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Burial vs. Cremation

Happy New Year to my brothers and sisters in Christ!

I am new to this site and am still technically a baby Christian having been saved the first week of May 2014.

I have a burden that has been on my heart for awhile now and would greatly appreciate any insight, wisdom, and practical experience from anyone, especially pastors.
My mother will soon be placed on hospice services. I am worried about her salvation and have prayed about it, but that's for another thread. My concern is this: she wants to be cremated and buried with her family. I have contacted the caretaker of the cemetery and she told me that the space where my mother wants her remains to be can only hold a cremation urn, but that is not what worries me.
I believe I understand what the Bible teaches about fire and it is not good. Also, when the resurrection comes, the dead in Christ will rise first. Is this possible with a person whose physical remains have been cremated?
I haven't asked the Holy Spirit yet for direct guidance on this matter, as I've been more concerned with the salvation issue.
She has dementia, so I'm not sure she would be able to state if she has trusted Christ for her salvation.
I am her only child and am very concerned. All comments are welcome and appreciated.
I apologize if this has been brought up before; I haven't had a chance to fully explore my new home yet!
Thank you so much
Staff Member
First Dear Sister is that my prayers go out to for your mother and for you during this trying time. My mother also had dementia before dying. It's difficult at best during this times. Might I suggest that you spend time reading scripture to while she is in bed. You have no idea how much is retained or not by those who are in this state. Always remember that Salvation is between the person and God. We can have many thoughts on whether a person is saved or not. Ultimately it is not in our hands to determine. Continue to be the faithful daughter in these last days and you will be comforted.

As far as cremation goes. I don't know of a reason why not. There are those who died in ways that apparently leave not even ash remains could be found. Were they any less the believer because of this? Of cause not. As far as I know cremation in the bible is neither a pro or con. Burning as in altar sacrifice is a no in the OT, and thought the practices during the NT time for Christians were burial. This still in no way states that it is wrong or what is considered right as it pertains to cremation nor does it state that God will not be able to resurrect the bodies of those so buried. Remember, you are talking about the God of the Universe and all that is in it. He created us! So, can he reconstitute from atoms that which has been cremated? Of cause! Also, keep in mind that the believer has more than our old bodies to look forward to!

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself
. Philippians 3:20-21

You might also want to read 2 Corinthians 5

Be at ease on this decision. Focus on praying for your mother and trying to make these last days with her one in which you can take comfort from. Even try praying with her if she will allow. I know the difficulties that you are dealing with. At times she is almost like a child, and may not even recognize you or even think you to be someone else entirely! Or drift off, and even talk to others. That is why I suggest reading the Bible to her. Maybe the Gospel of John. She might get comfort from hearing your voice and as I said before you don't know what she may retain and if not already saved. She may even seek Salvation in Jesus Christ if only in her mind and spirit.

Praying for you and your during this trying time.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
Staff Member
Greetings Helen @Live_for_Him :-)

May you know the Lord's comfort and perfect peace regarding these matters concerning your dear mother.

In agreement with our brother Christ4ever keep reading scripture and praying over your mother. The Lord is abundantly able to save no matter what the state of her mind is. Keep reading those wonderful words of life to her.

I understand your concern regarding cremation sister Helen....I experienced the same worries when my dear father died. He was cremated.
However, the Lord who can do all things, including raising the dead, makes what seems impossible to man possible. Praise the Lord.
Christians killed in aircrashes or bomb blasts are no less saved because their earthly bodies were destroyed.

Praying for your dear mother

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” —1 Samuel 16:7
1Sa 31:12 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 Beth-shan, and they came to Jabesh and burned them there.
1Sa 31:13 And they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh and fasted seven days.

2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

No matter how small the cells or dust of our bodies become after being "cremated" the Lord knows exactly where they all are.
Give God the glory for all of these wise words written for this sister @Live_for_Him :-) expressing concerns for a parent in her final days. Yes, we want to do it right and God always knows what is right... even if we do not.
Staff Member
Hi Helene,

Good question. I'm curious, what particular bible passage concerns you regarding this?
Staff Member

you said,

I believe I understand what the Bible teaches about fire and it is not good. Also, when the resurrection comes, the dead in Christ will rise first. Is this possible with a person whose physical remains have been cremated?
I haven't asked the Holy Spirit yet for direct guidance on this matter, as I've been more concerned with the salvation issue.
May I suggest that you do ask the LORD about it and seek to follow Him. I can guarantee you that He knows what He wants for you and your family.

From what I understand, He does not disagree with burial. Where possible that would be my choice. I most certainly cannot judge those who are cremated nor those who make decisions that end in cremation. From what I read in Scripture I am not convinced that cremation is OK. Again, it is not my judgement nor any other man's but it is God's place to judge and from what I understand, His judgement is predominantly in relation to our life and our heart. Thanks be to God that He delights in mercy and we are saved in His Grace.

God is Love.

Please do ask the LORD.

