The scripture is fairly silent on this matter.  Cremation is more and more becoming the norm for the care of the body after death.  I will admit that I prefer to be buried and have already bought cemetery plots for my wife and myself.  However, I do not condemn those who choose to have their bodies cremated.  Throughout the Bible, burials are mentioned as the way to dispose of the body.  The first time burial is mentioned is in Genesis 15:13-15, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; THOU SHALT BE BURIED in a good old age.”

There are those who object to cremation because the Word tells us that when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior, we are completely saved…soul, spirit, and body.  We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your WHOLE SPIRIT AND SOUL AND BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is certainly true that believers are saved…spirit, soul, and body.  We should take respectful care of the body of the one who has passed away, but I do not see that cremation is an act of misuse or lack of care for the body.

It might be good to consider what happens to the body of one who passes away.  What does the decaying process look like?  It can be broken down like this:

  • 24-72 hours after death — the internal organs decompose.
  • 3-5 days after death — the body starts to bloat and blood-containing foam leaks from the mouth and nose.
  • 8-10 days after death — the body turns from green to red as the blood decomposes and the organs in the abdomen accumulate gas.
  • Several weeks after death — nails and teeth fall out.
  • 1 month after death — the body starts to liquify.
  • Skeletonization is the decaying of the skeleton.  This occurs at a much slower rate.

So, we see in just a short time, the body liquifies and nothing is left but the skeleton.  That will also decay but at a much slower pace.  Before too long, there is very little, or nothing, left of the body.  I bring this up because I believe your question is asking about the possibility of resurrection after the body is cremated.  How can the Lord bring all the ashes of a cremated body back together and resurrect it? 

We have seen that the natural deterioration of the body after death leaves very little left behind.  Some have drowned and their bodies eventually eaten by water creatures.  Some have been killed and eaten by animals.  Some have been caught up in a fire and were burned up.  There are many occurrences that will prevent someone from having a proper burial.  

The Lord Jesus says in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  The Lord promises that when we put our faith in Him, when the time comes, HE WILL RAISE EVERY BELIEVER.  Body decay, decomposition in the deepest sea, ashes scattered, etc., nothing will prevent the Lord from raising His own when He comes for us.  We have that precious promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “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: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

As I stated at the outset, I prefer to be buried.  If I should die before the Lord returns, my wishes are for my family to bury me in a purchased plot.  However, cremation does not take away our salvation; neither does it take away the Lord’s ability to resurrect our bodies.  No matter what condition our bodies are in when He returns, He will raise us from the dead.  (486.4)