Do Animals Go To Heaven?
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This week we said a painful goodbye to our second rescue boxer, Romer. Like his sister, he died just shy of his eleventh birthday.

As we mourn his absence, I can’t help but wonder if we will see our pets again. I wrote about this in a blog post two years ago, when we said goodbye to Romer’s sister, Lacy. Here is most of that post:

After all the painful goodbyes, will there ever be another hello?

I know what I’d like the answer to be. I’d like to know I’ll once again enjoy the company of the animals that have brought such joy to my life on this earth. I’d like to believe the mistreatment some animals have suffered at the hands of cruel humans will somehow be recompensed with something much better.

That’s what I’d like to know. What I do know is that God is good…all the time. And all the time, God is good. So what does this mean for our pets?

The Bible is an extensive account of God’s dealings with humanity. It tells us what we need to know to be in a restored relationship with the One who created us. But there are things the Bible does not tell us. One of the things it does not spell out for us is what happens to animals when they die.

Now, I know Jesus did not die for the animal kingdom. He died for people. And I know many Bible scholars say heaven is for humans, not animals.

But I also know the Bible says “the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice” and that it “will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21 NIV). Does “the creation” include animals?

Isaiah 11:6-9 mentions animals being present in the millennial kingdom. Wolves, lambs, leopards, goats, calves, and lions. Cows, bears, oxen, and cobras. When Revelation 21:1 speaks of the “new earth,” many Bible scholars believe this restored creation will be everything the Garden of Eden was before sin entered the world. And the Garden had animals.

Still, there is a difference between animals in general and our pets in particular. Lions will someday lie down with lambs, but that doesn’t mean little Lacy will someday romp celestial fields with me. Then again, it doesn’t mean she won’t.

Bottom line? We can conjecture all we want, but our opinions don’t really matter. What matters is that God is good all the time, and whatever He does will be right…for us and for the animals we love.

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6 Comments

  1. ..”flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them”…Lacy and Romer will always be with you in Spirit and Heart..and as you go through the day..so many little reminders of them will touch you..a toy they chewed..the smell of their beds..the warm feeling you get when you are greeted by them when you get up, come home..or when you are feeling sad and need a hug…Ava, years are as lives, when each is richly full of sweet love, the symphony and chimes of a dog’s bark..only to him who truly loved can come the peace and joy of hands outstreched against the night sky and thanking God for this day..and his infinite love..Yes, Ava, there is a Doggie Heaven.

    Comment by Julie Miller — March 7, 2013

  2. Thank you, Julie. Your sweet spirit is a beautiful fragrance to me!

    Comment by admin — March 7, 2013

  3. Ava,

    You always have such a beautiful way of sharing God’s word and accepting and communicating that we don’t have all of the answers, but we can always trust our God:)

    Comment by Kelly — March 7, 2013

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Kelly. He is trustworthy, isn’t He!

    Comment by admin — March 7, 2013

  5. We almost lost our little female pug this week, so this post made me cry. I’m praying for you.

    Joni Erickson Tada said something on the subject that I loved. She said, (and I paraphrase), that she couldn’t say for sure if our pets would be in heaven, but that she “wouldn’t be surprised if our pets, which bring us so much earthly joy, weren’t part of our joy in heaven.”

    I have to agree with her! 🙂

    Comment by Bethany Macklin — March 12, 2013

  6. Thank you, Bethany. I’d like to believe that, too! Someday, we’ll know for sure.

    Comment by admin — March 12, 2013

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