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DOCTRINE QUESTION 2
Among Christians there seems to be a more acceptable attitude toward cremation of the dead. Is this right according to the Scriptures?
It most certainly is the attitude of many professing Christians and is characteristic of the apostate age in which we live. It is beyond me how a true Christian could arrive at such a conclusion. Though the Bible does not mention the word itself, it is most certainly out of harmony with what the Bible teaches on the burial of God's people. Some foolishly argue that a certain king died and "they made a very great burning for him." 2 Chronicles 16:14. This does not mean that they burned his body; they burned the "sweet odours of spices," as a ritual denoting their appreciation for his reign. Even if they did burn his body, this doesn't mean that we should do the same. The kings of Israel did many things that were wrong, from adultery to idolatry.
The Bible teaching on Christian burial is very clear. Abraham was very careful in purchasing a burial lot for his deceased wife Sarah. Genesis 23:4-15. He is called the father of the faithful Romans 4:16, and a good example to follow. Joseph that saintly man, requested that he be not buried with the Egyptians but that they carry him to his father's burying grounds. Genesis 47:29-31. They embalmed his body and carried his bones out of Egypt many years later. Genesis 50:26. We could go on and on through the bible and will find the same examples of burials.
The burial of the Lord Jesus is the supreme example. How carefully God arranged His burial. Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man with a new tomb gave Him the burial of a king. Matthew 27:57. Ecclesiastes 6:3, deplores the thought of no decent burial. The believer's body belongs to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). He died to redeem it. (Romans 8:22-23).
We are not headed to the flames of hell. The very thought of burning that which He has paid such a tremendous price for is repulsive. Our bodies are going to be fashioned "like unto His glorious body." (Philippians 3:21). What about you? Are you saved or headed for the flames of hell. Trust Christ today and know the certainty of salvation.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen