written to bring condemnation to any who have had loved ones cremated, as we understand the lack of knowledge on this subject and the stress of the moment and the lack of means for a burial could have led you and the family to that decision. It is rather written so that in the future those who have had questions about this topic of cremation may want to seek the Lord and pray how He would lead you to bury your dead or leave instructions as to how you want to be buried.
Additional articles can be found on our Bible Answers page at
Christianity The Bible And Cremation
Ultimately, the decision of whether to have a ground burial or be cremated is deeply personal. The Bible does not address which method is mandated for Christians, and the decision is left to the individual and their loved ones. Many feel better after discussing the process with their religious leader, be it the family Priest, Reverend, Rabbi, Chaplain, or Minister.
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Given Below Are A Few Bible Verses About Cremation
Genesis 3:19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.1 Corinthians 13:3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.1 Samuel 31, verses 11-13And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
Joshua 7:25And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned them with stones and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
Was Anyone Ever Cremated In The Bible
We do find in Scripture an instance where a dead body was cremated. After Saul and his sons died on Mount Gilboa, the Philistines found their bodies. They cut off Sauls head and hung the bodies of Saul and his sons on the wall of the city of Beth-shan. Here is what happened in response.
1 Samuel 31:11-13 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
While we cant draw specific conclusions as to why the decision was made to burn the bodies, what we can glean from this is that cremation is not considered sinful. Its quite possible the men who did this were actually honoring the bodies of Saul and his son which had been desecrated by the Philistines. I am not saying cremation is honorable or not, but in this case, that could have been the motivation.
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You Have One Father And He Is In Heaven
âAnd do not call anyone on earth âfather,â for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.â
Jesus reminded his followers that they all belonged to Godâs family and that, above anyone else, God is the one who deserves their honor and obedience. This echoes Malachiâs words in Malachi 2:10: âHave we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?â
When we recognize our shared Father, it changes the way we see our relationship to others and challenges us to care for one another as brothers and sisters.
Can God Resurrect A Cremated Body
Some people may be concerned about a cremated body and how it will be resurrected in the future.
Well, this should not be a source of concern for Christians.
Because God can resurrect a cremated body. God is the Almighty who is not limited to resurrecting buried bodies. He can do whatever He pleases and certainly, He can resurrect bodies that have been burned.
We must also remember how some saints were burned at the stake. Some were fed to the lions while others were sawn in two. Some were decapitated and impaled. Some were not even given a proper burial.
Would you say that these saints have lost their chance of being part of Gods kingdom simply because of the manner of their death? Does this mean that God will not resurrect them simply because they were not buried properly?
Of course, the answer is no.
Moreover, even if you bury a dead body, the body would still decay and decompose, eventually, leaving bones and other hard materials. This is the same thing that happens to some extent with cremation. Cremation simply hastens the process of decomposition.
Moreover, even the bodies of the saints in the past would have already been dust after thousands of years being on the ground. So, in the final analysis, theres really no difference between burial and cremation in terms of what would become of the corpse.
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Can The Deceased Contact Us
No. Our five senses are of the body, and of course the dead are of the spirit. They cant smell or taste anything, but they dont eat anything any more so its really not like a loss, its no big deal. They cant feel anything themselves, but they can touch us. Its not a physical touch, like with a finger.
What Christian Religions Do Not Believe In Cremation
Christians have in the past shied away from cremation because the Bible has a number of instances where the dead were buried. But these scriptures do not imply that cremation is not acceptable, it simply showcases that the Old Testament and even the New Testament did not have a tradition of burning their dead.
Christians today seem to be more open than ever to cremation.
If we were to just look at the trends that are happening in society today, more and more Christians are opting for cremation versus the traditional funeral and burial.
The Catholic Church
Catholics have forbidden cremation for centuries. It was considered to be a terrible sin. In fact, those who took part of cremating a deceased Catholic were excommunicated from the church. That practice has since changed completely.
In 1963, the Catholic church reversed that trend and now supports the cremation of the body. However, there are certain rites and traditions that must be completed after death while the body is still intact. After that funeral service is completed at the Catholic Church, the body can then be processed through cremation. Ideally, the body will still be entombed or buried with the cremated remains together versus a scattering of the ashes.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jehovahs Witness Church
If the family of the deceased decide to have a funeral or a memorial, they would ask that the gathering be a small gathering to avoid the appearance of being a pagan gathering.
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What Are The Bible Verses Associated With Cremation
If youre looking for specific Bible verses that support or condemn cremation, there arent many to point to. In general, when the Bible mentions cremation it is usually in reference to someone being punished or to mankinds humble beginnings. The Bible suggests that we are but dust in comparison to God. Here are some mentions of cremation in the Bible:
Genesis 3:19, NIV – “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you will return.'”
Ecclesiastes 3:20 – All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.
Joshua 7:25 – Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned them with stones and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
1 Samuel 31:12-13 – All the valiant men rose and walked all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
2 Kings 23:20 – All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars and burned human bones on them then he returned to Jerusalem.