Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Is cremation forbidden in the Bible? Some religions would have us believe this.
A. The practice of cremation is an ancient one. Many cultures have practiced it, and it is gaining popularity today.

According to the Bible taken as a whole, the mode of a person’s burial is not of great importance. Jacob was embalmed (Gen. 50:1-3), and the Bible states that he will sit with Abraham and Isaac in the Kingdom of God (Luke 13:28). Christ was not embalmed, but He was resurrected to become the first born of many brethren. Others who were martyred received no burial but were torn asunder by wild beasts. They, too, are promised a place in the Kingdom.

So from a spiritual point of view, what happens to the body after death is inconsequential. Scripture shows that it was the custom of the Jews to merely wrap and bury those who died (John 19:40).Christ was buried according to that custom. What if God had not intervened in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s behalf?  They would have been burned up.  Would God have rejected them?

As did Christ, the apostle Paul spoke of death, burial and resurrection, likening the process to a seed which is planted and germinates (John 12:24-25; I Cor. 15:35-37, 42-44). But regardless of whether a body becomes dust or ashes (burnt dust), the Bible promises that it will be resurrected (Acts 24:15; Rev.20:12-15).Through the power of God, both cremated and buried bodies will be resurrected.
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