People who have been cremated can certainly go to Heaven (2023)

Dear Chaplain: Can you help me understand better the Christian perspective about cremation? Can a person still get to heaven if they were cremated? I have read these passages from the Bible, Gen 2:7 and 1 Cor 6:12-14, and really need to know if cremation is bad? Signed, Worried

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Dear Worried: Thank you for such an interesting question. From a Christian perspective, people who have been cremated can certainly go to Heaven. First, the soul never dies, and when one accepts Christ as their personal savior it is the soul that receives eternal salvation and not the earthly body. Second, when people die they no longer have control over what happens to their bodies, others are left to make those decisions. Therefore, if cremation prevents a person from going to heaven this would mean other people play a significant role in determining one’s eternal destiny. That is inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures and the Christian belief that each person has complete control over their own spiritual destiny, which is solely based on their personal belief in Jesus Christ, not what others decide to do with their flesh after death. However, I do respect those who don’t believe in cremation, such as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters who consider burning to be a declaration of utter abandonment and nullification. We see this underscored in the Old Testament when the Children of Israel were instructed to burn those things God told them to rid themselves of, such as idols and leaven before Passover. Additionally, they believe the body and spirit are holy, and were created by God for his holy use. Therefore, not only is cremation forbidden, but also things such as cutting the body, tattoos and autopsies, as well. There are also Christians who are strongly against cremation too. Some believe in the resurrection the Spirit will return to the body and the dead in Christ will rise. Therefore, even after death the body is valuable, useful and will one day be revived. Then, there are those who simply think it’s best to decay naturally. No matter what a person’s preference is, from the Christian perspective, cremation does not prevent one from going to Heaven. So there’s no need to worry, if God can create life from dust, surely he can restore life from ashes.

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Ask the Chaplain is written by Rev. Dayna Spence, an ordained minister, licensed evangelist, and chaplain who’s served as a hospital chaplain and is currently serving as a hospice chaplain Chester County area. Please email “Ask the Chaplain” at or write to, PO Box 1284, West Chester, PA 19380.

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