Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together, and a child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like cattle. An infant will play beside a cobra pit, and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den. They will not harm or destroy each other on my entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water.” Isaiah 11:6-9 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Will pets be with you in heaven?”
So, will Fluffy the cat and your favorite dog be with you in heaven? I hope so. I love animals and I have loved every pet I have ever had. I would love to know that they will be in eternity with me.
The passage in Isaiah 11:6-9 describes a time in the New Eden and it is filled with animals. That shouldn’t surprise us, because God has always valued and enjoyed animals. Animals are not more important to God than people are, but they are important. He created them before He created us. And when He sent the great flood during the time of Noah, He saved many more animals than humans. In this scene in Isaiah we see a time when there is no longer any animosity among God’s creatures. Animals that were once dangerous are now tame; snakes that were once poisonous are now harmless; creatures that used to be natural enemies now graze together in peace; and human children are in the picture too.
So there’s little doubt that animals will be with us in eternity. But will “my” animals be with me? Will I see Duffy, Lady, Missy, Kiki, and Roxy the dogs? How about my cats Midnight and Sam? And let’s not forget Henry the duck.
It’s a difficult question. The Bible does tells us that animals have the breath of life in them (Genesis 1:30, 2:7; 6:17; 7:15); and the Hebrew word used to describe that breath of life in them (nephesh) is the same one that is used to describe the breath of life in us. Also, that word is commonly understood to describe our soul. However, even with that being said, we cannot then assume that animals have a soul like ours. They were not created in the image of God as we have been. And yet, evidently they do still have a soul of some sort.
There is strong evidence in the Bible that there will be animals with us in eternity. But there is nothing that tells us anything about our specific pets. Therefore all we can do is speculate about it. In his book “Heaven”, author Randy Alcorn writes,
“Animals aren’t nearly as valuable as people, but God is their Maker and has touched many people’s lives through them. It would be simple for him to re-create a pet in Heaven if he wants to. He’s the giver of all good gifts, not the taker of them. If it would please us to have a pet restored to the New Earth, that may be sufficient reason (for him to do it).”
I don’t know if my actual pets from this life will be there in eternity with me or not. I hope so. But I do know there will be animals, lots of them. And that’s a beautiful thing.