Mike Novotny - Am I Allowed to Be Cremated?
Have you ever noticed how common cremation is? When I was growing up, thirty, forty years ago, I remember most funerals happening in a certain way. And just in my lifetime, I've sensed that things have shifted. Not just in other countries or outside but even within the church, cremation happens more and more and more. And I think that's why someone recently asked me, "Pastor, what does the Bible say about cremation? Like, is that okay? You know, the Bible teaches about a Judgement Day and a resurrection from the dead. Is it bad to be cremated instead of just buried"?
How would you answer that question? If you remembered what the book of Revelations said and the book of Deuteronomy, "Do not add or subtract from the Bible". How would you answer? You know, historically, this is kind of a complicated question. Generations ago, when people would hear about the resurrection of the dead that the Bible speaks of, on the last day Jesus comes back, the dead are raised, their bodies are glorified and they get to live with him forever. Sometimes people who wanted to scoff at that idea who said, "Yeah right, a Judgement Day, bodies raised, like skeletons, what is exactly gonna happen"?
To mock that idea, they would be cremated. And so, at some spots in history and in some places, cremation instead of burial was connected with unbelief in the biblical teaching. So I would ask you, is that true today? Is there any bible passage that I could find that says you have to buried like this. You know, there has to be a wake with a night before and an hour before the funeral service, then it has to happen like this, in a casket that we put six feet under in the ground.
Is there any passage that says that? And the answer is no. Is there any passage that says thou shalt not be cremated? The answer is no. So, is it a sin to be cremated? The answer is no. The truth is when Jesus comes back, it's gonna take a miracle either way. If Jesus is gonna take a dead body, a decayed body, a bones body, a burnt to ashes body, a scattered over a golf course body, and bring them back and make them a glorious body without aches or pains, without allergies or limps, without migraines or anxiety, if this is a glorious new body, it is gonna take a miracle of God. And that's exactly what's gonna happen. 1 Corinthians, chapter 15 says The dead will be raised, not the dead who are buried in the right way, the dead. Everyone who trusted in Jesus, whose soul has been with him since their last breath will be raised and they will be changed.
So, can you be cremated? Yes. Your loved ones who believed in Jesus who are cremated, are they with him right now? Yes. Will their bodies be raised, scattered as they are and be gathered into something glorious and new? Yes. So, whatever you do in faith, whatever your funeral service or burial practice looks like, do it trusting in the promises of God. That's not sin. That's confessing your faith in the one who conquered death in your place.