There is great debate amongst Bible scholars whether or not animals will go to heaven. Questions arise whether or not animals and pets have a “spirit”, and whether or not animals have a “soul”. The main question I was recently asked is whether or not we will be reunited with our beloved pets in heaven. To that last question I say, “YES!”
I have lost several of my fur- babies over my lifetime. I miss each and every one of them. They were part of my family and I mourned their loss when they died. In Genesis 1:2 the Spirit of God is “hovering over the waters” (Ruach Elohim – Greek) This Greek word: Ruach is translated “breath of life” and Genesis 8:1 uses ruach to describe the “wind” God sent over the earth to recede the flood waters. Altogether the word ruach is used almost 400 times in the Old Testament. All living creatures owe the “breath of life” to God. (Job 27:3).
There is no doubt in my mind that God breathed life into my precious pets, as He has breathed life into me and into all living creatures. There are also several scripture passages that make me believe that ALL creatures are loved by God and He has plans for His children and the lesser creatures to enjoy His eternal Kingdom together. Psalm 145: 9-10; 13; 15-21.
Still the question remains whether or not animals have souls. In order to answer that question we must understand that animals were put under the dominion of man and did not have that free choice to repent of sin and be “saved” as we humans understand salvation. The Christian concept of heaven is inextricably linked with the concepts of salvation, redemption, and resurrection. The Bible is clear that redemption is necessary for human beings because we are “fallen” beings. Humans have free will and thus have the ability to sin or not to sin. Humans may choose salvation (to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour) or reject Him. Animals, however, have never “fallen”, therefore redemption is not necessary for animals. Animals cannot choose between good and evil (to sin or not to sin). When animals behave badly, it is generally because of a conflict between their God-given natures and our human requirements. If there is no justification, sanctification or redemption for animals does that mean there is no glorification? I believe there is if I read Romans 8:19 -21 correctly. “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God”.
I also believe because animals do not “choose” to sin that ALL animals will go to heaven, even the naughty ones who by their very nature may misbehave badly – at least according to our human standards of what constitutes poor pet behaviour. Animals act instinctively and cannot be faulted if they bite, scratch or even kill because of their nature to survive. As pet owners, we must be responsible to raise our pets “in the way they should go”, by providing for their needs and giving them the love and care, so they are never abused or neglected. WE will be judged by our treatment of them, not vice versa!
So, I suppose the ultimate question is not whether or not your pet goes to heaven, but whether or not YOU DO! This whole debate is moot otherwise. If you are doubtful about YOUR eternal life read: The Gospel Message: Get it? Got it? Good!!
I am praying that I will be welcomed into the presence of my Saviour at the end of my lifetime, and that He will say, “Well done, good and faithful Servant…come into your reward…” (Matthew 25:23) Then I hope to see running to greet me all my loved ones including my purring and barking fur-babies, all clambering to give me hugs and kisses…each in their own way!
Here are more encouraging scriptures for those who love, have loved and lost a precious pet:
Psalm 36:6 “Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord.”
Genesis 1:30 “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
Genesis 6:19-22 “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept live. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Job 12:7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
Genesis 9:8-17 “Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
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, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Matthew 10:29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.“
Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 “I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”
Psalms 50:10-11 “for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.”
Hosea 2:18-20 “In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
Psalm 36:6 “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.”
2 Samuel 12: 1-6 “The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
Proverbs 12:10 “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”
Proverbs 27:23 “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”
Isaiah 11:6-9 “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. The cow will 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, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Revelation 21: 4-5 “ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Isaiah 65:17 “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
Isaiah 65:25 “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.”
2 Peter 3:13 “But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”
Psalm 104:26-35 “There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord.”
Psalm 148:5-14 “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever—he issued a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.”
Romans 8:18-22 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Psalm 145:21 “My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.”