Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.

Q. Is there anything in the Bible that speaks against cremation?  Is it okay for a Christian to be cremated?

A. There is nothing in the Bible commanding that a body must be buried.  Nor is there anything that suggests today’s practice of cremation is unacceptable. Let’s consider what the Bible does say about death and the physical body. 

Physical and Spiritual Deaths

We know that the soul and the spirit depart from the physical body at death. So disposal of human remains (the physical body)  is about dealing with the “vessel” that the soul and spirit inhabited. We also know that God created man to have a perfect body that would never die.  However, everything changed when sin entered the world and brought both physical and spiritual deaths.  

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Spiritual rebirth is the gift of God at salvation and is received only by those who trust in Christ. Physical death of the body, however, will be experienced by all people. And Christians must consider how their bodies will be disposed.

Cremation in the Bible?

In ancient Israel, bodies were ceremonially buried or laid in tombs as methods of disposing of human remains. The Bible does, however, record two times that bodily remains were burned by fire by the Israelites.  

The first is the bodies of Achan, his sons, and his daughters.  Achan, because of his disobedience, was stoned to death.  So also were his children. Following their deaths, their remains were burned, then buried.  

Joshua 7:24  And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had. . . And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. . . And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. . . 

The second example is that of King Saul and his three sons.  Following their deaths in battle, their bodies were burned, and then their bones were buried.

1 Samuel 31:12-13 all the valiant men arose and traveled 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.  Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

Although this differs from cremation because their remains were not reduced to ashes, these two instances give reason to believe that modern day cremation is acceptable to God.  In neither case did God rebuke His people for having disposed of bodies in a manner other than their traditional method of burial.

There are also historical records of the Romans disposing of dead bodies by fire (as depicted in the movie “Risen”). However, the Bible does not record this Roman practice.

Burial or Cremation?

According to industry statistics (, cremation has nearly doubled over the 15 year period from 1999 to 2014, increasing from 24.8% to 46.7%.   It is believed this increase is primarily due to the cost of cremation versus a traditional funeral.  Burial or cremation is a personal choice, and for Christians it should be made prayerfully and thoughtfully.  

What about the bodily resurrection?

Christians often raise questions about how cremation might affect the bodily resurrection that is promised by God. The Bible clearly states that God will raise the bodies of believers from the grave: 

1 Thessalonians 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

When the bodily resurrection takes place, bodies that have been in the grave for a long period of time would be fully decomposed and reduced to dust.  God can, and will, raise the remains of both the bodies that are dust those that are ashes. 

If someone’s ashes have been scattered, God certainly is able to gather those ashes together to be raised. This is supported by the amazing works of our Almighty Omnipotent God and the truth and faithfulness of His Word.  He says He will raise the bodies of believers and He will…even if the ashes were scattered.

Final Thoughts

It is reasonable to think that cremation is acceptable to God. God cares more about how we respect and honor the deceased body than how we dispose of the remains.  Remember, He did not rebuke or condemn the burning of the bodies in Joshua 7 or 1 Samuel 31. 

Burial or cremation is a personal decision. The choice that each of us must make is whether to have a funeral and then have our body buried, or to have our body cremated and then have a memorial service. But whether burial or cremation is chosen, the body should be handled in a way to show respect to the person who died and to honor God who created the body and gave it life. 



 Related article:  In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve died spiritually and they began to die physically. Read: Is there an error in Genesis 2:17 because Adam & Eve did not physically die?


Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists

At  Reasons for Hope* Jesus, we are committed to equipping, encouraging, and empowering Christians to know Jesus better, love Him more, and share their faith. We also reach the lost through our Salvation Page. 

With your support, we can continue to provide valuable resources and engaging content.  Please join us in our mission by donating today. Your generous contribution helps us expand our outreach of sharing biblical truths and hope in Jesus.  Thank you for your kindness and for being an integral part of our mission.

Reasons for Hope*Jesus is a 501c3 Ministry
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.


***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***  

Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus.  When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).

A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ   Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.

The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2023 

  1. The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
  2. Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
  3. How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
  4. How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
  5. How long did JOB SUFFER?
  6. What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
  7. Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
  8. Jesus’ Last Days TIMELINE: the Cross and the Resurrection
  9. The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
  10. Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?

There is much to be learned from those who have gone before us in the faith.  Check out our Cloud of Witnesses category that features the words of departed saints who are now with the Lord in glory.  Their words equip and encourage us even to this day.  Take a few minutes to hear...

  1. ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
  2. “The Love of God is Greater Far” by Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
  3. Prayers from Billy Graham
  4. Who Was Robert Robinson? What’s the Story Behind “Come Thou Fount”
  5. “Immanuel” — A Poem by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
  6. Who Am I? A Poem by Deitrich Bonhoeffer (1905-1945)
  7. Understanding the Everlasting Arms of God, by J.R. Miller (1840–1912)
  8. 24 Reasons Why I Love America, by John Wayne (1907-1979)
  9. Give Me Perpetual Broken-heartedness (from The Valley of Vision)
  10. Abide with Me, by James Smith, 1859

This remains one of our most popular pages viewed.

Reasons for Hope* Jesus video banner

TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
  1. Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace 
  2. RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
  3. WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
  6. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
  8. Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
  9. THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share 
  10. Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)


Please help us share God's truths and hope in Christ.


The goal of Reasons for Hope* Jesus is to help you establish your heart and anchor your soul in Jesus, and renew your mind in His Word.


Get equipped with knowledge!

Be encouraged in hope!

Live empowered with love! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!