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God's Not Mad at You
“Is God okay with cremation?”

“Is God okay with cremation?”

NOVEMBER 19, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is God okay with cremation?”

Steve Brown:
Is God okay with cremation? The answer to that and other questions on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. Our host and teacher is Steve Brown. He’s no guru, but he does have honest answers to honest questions about the Bible. God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent evangelize, purchase and worship. So, here’s Steve and Pete Alwinson from ForgeBibleStudy.com with street-smart Bible teaching for real life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey man. Happy Friday.

Steve Brown:
Happy Friday to you too. By the way, Pete, is your audio book out yet?

Pete Alwinson:
It’s still not out yet, but, you know, they could go out and get the book.

Steve Brown:
Those folks take forever. We have the same publisher, at least for this book and, and man, sometimes the wheels of God grind slowly and so do the wheels of publishers. You’ll let us know when it comes out.

Pete Alwinson:
As soon as it comes out. Yes sir.

Steve Brown:
Like Father, Like Son, meanwhile you will have to just deal with a printed copy. And if you don’t have a copy, you ought to get it. It’s life-changing and check out ForgeTruth.com also. By the way, as you know, Pete comes in and we answer questions on Fridays. And we love to get your questions. You can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Or in Canada

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail us at Steve@keylife.org. And we’ll take you and your question seriously. If you can help us financially, please do. We are a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And those organizations check our books to make sure that what I say about being ethical is true. And it is, we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And if you can’t help us, we understand, say a prayer. And Pete, you say a prayer and then we’ll get to some of these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Alright. Our Father, we do stop for just a second to come into your presence today. So thankful that we belong to you. We honor you, our great God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we remember and think about the fact that you are holy and righteous and just and kind and merciful and gracious and powerful. And we’re so thankful that you use your great power and love to bring about our redemption, to bring us home to you. And so, we come to you, we confess our sins. It’s been a long week and we’ve sinned a lot. And Lord, we need to know that we’re forgiven and we need to know that you’re continuing to work in our lives. So, we pray Holy Spirit take over more and more, even at the end of this week, we look for a renewing of the covenant of grace with you as we take communion this week-end perhaps, and as we celebrate and worship with your people. So, we pray for our leaders, in a powerful way, we ask the Holy Spirit, you would fill them with the right message, the right power, anoint them in order to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to us. And that we would be set freer and freer and freer. And so, we thank you for the reality of our time, thinking about questions and answers. Lord, continue to develop us by your grace. Thank you for Steve for Key Life for this great ministry. We commit our time to you now in your Holy Name, Lord Jesus. We pray. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, this first question is an e-mail. Is God okay with us if we get cremated? And the answer is, of course not. How’s he going to put you back together

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
when he returns and the resurrection of the body takes place. And I’m being facetious, that’s not true.

Pete Alwinson:
No. You know, any way we look at it, the resurrection is a supernatural, not a molecule by molecule thing, but it’s a supernatural working of God. And only an infinite God could even suggest this idea that it would happen, that the resurrection of the body of all people would happen because only God could do it.

Steve Brown:
And don’t worry about it. I’ve said a number of times, my wife and says, she’s going to be cremated because it will be the only time she was ever warm. And I get that, but I think there is a legitimate fear on the part of some people, but they will be declared dead and won’t be. And will wake up in a casket. Now that doesn’t happen today, but there’s a lot of literature, scary literature about that particular thing happening. And you were saying you saw a documentary where some people put strings in their caskets attached to a bell so they could ring it if they woke up in a casket.

Pete Alwinson:
Amazing. Huh? So that’s kind of a historical thing. And there were issues that did put people medically into induced comas. You know, it is going to be a supernatural thing. One person told me once that they thought it was a helpful thing to have a casket, a body at a memorial service,

Steve Brown:
I get that.

Pete Alwinson:
from the standpoint of pointing to the resurrection of the dead. And I get it too.

Steve Brown:
Oh, I get that. But there’s also a psychological thing. You know, one of the things that you learn in grief work is the importance if you’re a pastor of having people face the reality of death that it really happened, and you’re not going to hear the footfalls of the one you loved anymore, and nobody’s going to be there to wind the clocks. And, sometimes we deny that and we do everything to deny it. And the fact of the presence of the casket and the corpse is sometimes a good thing in terms of grief work and psychologically. But theologically and Biblically, what Pete said is true. God, if you want to be cremated, go ahead. And if you’ve been cold all your life, maybe you’ll be warm. Who knows? This is an e-mail, Pete. My question has to do with the Samaritan woman in John 4. Who in the world were the Samaritans? Clearly they worshiped God. Was it the God, the Father? What was their relationship to the Jewish people? In Matthew 15, Jesus said he came for Israel. Would that somehow include the Samaritans? Good question.

