Today is May 14, 2019

Verse of the Day — Matthew 6:19-20

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . .


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Make eternity your priority in every decision you make.


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

Regardless of what we accomplish or accumulate here on earth, nothing really matters except for the eternal things God does through us.

. . . not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. —Luke 12:15

You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. —James 4:14

. . . [I] have many goods laid up for many years to come, [I should] take ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you.” —Luke 12:19-20a

So keep your eyes on the long-term and make every moment count.


QUESTION FOR THE DAY

Dear Compass,

What does the Bible say about cremation?


ANSWER:

Cremation is found in the Bible only in 1 Samuel 31.

Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men rose and walked 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. They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. —1 Samuel 31:11-13

Otherwise, the Bible mentions only being “buried.” For instance, Abraham searched for a worthwhile burial place for his wife Sarah when she died (“. . . Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field . . .” —Genesis 23:19) and he was eventually buried there himself (“. . . there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife.” —Genesis 25:10). Jesus said, “allow the dead to bury their own dead” (Luke 9:60). It is important to note that God, who could have cremated Moses, instead “buried” him.

And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day. Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated —Deuteronomy 34:6-7

Having been created in the image of God, there is honor involved with how you treat a loved one’s body when they’ve passed away. There was also the obvious practical reason for burial—to prevent disease and odor.

It is unlikely that cremation is a sin because:

  1. After a few hundred years, regardless of how you were buried, the body turns to dust.
  2. Cremation is not much different than being buried at sea.
  3. God will “change” you (“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed” —1 Corinthians 15:51) into a new body with different, eternal characteristics and does not need the old, mortal body anymore since it was sinful.

    knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin —Romans 6:6

    Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts —Romans 6:12

Therefore, however you “bury” your loved one, through burial or cremation, it should be done with honor and dignity.

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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

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