Are There Animals in Heaven?
There is place of which nearly everyone believes exist, a place of which the beloved John wrote about. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” (Revelation 21:1) Jesus spoke about the present heaven, the place were God resides and a place were there is much joy. (Luke 15:7)
How we feel about heaven, God and Jesus Christ determines how sensitive we are to the Holy Spirit. A heartfelt approach to studying the Biblical truth of heaven will set the focus of our thoughts and fill our hearts with anticipation. Understanding the truths of heaven not only breeds anticipation for the future, it lays down a foundation for us to find comfort when loved ones pass on. Heaven is a place of reunion. (2 Samuel 12:23) When Christians make it to heaven, they will receive a grand welcome. Is it possible there will be beloved pets in heaven? Lets look with anticipation what the Bible does tell us.
The Bible does not clearly state we will see specific pets or other animals we have been given stewardship over in heaven. The Bible does give us the character of God and His love for us. Jesus says that God gives “good gifts to those who ask….” (Matthew 7:11) We know that God is aware of our love for our pets and how important they are. In 2 Samuel we read of the Lord sending the prophet Nathan to King David to give a divine message of correction. Nathan shares a parable of two men, one rich, one poor. The rich man has a large amount of sheep and cattle. The poor man had one ewe of which the parable says was very special to him, it had slept in his arms, the ewe lamb was like a daughter to him. When the rich man wanted to prepare a meal to entertain guest, instead of using one of his livestock for food, the rich man took the ewe from the poor man and prepared it for eating. King David burned with anger because of the disrespect the rich man had for the love the poor man had for his ewe. Although Nathan was dealing with David’s sin of adultery and murder. It is safe to say, God is aware of our love of the pets He has given us and their positive effect on our lives. What the New Testament does say is that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
In Isaiah 11:6-10 we read of the Messiah’s kingdom to come, that place were the righteous will enjoy the Lord’s reign. (Commentary of the Old Testament; Isaiah 65:25; New Heaven and New Earth) “The wolf shall lay with the lamp, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow shall feed with the bear; their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child shall put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord…” In Revelation we read of Jesus and His army riding white horses when they come to defeat Satan and the beast. (Revelation 19:11-16) The armies with Jesus are those whom the Bible says are the “chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelations 17:14; 19:8)
There will be animals on this earth during the thousand years reign of Christ and there will be animals in the new heavens and on the new earth. (Isaiah 65:25) This may be a Terry Laughlin 10:99. The Bible says God gives everything for our enjoyment, it would not be out of line to have blessed belief that God gave us pets for our enjoyment here on this earth, then our pets could very well be in heaven awaiting us in the new heavens and on the new earth.
What we do have is the promise in Romans 8:20-21. First the fruit of sin; “For creation was subject to frustration.” At this present time, everything is subject to the consequences of Eve’s and Adam’s sin. Second, is the promise, “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption [decay] and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Everything is going to be restored, us, this earth, heaven, animals, that could include our pets. Romans 8:22 tells us that “whole creation has been groaning… right up to the present time” for its future glory. This denotes a hope of new life for all creation. (The New American Commentary; Daily Study Bible Series; Matthew Henry Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary; Bible Knowledge Commentary; Willmington’s Bible Commentary)
One of God’s greatest gifts for our enjoyment are animals, this is especially true of pets. Too often theologians have worked aggressively to prove a point, thus causing many to live with the uncertainty of the eternal state of their pets and the animals they took care of for the Lord. Just as there are Biblical theologians who say we will not see animals on this earth in heaven, there are just as many born-again theologians who feel they have revelation of animals in heaven, and we can have a hope to see our pets.
Just because we can not find that one Scripture that clearly says our certain pets are in heaven is not evidence that animals down here vanish at death. Just as it is clear God created the moon, sun and stars and place each one in its proper order, (Psalm 8:3) we are not told specifically how He holds them in place. We as Christians often miss-handle the truths that are clear, how do we expect the Lord to give us all the details about everything. For example – consider Christmas, we do not know the exact time of Jesus’ birth. But we know that He was born of a virgin. Look at the mess of Christmas every year. There is no clear Scripture that says that animals on this earth do not go to heaven. However, there is clear Scripture that says Judas Iscariot is not in heaven. (Mark 14:21) Consider this, if we believe that animals do not have a soul, it is easy to mistreat them, thinking there will be no accountability of our care of them. That is the same basis the old slave traders taught about their black slaves. In fact, many of the slaves had more faith in God and Jesus, than the so called God fearing plantation owners. True Christians take the high road, realizing the whole of creation is moaning for its redemption and the further time of a new heaven and new earth, that time of perfection forever. (Isaiah 65:25)
There are people who have no problem with trusting the Lord to take charge of their pets and animals. There are people who still need His comfort. For those who are still seeking, put your trust in God who does all things well and He knows what is best for you for all eternity. In His time, He will reveal His truths to you in due season.