The Bible paints a vivid picture of heaven as a place of unity, restoration, and joy. In Isaiah 11:6-9 (NIV), the prophet envisions a future where “the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together.” This poetic imagery suggests a harmonious coexistence – a glimpse into the divine plan for all of creation, including our beloved pets.
At the heart of many biblical teachings is the nature of God – a being characterized by boundless love and compassion. Psalm 145:9 (NIV) declares, “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” This profound compassion extends to the entirety of creation, hinting at the possibility that our merciful God might include our animal companions in the heavenly realm.
What Does the Bible Say About Pets in Heaven?
The Bible does not state whether or not pets go to heaven. However, we know that God created animals and saw that they were good (Genesis 1:24). However, from the scriptures, we see that animals were created for mankind and not God. Man on the other end was created for God. We also know that God is a loving and compassionate God who cares for all of his creatures (Matthew 6:26).
Given these facts, it seems reasonable to believe that pets may be in heaven. After all, if God cares for all of his creatures, and animals are part of his creation, then it would seem strange if they were excluded from heaven.
Of course, we cannot say for sure whether or not pets go to heaven. However, the Bible does give us some reason to hope that they do. And even if they do not, we can still take comfort in knowing that they are in a better place now that they are free from pain and suffering.
Do pets go to Heaven Biblically?
We’ve explored the wonders of creation, the heavenly imagery of unity, and the boundless compassion of God. Now, let’s tackle the big question: Do pets go to heaven according to the Bible?
The Bible doesn’t have a direct passage that says, “Yes, your furry friend will be in heaven.” It’s a bit like putting together a puzzle; you have to look at different pieces to see the whole picture.
1. Solomon’s Wisdom: Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 (NIV)
“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?”
Solomon, known for his wisdom, draws a parallel between the destiny of humans and animals. This reflection acknowledges the shared mortality of both, raising questions about the fate of their spirits. While not explicitly detailing the afterlife for animals, it recognizes their interconnected existence with humanity.
2. God’s Care for His Creation: Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
In the teachings of Jesus, we find an affirmation of God’s care for all of His creation. He uses the example of birds to emphasize God’s providence. This reflects a broader principle of God’s love and provision extending to the entire created order, animals included.
3. Noah’s Ark and God’s Covenant: Genesis 9:8-10 (NIV)
“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.'”
The story of Noah’s Ark illustrates God’s concern for animals. After the flood, God makes a covenant not only with Noah and his descendants but also with every living creature. This emphasizes the interconnectedness of God’s promises with the entirety of His creation.
4. The Lion and the Lamb: Isaiah 11:6 (NIV)
“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.”
Isaiah’s vision of peace and harmony in the animal kingdom paints a beautiful picture of God’s ultimate plan. While not directly addressing the fate of individual pets, it reflects the broader theme of restoration and unity in God’s future kingdom.
In these verses, we find glimpses of the Bible’s perspective on animals, showcasing God’s care, wisdom, and overarching plan for His creation. While specific details about the afterlife of pets remain a mystery, these passages provide a foundation for contemplating the significance of animals in the divine narrative.
Personal Experiences of Pets in Heaven
We all love a good story, especially when it’s about something as dear to our hearts as our pets. People over the years have shared personal experiences claiming to have glimpsed animals in heaven. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these tales.
1. Colton Burpo’s Adventure
Imagine being a young boy named Colton Burpo who, after a near-death experience, talks about visiting heaven in the book “Heaven is for Real.” Colton shared that he saw not only his deceased pet, a blue-eyed dog but also other animals frolicking in a beautiful meadow. It’s like a magical story unfolding, giving us a warm feeling that our furry friends could be part of something special.
2. Howard Storm’s Heavenly Encounter
Then there’s Howard Storm, an art professor, who tells a different but equally fascinating tale. Howard says he had a near-death experience and found himself in a heavenly realm. In this extraordinary place, he didn’t just see landscapes; he encountered a variety of animals. To him, this was a sign of God’s love and creativity, like a canvas painted with divine inspiration.
3. Stories from Mystics and Visionaries
But it’s not just these two. Throughout history, there have been other folks, like Christian mystics and visionaries, who share their personal encounters with heavenly scenes filled with animals. These stories often carry a deep personal connection, rooted in the mystical aspects of their faith. It’s like they’ve been given a glimpse behind the curtain of the divine.
What Did Jesus Say About Animals?