Bless you ....><>
Some most interesting comments made on this!! I enjoyed reading them! I hope what I am about to say,does not sound harsh, or lack in feeling that some may have over this! First two scripture 1. Luke 9:60-62 and then Acts 20:24 As for me,i have made arrangements already to not be a burden in any way to my brother upon my death,I do not care what they do with my body,as I am no longer in it to start with! There will be no crying or tears,and sure no stupid funeral to waste what now costs as much as at least 5000.00 to bury someone!

No burden on anyone! I gave strict instruction to my Veteran's Administration, that they can have my body and do with as they see fit,burn it,or whatever,I could care less myself! I am not there! When my mom passed away at 90 we could not afford to have a funeral,so the best way we could take care of her body was to have it cremated and placed in an urn,which they still have to this day. because my brother and i could not afford the cost. I know my mom did not wish to be buried in this manner! At first my brother was deeply grieved over this!!

But we had no way,and sure no means in which to accomplish what she wished for. SO!! We did the best we could with what we did have! And that is enough! There is no guilt or condemnation for those of us in Christ Jesus ( Rom 8:1) So I would not take any from others either! You do the best you can for those you love!! And that is enough!! What do they care anyway!! Truth is, they don't! And that is what you and I have to understand. Life is hard enough on all of us,why add more weight upon self! I hope this not sound to brutal! But that is the way I see this. We do, as we are led by Holy Spirit to do for those we love.( Rom 8:14-15) and if others question you,or judge you because of this,that is there problem,never make it our problem! There is no fear in love!( 1 John 4:17-19!) I am not going to start to have fear now! Blessing!!
Does a butterfly care about what is done to its cocoon? Does a snake care about the skin it leaves behind? Does a bird care about the egg that it hatchet from? Same thing to me here.
Staff Member
Dear Brother @Brighthouse
No problem with what you've written. Shouldn't be any angst from what you've written on this subject here that has come straight from the heart.

Never gave it a thought about turning what's left to the Veterans' Administration! Might be an idea, if I'm unable to ensure the monies are there so as to not be a burden in death.

I've never looked at it as a for me thing, but rather a last opportunity for the Gospel to be heard (my desire) by some who still don't know Him! Kinda like "My trust is in the Lord" "Who are you trusting?" If they do not know the Lord through my life, but are able through my death. Alleluia! I count it a blessing!

With the Love of Christ Jesus.
There of course is some paper work Brother Nick.But after all is said and done my brother will receive 30 thousand dollars from my life insurance,which will give him enough to move, and make a decent life for himself,and have nothing to worry or become fearful of! That works for me bro! He has been most kind to me,the least I can do for him, is to supply him enough money for a fresh start to further his own life,and not worry about what is behind him! To press forward!!( Phil 3:12-14!!) Life goes on!
I think its troubling for a christian because look what happened to the jews they had the holocaust it wasnt just that they were killed but their bodies dumped unceromoniously and burned to destroy all trace of them.

I dont know if OP has now resolved this dilemma but you do want to do what is right in Gods eyes. For someone who isnt a believer and expressed they want to be cremated well God isnt going to resurrect and unbeliever to eternal life anyway, thay have chosen not to. In some ways its better for them as they did not have the hope we have and basically face hellfire in the natural.

What is concerning is going to a funeral of a believer who is then cremated. I was so troubled by this after this happened to a lady I knew at church in my spirit that I asked God about out and He showed me it wasnt right, it is just stingyness on part of unbelievers (her husband was unbelieving - but they were so well off they could actually afford a proper burial) and desecrating the body of christ, because cremators not only burn the body but crush and grind the bones to ashes. Its for unbelievers not believers.

Burial does not need to be expensive however and your body doesnt need to be embalmed it just needs to be treated with respect and not burned or made into blood and bone fertiliser. You only burn seeds you want to completely destroy although there will be the odd some that need fire to sprout in most cases you just bury them in the ground Jesus illustrated this with many parables regarding burning and hell and his own death and resurrection showed that his bones were not crushed and his body anointed with spices and oils. When he came back to life he still had his scars on hands and feet but people knew it was him as he had all his bone structure etc! Our skeletons are unique God fashioned our bones and then put flesh and blood on them. To deliberately destroy the bones is not right. He made Eve from a rib so, at least, I hope there would be a rib left.

Also think of all the air pollution cremation creates its not the best way to treat a dead body of a believer.
I think believers do care because we believe in the resurrection.
Joseph of arimithea cared enough to look after Jesus body and placed him in his familys tomb. Mary knew beforehand to anoint Jesus body.

I think funeral directors are ripping off people with expensive burials and cheap and nasty cremationa when all that is required is anointing, wrapping in linen and burying. You dont need a fancy coffin you can make a basket from willow.

It ought to be funeral directors, if you are christian, shall only perform christian burials. I wouldnt let some unscrupulous merchant of the dead handle the dead body of a loved one. Those ovens you dont know what goes in them. Churches ought to have funds set aside to give believers a decent burial in a church ground. And there ought to be beautiful gardens of remembrance grown around them.
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