Thursday, October 3, 2013

Will my pet go to heaven?

Animals can be great companions, helpers and friends. Many people refer to their family dog as being “part of the family”. It is sad when a person looses a pet they have had for a long time. When a person looses a pet like a cat or a dog, often they ask “will I see my pet in the afterlife?”

Animals have “the breath of life”.
God gave both animals and mankind the “breath of life”.
  • “And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so” (Genesis 1:30)
  • “...then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Genesis 2:7).

God cares about animals.
Numerous passages show that God cares about animals. 
  • “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
  • Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God” (Luke 12:6).
God cares for animals, and although animals are given for food and service to mankind, God does not want us to be cruel to them.

Mankind is different from animals.
God made many magnificent creatures, but the the most magnificent is man. When God made man He said:
  • Then 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 birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26).

What differentiates man from animals is the fact that man was made in the “image of God”. Man has a will, complex emotion, drive and spirituality. Part of man will exist through eternity either with God or away from God. There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that animals have this eternal spirit.

Jesus came to earth and suffered and died so that mankind could be forgiven. There are no passages of Scripture that discuss animals having a need for atonement and forgiveness. There are no passages of Scripture that mention animals being "saved" or "lost". It appears that when the die, they just "die".

Conclusion: It is not outside of the realm of possibility that in the afterlife God will have animals for our recreation and companionship. However, to think that your family pet “goes to heaven” when they die is most likely not true. It is ok to grieve over the loss of a pet and it is good to thank God for the blessing of the many different animals He has provided mankind.

By Cliff Sabroe Quotes from ESV and NASB95. Image from wikipedia.