A lady recently asked my wife, Rachel, if a relative that committed suicide and was cremated could go to heaven. Two or three days later, a different lady asked me about one of her relatives that committed suicide. She said several members of her family, especially the parents and wife of the deceased, are having trouble dealing with it.
These questions have nothing to do with Bible prophecy, but they concern ministry, and the proximity of the two incidents caused Rachel to suggest that I write an article on this.
Understand that I am not saying that cremation is a good thing. As a general rule, I advise against it because it can lead to problems like the ones that are mentioned above. But a person’s salvation is not based upon how a person dies or what happens to their body after they die. It is based on their decision to accept or reject Jesus before they die. Their soul and spirit will be in heaven or hell before anything is ever done with their body.
Many Christians have been burned at the stake. Others have died in bombed buildings, burned down houses, plane crashes, car accidents and the like. They didn’t go to hell because their body was incinerated. But even if they did go to hell or they drowned at sea hundreds of years ago, God will still raise them from the dead (I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:13). God couldn’t do all things, if He couldn’t raise those from the dead who have been cremated, but He can do all things.
There is just one unpardonable sin and it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (unbelief or attributing the works of God to Satan) not cremation (Matt. 12:31). Also, if the grace of God can cover sins such as murder, adultery and lying, it can cover suicide and cremation.
Paul made a very important statement along these lines. He said, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). “Us” is a key word in this passage. It refers to those who have truly accepted Jesus. The passage means a sincere confession of faith in Jesus is not canceled by how a person died or what happened to their body.
The story of Samson is an excellent example (Jud. 13:24-16:31). In essence, Samson committed suicide and God gave him the strength to do it. Even though he took his own life, Samson was saved because he is mentioned in the Hall of Faith (Heb. 11:32).
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck