Monday, March 30, 2009

Pets in Heaven? 3 Views: Maybe

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Some are convinced that animals go to Heaven, and maybe they're right. The eternal fate of animals is a question the Bible does not directly answer.

God loves His creation, including the animals, and He is determined to restore all of creation — both the plant and animal kingdoms — to the original perfection they enjoyed before being corrupted by the sin of Man.

Jesus died not only to redeem Mankind, but to redeem the creation. This was emphasized prophetically in the Hebrew Scriptures in two ways. First, it was taught symbolically. When the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies once a year to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, the book of Leviticus tells us that he would take a step back and sprinkle some of the blood on the ground in front of the Ark (Lev. 16:15).

Why did he do this? The blood on the mercy seat was a prophecy that one day the blood of the Messiah would make it possible for the grace of God to cover the law of God (the tablets of law rested in the Ark under the lid called the mercy seat). The blood on the ground was a prophecy that the sacrifice of the Messiah would also make it possible for God to lift the curse that rests on creation and redeem all of it to its original perfection.

We know for certain that animals will exist on earth during the millennial reign of Jesus (Isa. 11:6-9), and we are told that all animals will become herbivorous once again. The wolf will lie down with the lamb. The lion will eat straw with the ox. A little child will play in the cobra's hole because the cobra will no longer be poisonous (Isa. 11:8). I have a picture of the "peaceable kingdom" hanging behind my desk. It shows a little boy in a white robe walking down a road with a lion on a leash. The lion will be a pet instead of a threat.

The Bible tells us very little about the eternal state that will follow our Lord's millennial reign. All we know is that the redeemed will live in new bodies on a new earth in the presence of Almighty God, serving Him and experiencing intimate fellowship with Him. The book of Revelation says we will "see his face" (Rev. 22:4). Animals are not mentioned in the eternal context.

But that does not mean they will be absent. I suspect that one of the many delightful surprises God will give to the redeemed will be the joyful companionship of the pets they knew and loved here on this earth. I hope so.


In the next of this "Pets in Heaven?" series, we'll look at the answer "No."

11 comments:

son of thunder said...

I would almost be willing to bet that in the Millenial Kingdom, we will be able to converse with the animals.

hartdawg said...

why not? eve was not shocked when the serpent talked to her in the garden.

hartdawg said...

why would God create animals in this earth age, then redeem creation and include animals in the millineum but not the new earth? no sense! too bad we wont be meateaters. nothing i love more than a medium rare steak with johnnys' seasoning salt and when the juice mixes with the b.b.q. sauce... i know what i'm having for supper tonight. maybe in our ressurrected bodies we wont have a taste for that.

son of thunder said...

Or maybe everything we eat will taste like our favorite dead animal.

And great news: My lay-off lasted less than one day. Hopefully this is a sign of a turn-around. Thanks for all the prayers, guys.

Hallelujah!!!

hartdawg said...

great about your job, (unless it was some awful dead-end job you hated going to) i dont know about the new earth but there will be animal sacrifices in the millinial temple. it says animals wont be carivours (spelled correctly??) but it says nothing about people. there is always meat substitutes. if God ressurrects us then why not are pets? there is NO proof one way or the other. and what about pets with raptured owners? is God so careless about them that he leaves them to fend for themselves?

Billy said...

Why should an animal get eternal life when some people, people YOU know, perhaps freinds or family, will not?

I don't get this worry and concern about pets eternal destiny yet not one word about all the poor lost souls that will face the second death.

Could that be why I'm not shedding any tears for an anmial...AN ANIMAL!!!!!!

Some anger on my part? YOU BET! Why? Because sometimes it seems people have more compassion and concern for animals than people. That's where I'm coming from.

son of thunder said...

Agreed, Billy.

I do get angry when we're more concerned about a spotted-owl's egg than an unborn human.

We should take care of the world around us because the Bible says so, not because it's some sort of god, and that includes animals. But, when that animal becomes more important than a person, who has the breath of life from God Himself, we've went too flippin' far.

And, yes, hartdawg, it's a dead-end job which I really used to despise, but it's a dead-end job that God gave me to put food on the table for my family. so now I thank Him for it. I say: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheynu melekh ha'olam, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz. Ameyn. (Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. Amen.) The traditional Hebrew blessing over bread.

son of thunder said...

And no, I"m not fluent in Hebrew; I can barely speak English. But I have picked some up, the Hebrew that is.

hartdawg said...

i hate my dead-end job too but its a job and for that i'm thankful...not really but i'm really trying to be.

Nathan Jones said...

Congrats, Son of Thunder, on getting you steady income back! We prayed as a ministry for you this morning, thanking God for answered prayer.

son of thunder said...

I appreciate it, Nathan. I thank God for Dr. Reagan and his ministry (that means all of you there at L&L).

And even though we don't always agree on the timing, I can't wait to meet all of you at the Rapture, whenever it may be.

Hartdawg, don't feel bad, most people can't stand their jobs, but remember this: God put you there for a reason. Your job is not a mistake. I don't know what you do, but appreciate it for the gift that it is. That's something I've learned the hard way.