December 02, 2008

Q and A 2.0 Revisited: #16: Animals in Heaven?

Does God care about our animals? Do they die forever or will we see them again?

Do all dogs go to heaven, or have we been lied to?

First of all, God does care for animals. He cared enough to save them from the flood, and he cares enough to provide them with everything they need.

Read Job 38-41. God is answering Job about how he runs the universe, and he specifically mentions several places about how he cares for the animals of the world. he satisfies the hunger of lions, provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God, provide donkeys with habitats, etc.

Secondly, the Bible is silent about whether animals have souls or whether the ones on earth will one day be in heaven. We simply don’t know. We know that humans are the only creatures created in the image and likeness of God; animals are not.

Humans are like God. We are capable of spirituality with mind, emotion, will, and a soul that carries on after death. There is no indication that animals share those same qualities.

On the other hand, when God created the animals in Genesis 1, he said that they were good. So there’s no reason to rule out why animals couldn’t be a part of the new heaven and new earth.

In fact, Isaiah 65 mentions animals in the context of the millennial kingdom. The only question is whether they are animals from this lifetime or not.

So, I hate to be a jerk and not give you a definitive answer. As a kid, I had a dog that I loved, and it would be great if I see her in heaven. We do know that God is good and that He is just and that whatever His decision it is right and good.

It’s also good to note that we have no bearing over this either way, so it’s best not to worry about it. We do, however, have responsibility in helping other humans discover the path to heaven. That would be a better place to focus our energies.

Tomorrow, will we recognize our loved ones in heaven, or not? Check out all of the Q and A series here.

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