Let’s take a more profound journey into the teachings of Jesus regarding our beloved animals. As we delve into these insights, we’ll strive for a deeper understanding, combining simplicity with a sense of reverence.
1. Birds: Matthew 6:26 (NIV)
In contemplating the avian world, Jesus invited his listeners to ponder the birds of the air. He remarked, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This statement not only emphasizes God’s care for the smallest creatures but also underscores the immeasurable value He places on each human life.
2. Sparrows: Matthew 10:29 (NIV)
Jesus, in his compassionate teachings, turned attention to sparrows, creatures often perceived as common and of little value. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” In this seemingly small observation, Jesus elevates the significance of the seemingly insignificant, assuring his listeners of God’s awareness and care even for the humblest of creatures.
3. God’s Unforgettable Love: Luke 12:6 (NIV)
Continuing the theme of divine attentiveness, Jesus reiterated the worthiness of sparrows in God’s eyes. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” This repetition reinforces the idea that, in God’s grand design, no creature is too small to escape His notice and love.
4. The Donkey’s: Matthew 21:2-5 (NIV)
In a deliberate act that resonates with humility, Jesus chose to enter Jerusalem on a donkey. This choice wasn’t arbitrary; it fulfilled an ancient prophecy. “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” This symbolic act underscores the sacred significance of even the humblest roles in fulfilling divine purposes.
5. Abundance and Provision in the Fishermen’s Tale: Luke 5:4-6 (NIV)
The narrative of a miraculous catch of fish, orchestrated by Jesus, speaks not only of his mastery over creation but also conveys a message of abundance and providence. “When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ So they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” This story reflects Jesus’s ability to provide abundantly, even in areas of life seemingly unrelated to human spirituality.
As we reflect on these teachings, a common thread emerges – the profound respect Jesus held for all aspects of God’s creation. From the delicate birds to the seemingly insignificant sparrows, the humble donkey, and the teeming fish, Jesus invites us to see the sacred in the simple, recognizing that every living being has a place in the divine narrative.
In conclusion, the Bible doesn’t provide a clear answer on whether pets go to heaven. While passages hint at God’s care for all His creation, the specifics of the afterlife for individual pets remain a mystery. Yet, biblical teachings, personal experiences, and Jesus’s insights collectively emphasize the sacred nature of all living beings and God’s profound love for His creation.
Whether or not our pets join us in heaven, the overarching message is one of hope, compassion, and trust in a loving Creator. This exploration invites contemplation of the mysteries of the divine plan, offering comfort in the belief that God’s love extends to all His creation, including the cherished animals sharing our earthly journey.
FAQ on What Does the Bible Say About Pets in Heaven
1. Does the Bible mention animals in heaven?
- Yes, the Bible mentions animals in heaven in a few places. In Isaiah 11:6-9, the prophet Isaiah describes a future time when animals will live in peace with each other. He says that “the wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion will eat together, and a little child will lead them.”
- In Revelation 5:13, every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea is seen praising God. This suggests that animals are included in God’s plan for heaven.
2. Does the Bible say that animals have souls?
- The Bible doesn’t explicitly say whether or not animals have souls. However, there are a few passages that suggest that they do. In Genesis 2:7, the Bible says that God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living being. This suggests that the breath of life is what makes a person a soul, and that animals may also have souls.
- In Ecclesiastes 3:19-21, the Bible says that humans and animals share the same fate. This suggests that they are both equally valued by God.
3. Does the Bible say that animals can be saved?
- The Bible doesn’t explicitly say whether or not animals can be saved. However, there are a few passages that suggest that they can. In Jonah 4:11, God tells Jonah that he cares for the great city of Nineveh, which has 120,000 people and many animals. This suggests that God cares for both humans and animals, and that he may have a way to save them both.
4. What do famous preachers say about pets in heaven?
A number of famous preachers have spoken about the possibility of pets going to heaven.
- Billy Graham said, “I believe that all of God’s creatures will be in heaven. I believe that our pets will be there too. They have brought us so much joy in this life, and I can’t imagine heaven being complete without them.”
- Charles Spurgeon said, “I do not suppose that we shall know our pets in heaven, but we shall know a great many other things that we know not now. And if we know not our pets, we shall know something better than pets―we shall know Him who made them.”
- C.S. Lewis said, “There are some things that cannot be imagined, they must be seen. And heaven is one of them.”