Pets in Heaven
Will your dog, cat, horse, etc. be in heaven?

Sue asks: Do dogs go to heaven when they die. I loved my dog so much. Now she is gone and i want to see her again. Please tell me Bobbie will be there when i get to heaven.
Question about A Personal Question: My family and friends
Motivation - Trouble: Personal crisis
Bible view - A religious guide - [question 3, Friday, 20-May-2011]

Animals are Important

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast
- Proverbs 12:10 [KJV]

Animals are important to God, just like they are important to us. Sue lost her dog and we feel sorry for her. Emotional ties between humans and animals can be very strong, and when strong ties break, our heart breaks also. We know this all too well.

The verse in Proverbs above (a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast, King James Version) is translated A good man takes care of his animals in the Good News Bible, and A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal in the New International Version. These verses, no doubt, were written to apply to domestic animals of the day, like oxen, sheep, and cattle, but it is certainly a short step to extend the thought to modern day animals as well as pets. In a word, the Bible teaches that animals are to be treated with respect, not cruelty.

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
- Deuteronomy 25:4 [KJV]

Psalms 36 in the Old Testament explicitly ties man and beast together, keeping them distinct from each other, and yet affirming a broad continuity of life on earth:

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
- Psalms 36:6ff [KJV]

The New Testament likewise contains examples of human-animal connection:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? yet not one of them shall fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. [Matthew 10:29, NIV]

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them -- what does he do? He leaves the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and goes looking for the one that got lost until he finds it. When he finds it, he is so happy that he puts it on his shoulders and carries it back home.
- Luke 15:4 [GNB]

Even though animals are given by God to humans for food (Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you [Genesis 9:3]) their humane treatment is still required by biblical mandate. Kosher meats use a special method of slaughter, called shechita, which is designed to kill the animal with minimal pain, rapid loss of consciousness, and complete draining of blood.

God's Lifeforms

animals and plants
Most people today think there are only two forms of life on earth. They do not consider the Bible view.

If you talk to evolution-oriented scientists today, they will tell you that lifeforms on Earth fall into two major categories: the Animal Kingdom and the Plant Kingdom. People are part of the Animal Kingdom; that is, people are advanced animals.

But the Bible view of lifeforms is quite different. First, people are special, being created in the image of God, Genesis 1:26, discussed below. People have a spiritual dimension as well as a physical one. Animals and plants lack the spiritual dimension. Further, angels are lifeforms that exist solely in the spiritual realm.

Only God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, and human beings share both physical and spiritual dimensions. Animals and plants are strictly physical. Angels, like Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer, are strictly spiritual. Angels are lifeforms, but they are made of invisible stuff, not physical stuff.

God created angels to do His bidding, but He created people for another reason. He did not create us to do His bidding, instead, He created us for loving relationships with Himself. But He could not have true love if we were just robots, doing everything He tells us to do. Therefore He gave us free will, to do things the way we want to, not what He requires. Sure enough, every one of us strays from God's perfection, and that is called sin.

Bible lifeforms
The Bible says there are two parts of the universe, with lifeforms in both parts.

You are a sinner, and I am a sinner, and both of us need freedom from our sin to be the people God wants us to be and enter into loving relationships with Him.

But, pets in heaven

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
- Genesis 1:26 [KJV]

But pets in heaven is not to be, not as we usually think of it. The basic distinction between man and animals is this: mankind is made in the image and likeness of God; animals are not.

Heaven is a supernatural place, so it takes supernatural attributes to get there. Being fashioned in God's image provides the supernatural attributes, and animals, including pets, do not have these attributes.

Unlike every other creature on earth, mankind is made in the image and likeness of God. This gives us a spiritual component. It is the spiritual component that allows us to fellowship with God Himself, and interact with each other on a level deeper than the physical senses. It is more than mere intelligence and mechanical communication. Godly spirituality rests at the center of our emotions and our thought-life. It gives us moral freedom and will. It gives us the capability to know and love God, and guide our actions and subdue our impulses on the basis of reason, and to rule over nature. It is what distinguishes men and women from animals. Some people believe people and animals are the same, but the Bible -- and common sense -- says otherwise.

Many liberal Christians and other matter-of-fact thinkers define heaven as a state of mind or some similar natural, albeit intangible, embodiment, shying away from supernatural explanations. Even if this is true (the Bible does not readily support such a view, but favors the supernatural view), pets dieing and then entering some type of state of mind is not the question Sue asks. When a pet dies, we know he is gone, and will never return. Fond thoughts of our pets are good, and with God nothing shall be impossible [Luke 1:37], and God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him [Hebrews 11:6], but the Bible contains no explicit promise of seeing our pets again.

Animals in heaven

Jesus returning to earth on a horse
Jesus returning to earth on a horse [Revelation 19:11]

Animals in heaven is a distinct possibility, which is encouraging. There is an image all over the Internet that is supposed to depict Jesus Christ returning to earth riding a white horse. The cited verse is

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. [Revelation 19:11 KJV]

This gives animal lovers hope that there are animals in heaven. But constructing Bible dogma based on the apocalytic language of the Book of Revelation is not very wise. In fact, the wise thing to do is to enjoy our pets now, and be sure to treat them as God requires, with gentleness and respect, not cruelty.

Mon, 26-Jun-2017 03:44:07 GMT, unknown: 642315 ABUHBDkuiDX1U
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