Pete Alwinson:
Very good question. And we haven’t talked, have you ever met a Samaritan?

Steve Brown:
I’ve never dated a Babylonian either.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s good because you’re married, but you know, Israel really had three, in the time of Christ, had three major sections, right? The north of Galilee and Samaria in the middle, and then Judea and Jerusalem in the south. And really the Samaritans historically go back to the time of the exiles of in 586, the southern Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. In 722 way before that, BC, they were taken into Assyria. So, then you have some of the resettlement of some of those people that came back and then you have half Jews in Samaria.

Steve Brown:
And there was a divided nation that took place in their history and they both thought the other was ugly and their mother dressed them funny. Isn’t it interesting the way Jesus talked about the Good Samaritan and the relationship that he had in John with the Samaritan woman. Jesus is big on breaking down walls, isn’t he?

Pete Alwinson:
Oh man. Isn’t that powerful. And then it comes to the John 3:16.

For God so loved the world.

And that the Jews really had by Jesus’ time, they had really missed the original plan of the covenant of grace with Abraham was for all the nations.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. It really was. And the Samaritans, which if you were to ask a Samaritan, since you don’t know any, I’ll have to tell you what they would say. If they were Jewish, they would say, of course, It’s the southern kingdom, that’s not Jewish, they’re worshiping wrong.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
And so, yeah, they were. That’s a good question though.

Pete Alwinson:
It is. They were not the orthodox Jews that the southern Jews in Jerusalem, the strict Pharisaical branch would say, this is orthodoxy. They were unorthodox and not pure. And so, a good Jew would actually try to skirt, going around Samaria, Jesus went right through it and spend time there.

Steve Brown:
I know. There’s something about him and about them. This is an e-mail. How should we keep this Sabbath holy? And should we go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday?

Pete Alwinson:
Wow. Isn’t that great? That’s a great question. Well, I mean, church on Saturday, that would ruin my Saturdays.

Steve Brown:
No practical one, but not so good theologically or Biblically. We get a lot of letters by the way, from Seventh Day people. Seventh Day Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, and we love them. And, that’s not a place where we’re going to get on a hill and fight to the death about it. Tell us what happened, how come we don’t worship on Saturday, most Christians?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. You know, that’s a great question. And, in Colossians really the clarity that all days are declared

Steve Brown:
Holy

Pete Alwinson:
holy and set apart. So, but really it was between the second and third century, when Christians began to really start moving toward worshiping on Sunday. Actually, they probably started worshiping on Sunday morning, before work in Israel too.

Steve Brown:
There was kind of a problem because originally Christianity was Jewish period. You know, it wasn’t until later that Paul came along and was called as being an apostle to the Gentiles. So, if you were Jewish and you had decided to follow Jesus and you wanted to meet for church. You had a problem. I mean, the synagogue met on Saturday and the church had to meet some other time.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So, because it was the day of resurrection and symbolic, they began to meet on Sunday. And as you said, before the third century, Christians had begun to do that anyway. And, I really believe that teaching in Colossians and in Romans is very clear that we can’t make a battle out of a day and the calendars have been changed. And you might be if you’re a Seventh Day Adventist worshiping on Thursday, when the Gregorian calendar, I mean, who knows?

Pete Alwinson:
Who knows exactly.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Alright. How do you keep it Holy?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, that’s a good point. And I think there is a primacy for worship and I think the Old Testament really does say it ought to be a unique day, a day of worship and a day where we’re not focused on our work.

Steve Brown:
And it’s hard not to do some work and deeds of mercy are completely acceptable of course, but I think we need to, you know, like our good Jewish friends do, on the Sabbath, we need to disconnect to some extent. And, that’s a gift. That’s not adverse. It’s a gift, that God gives cause he says, you’re going to wear yourself out.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
So, be still and rest and all that goes with that. Just don’t go to work on that day, if you can help it.

Pete Alwinson:
I love it. I love it. You, you work so hard, you don’t want to trust me. Trust me.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. Got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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