First a little background. Some may or may not know that I am a cat person. I love dogs as well, just not as much as I love cats. I grew up with cats from as far back as I can remember (Jaci
may argue that that particular time period usually doesn't stretch past a day). In November of 2000 I went to Animal Welfare
through my vet to adopt a cat. I was fully aware that having a pet is not just a matter of convenience
, it's a responsibility to love and care for the animal for the rest of its life. I was OK with this, and in short order I adopted my Ivan (the best guess figured at him being about a year old when he came to live with me).
My father-in-law summed up the difference between cats and dogs the best I've ever heard, saying that dogs treat humans like gods, and cats treat humans like staff. Ivan was certainly no exception. With that being said, if Ivan knew you, and more importantly loved you, a greater animal-friend you couldn't ask for.
an I had to have Ivan put down on the 29th
of June because he had cancer. And while he wasn't in pain at the time, the vet assured me that the pain would come and the cancer was not survivable. Suffice it to say I was an emotional wreck for several days (and Jaci
All of this background brings me to the point of this missive: Do pets go to Heaven? I was wondering about this and then did a little digging and came to my own conclusion. So I thought I would share with whomever is reading. Please bear in mind the conclusions are my own, and I am by no means a theological scholar. I would hate for those at my work who love to mis
-read my blog to think I am stating Biblical fact.
With all that out of the way, down to brass tacks. To the question at hand, the bible is silent, so to try and reach my conclusion, I had to look at things from different angles if you will.
If you look at humans, the bible teaches that we have all fallen, and are all sinners. So the way for our soul to find it's way to heaven is to be redeemed by first and foremost a belief in Christ as the risen lord. If animals have not fallen, do they need to be redeemed? Do they in fact have a soul?
One reference to animals in the bible is in 2 Kings 2:11 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind." Horses came down from heaven, and the horses go back up to heaven. The 'fire' part may have been just for effect, to match the chariot maybe.
Another reference is Revelation 5:13 "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them,
singing: 'To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (italics added)
Also Revelation 19:11-14 "11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean." (italics added)
From Isaiah 11:6-8 "6
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7
The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest."
There are many other references as well that show that animals will be in heaven, and are in fact there now. But do they have a soul? I think the answer is both yes and no. No in that they don't have a soul in the way humans do. Man was made in God's image so on and so forth.
However, if you look at life on earth, an oak tree meets all the criterion for life because it is in fact alive; it eats, breathes, reproduces, etc. Is one oak tree different than another? No. Oak is oak, grass is grass. What about animals though? You could have two dogs, say they are pure bred dogs from the same litter, both male. Everything is lined up for one to be the same as the other, but they aren't. Each dog is completely different from the other because of personality, or dare I say it, the animal soul?
One more reference for you. 1 Corinthians 2:7-9 "7
No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9
However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"
This passage tells us again that God loves us, and no one on earth really knows what we will find when we get to heaven.
I have come to the conclusion that animals do go to heaven, rightly or wrongly, maybe even for my own piece of mind. Not just because of the biblical passages, my thinking is that God loves all His creatures and because He loves you, and knows how much your pet means to you, I think that because of His love He will see you re-united.
Final point, while I am reasonably certain that animals and by extension pets will go to heaven; the bible is very clear that not all man will go to heaven. My point being that unless you are right with God, your beloved pet will wait in vain.
Be well all.