|(18c) Is it ok for a Christian to be Cremated ?|
|Book 6 LESSON TWO * PART I |
FIRST FRUITS: GLEANINGS: OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS: RESURRECTION
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth (now isn't that plain English? Everyone who has lived and died, at some point in the future, when God calls they're all going to come forth. Let's read on) ;they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
Now, how many resurrections have you got? Two! You've got the resurrection of the just, (the believers) but you're also going to have the resurrection of the lost. Many people don't realize that. They think that when a person dies and goes to Hell, that's the end of it. But oh no it isn't! They're one day going to be resurrected out of Hell and brought before the Great White Throne. From there, they go to the Lake of Fire. Earlier I told you about a question that came in one of my classes about, "What is the difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire?" Well, there's all the difference in the world. I have been shrinking from teaching it in this lesson because it takes quite a long time to teach it correctly. So, for now we're just going to look at the first resurrection, the resurrection of the just.
Here again in verse 29 is a good example of what Peter meant when he wrote in his epistle, "that no Scripture is of private interpretation." I'm sure you've all seen that verse and you've probably wondered what he meant there. All Peter meant was, that you cannot take one verse of Scripture and build doctrine on it. That's what the cults will do. They will take a verse here and another verse there and then they build their doctrine. You can't do that!
So, this verse, if you took it alone, and, even though The Lord Jesus is speaking of Himself, if you lifted this verse out of context and used it to build a doctrine, what could you teach? Well, you could teach that people will go to Heaven by doing good. Isn't that what it says? Look at it. "They who have done good, will go to the resurrection of life and they who have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation." Now see, if you took that verse all alone, you could say that you could go to Heaven by doing good, and people are going to go to Hell because they are doing bad. But, if you study all of Scripture, there is only one way we can please God, and one way we can do good in God's eyes, and that is by faith. "...Without faith, Hebrews says, it is impossible to please God." So, what is Jesus really alluding to here when He says, those who have done good are those who have become people of faith? Whether it was back in the Old Testament or in the Age of Grace, there's only one way we can please God, and that is by believing His Word. So, we've got two resurrections. The resurrection of believers (the just), and a resurrection of the lost.
Next, we'll look at the resurrection of the believers. So go back to I Corinthians Chapter 15. This chapter deals with nothing but resurrection. The fact that men die; that we can revert back to the dust; that we can be cremated; that we can be burned at the stake: that still will not stop God from actually bringing the smallest particle of that original body back together. They are still someplace and He knows where they are. And He will take at least some of those original cells and reconstruct a new, resurrected body.
Now, I've often, over the years, had people ask me what I believe about cremation. And my only answer is that I don't see that the Scripture forbids it or encourages it. Personally, it's an anathema to me because I feel that when someone cremates a body, they're in so many words telling God, "Now try and bring that back to life." That may not always be their mindset, but that's the way it looks to me and so I am certainly not in favor of cremation. We also know that especially during the reformation, a lot of God's choicest servants were burned at the stake for their faith. Now, they were cremated and God is going to have no trouble resurrecting them. But all I want you to see is that I don't care where a person may go to their grave; whether it's in the deepest ocean, or cave, or whether they're cremated or blown apart in an explosion; never doubt for a minute that God is going to be able to resurrect that body. That's what resurrection is all about. He does not start with something new; He brings back that which was before and makes it new.
Book 40 Lesson One • Part III
Fellowship In Resurrection Power
"and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
Now we don’t like the word death do we? I don’t for sure, we all hate it. A loved one or a pet can die and it just literally tears us up. We just literally despise death, but the bright side of the coin is that out of death, for us as believers, comes life, and that’s the process. There has to be death in order for life to appear. It’s shown in every seed that’s planted, as that seed has to die in order for a new blade of grass to appear. Well it’s the same way here, we have to be made conformable to His death before we can partake of His life. Now again, let’s go back to Romans chapter 6 to follow up on that thought. Let’s just compare Scripture with Scripture when ever possible like you’re supposed to do when you study. See all of these basic doctrines that flow from the pen of this apostle will always dove tail together, as his writing all fit together perfectly.
"For if we have been planted..."
And where do you plant things? In the ground. Now I’m going to be right up front with you. I get letter after letter asking me about cremation. Well I can’t quote a Scripture that absolutely forbids it, but I think in language it flies in the face of Scripture. The whole idea for the believer of placing our loved ones in the earth is that that they’re only there waiting for the resurrection day. And here again the concept is a seed planted in the earth, not burned, not reduced to ashes, but rather it’s planted, and as soon as it’s planted the seeds of resurrection begins.