The question “do pets go to Heaven?” makes one mistaken assumption: that animals will remain wild or domesticated in Heaven, as they are on earth today. In the beginning, no animals were afraid of Adam and Eve, nor were they afraid of any animal. Clearly the woman’s instinctive hatred for snakes was completely non-existent in Eve. Till today, most animals are not afraid of each other, except one species: humans. According to the Bible’s narrative, animals’ fear of humans originated after Noah’s flood, when God said, “The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the eretz, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that the ground teems with, and all the fish of the sea are delivered into your hand” (Genesis 9:2 HNV). In Heaven, animals will not be wild or domesticated. They will not be afraid of us. In this sense, they will all be pets; they will all be friendly to us and freely interact with us without any fear or danger.
What about my pet cat, dog or bird?
The more personal question most pet owners mean to ask is, “Will my pet on earth die and go to Heaven?” For this, we must turn to the Bible, the only reliable eye witness account of Heaven.
The main purpose of the Bible is to record sufficient information for us to return to God and find salvation for our sins through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, therefore the Bible is not focused on tangential issues such as our pets. However, this does not mean we do not have enough clues to form an educated opinion based on the Bible.
Here are 5 Biblical facts to consider:
1) All animals were God’s idea. On Day 6 of Creation, “God made the animals of the eretz after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind. God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25 HNV).
2) Animals exist in Heaven. The Apostle John wrote what God showed him, “I saw the heaven open, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war” (Revelation 19:11 HNV).
3) There is more diversity of life in Heaven than on earth. For instance, Ezekiel saw a class of creatures in Heaven that had eyes around their heads and on their backs! It would be practical to have more eyes to see than two in front, but we have never seen any living creature on earth quite like the ones Ezekiel saw. Ezekiel reported the same beings had four faces on one head, “And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about…And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a ion, and the fourth the face of an eagle” (Ezekiel 10:12,14 HNV). Everything that has breath in Heaven worships God.
4) The righteous man cares about the life of his animal. Proverbs 12:10 (HNV) says, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal. But he tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”
5) God gives the righteous the desires of their hearts. Psalm 37 contrasts how God treats evildoers versus people who please the Lord, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (verse 4 KJV).
What do these five Biblical facts tell us about our pets?
Let’s examine them in reverse order:
1) Since God gives the desires of the righteous person’ heart, if you are a righteous person who wants to see your pets in Heaven, your pets will be in Heaven. He will give you your righteous desires. We cannot speak of the unrighteous because God does not guarantee the desires of the unrighteous person’s heart.
2) God considers the human desire to take care of animals a characteristic of the saint. Since Heaven is a place full of saints, we will live with and take care of our pets there also.
3) Since there is more diversity of life in Heaven than on earth, there must necessarily be more diversity of pets in Heaven, that is, pets you have yet to imagine. Both Isaiah and John the Beloved Apostle were given visions of a class of creatures in Heaven which had six wings (Isaiah 6:2, Revelation 4:8). I am not saying these will be your pets! It is remarkable how many people think about unicorns as though they were real. The prevalence of this wish and lingering myth into modern times is likely an indication that unicorns were real historically and are real in Heaven. The ancients spoke of unicorns as though they were historical creatures, though they have become extinct on earth, like many other species, Heaven will have at least all extant species, plus extinct species, plus a lot more we have not yet encountered.
4) Since animals exist in Heaven and all animals will be friendly, pets will exist in Heaven. God will remove all animosity between animals. There is an indication some animals will not only be humans’ pets, but other animals’ pets. Isaiah 11:6 (ISV), “The wolf will live with the lamb; the leopard will lie down with the young goat. The calf and the lion will graze together, and a little child will lead them.” Isaiah 65:25 (ISV), “‘The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; but as for the serpent— its food will be dust! They won’t harm or destroy on my entire holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”
5) Since animals are God’s creation, His invention and His idea, we should have no worry or fear that they will not be as fun, lovely, cuddly, and friendly in Heaven. Everything we have ever loved on earth is a glimpse of goodness contained in God and a reflection of the realities of Heaven. Though we cannot be definitive or dogmatic about it, we can be fairly confidant that our loyal pets from earth and other wonderful animals will be waiting for our return home. The most important question is not will animals be in Heaven, but how many humans will make it to Heaven?
You may be interested in this study of heavenly visions compared to the Bible, called “A Tour of Heaven and Hell (1 DVD)” and “Can I Know What Heaven Is Like? (1 CD)”
Leave me comments about why you want your pet to be in Heaven.
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