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Animals in Heaven?

This question probably enters the mind of every animal lover, especially when they lose a favorite family pet. Our pets can reason and think.  They have feelings and personalities all their own. Each one is unique. Do our pets or any other animals, for that matter, go to heaven?  GOD cares about us.  Does he care about animals?  One thing is certain, ever since man started sinning, animals have been dying.  The first few died in Eden, when GOD clothed Adam and Eve...after they had sinned.

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  Genesis 3:21, 23

There are many examples, in scripture, of animals associated with heaven, a few are repeated below:

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.  2 Kings 2:11

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Revelation 5:13

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  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.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Revelation 19:11-14

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 65:17-25

In the scripture references above, several animal species are mentioned...but where did these animals originate.  GOD obviously created the horses pulling Elijah's chariot, but they were made of fire.  Creatures in heaven praise the LORD.  "Creatures" could include men, animals, or angels.  If the creatures mentioned include animals, are they created in heaven or are they reborn earthly creatures?

Both man and animals are formed from the same materials as the dirt beneath our feet.  This shows that humans and animals are similar in make-up and live together here on earth, but shows no similarities or differences whatsoever regarding life after death or residence in heaven.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  Genesis 2:7, 19

Surprising to most is the fact that God's covenant with Noah, after the flood, included both people and animals.  However, that promise was not one of everlasting life, but that He would not again destroy the earth with a flood.

And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, and I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;  And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.  And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.  Genesis 9:8-17

Another surprise is that the fourth commandment includes a Sabbath rest for animals as well as people.  God created both, and both need rest.  This scripture reveals some equality and similarity between people and animals here on earth, but again, no mention of the hereafter.

Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.  Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.  And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. Dueteronomy 5:12-15

God takes care of both men and animals. 

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Matthew 6:26

God set the world and it's ecology in motion.He created it all!  Amazingly, GOD provides food, shelter and even entertainment for the animals.  Though many animals are identified by name, again nothing of an afterlife for animals is mentioned.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.  Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.  By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.  He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;  and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.  The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.  He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.  Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.  So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.  There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.  That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.  Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.  The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.  He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.  I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.  My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.  Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.  Psalm 104

Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. He was the wisest and wealthiest person in the world and could have anything he wanted. As a result, he experimented with everything that this world could offer him. It takes very little reading in the book of Ecclesiastes to learn Solomon's conclusion: all things that the world can provide are meaningless.  Solomon did have a few things to say about humans and animals.their similarities and differences and important contrasts.

God put eternity into the hearts of people. People think about eternity, animals do not.  This makes a distinction between man and beast-not a physical distinction, but a spiritual one.  Solomon finds a difference here.

I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.  Ecclesiates 3:10-11 (NAS)

People are wicked and can become righteous.  GOD judges the righteous and the wicked.  Doesn't make sense with animals, does it?  Animals are not wicked or righteous.  Animals are not made to understand sin and judgment.  But we as humans understand those concepts explicitly.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.  And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.  Ecclesiastes 3:15-17

The perspective in the verses below is clearly that of a physical comparison of man to animals. The spiritual distinction was made above. In this passage it is seen that both man and animals have breath, both die, and both go back to dust.   From a physical or worldly perspective these physical comparisons point towards a completely meaningless existence.  Animals do not realize that GOD exists.  It is not their choice to live this way.  If mankind, who lives on a higher plane than animals, makes the choice to ignore GOD, he is no better than an animal.  Both turn to dust in the end.  Both have no direct relationship with GOD. Solomon comes to the conclusion that a life and all it offers without a consciousness of God and a relationship with Him is meaningless.

I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.  For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.  Ecclesiastes 3:18-20

So, are there animals in heaven?  Yes there are.  Is there an afterlife for animals and pets?  Scriptures do not tell us an answer to that question.   GOD' s word is for mankind.  Animals are not equipped read it.  Animals have no comprehension of sin and Salvation.  When meditating on the subject it is sad to think that our pets may not be in heaven, but for any chance to see them again, we will have to go to heaven ourselves.   Most of mankind has absolutely no chance of ever seeing a pet again, ever.because they will not be in heaven themselves!

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

The bottom line is this.to see if your pets are in heaven you will actually go there and look for yourself!  There is only one way to make that trip.  You cannot work your way there.  Accept the provision GOD made for you.  Accept Jesus as your LORD and Savior.  Begin your relationship with the Living GOD Almighty.  When the time finally does come and you are strolling the streets of gold you might find yourself calling out "here.kitty, kitty, kitty". Do not be embarassed, you will not be the only one, there will be at least one other...

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed!  The choice is yours! 

Clarifying Christianity, http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com
Got Questions, http://www.gotquestions.org
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