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Page 562



 

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.
And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

-John 20:25-26


He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

-Isaiah 57:2


Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto their resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

-John 5:28-29


Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:
And a man's uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the Name of the LORD.

-Amos 2:1; 6:10


 




Achan and his family for their serious sins (Joshua 7:25), and false priesthood (II Kings 23:20). God disapproved of the king of Edom's cremation (Amos 2:1), and the Israelites' use of the practice (Amos 6:10).

Only one scriptural example of cremation can be found which does not reflect God's judgment or meet with His condemnation. It reveals a very unusual exception, i.e., the men of Jabesh-Gilead stealing the bodies of Saul and his sons from the Philistines and burning them so that the enemy could not publicly mock with them anymore. The motive here was more to protect the honor of the king than to cremate him (I Samuel 31:8-13).

All examples of non-burial are viewed as expressive of God's disfavor and judgment (e.g., Deuteronomy 28:26, Psalm 79:1-4, Ecclesiastes 6:3, Isaiah 14:9, Jeremiah 7:33,16:4-6,25:33,34:20, etc.).

The saints who have not died or been buried, those who will be living when Christ returns to gather His church, will be changed in one moment, in the blinking of an eye, from corruptible to incorruptible, from earthly to heavenly, from weakness to strength, and from natural to spiritual. "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

While Scripture informs us of various characteristics of the resurrected bodies of the saints (although, at best, we only see through a glass darkly), very little is mentioned in Scripture about the features of the bodies of those who shall be condemned forever. The Bible does inform us that the wicked shall arise at the same time as the righteous, also in their OWn bodies, "For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29). The glorious changes experienced by the saints for their eternal life in heaven will not take place with the wicked. While great changes shall also take place in the bodies of the unsaved, these changes will only be such as shall be appropriate for the eternal shame, contempt, sorrow, and pain they shall endure, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).


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