Animals in Eternity – Romans 8

Will our beloved pets share eternity with us? It’s a question near and dear to my heart as well as millions of other folks.

I have two manuscripts going on the topic but neither has been “cleared” yet for takeoff.  There are numerous scriptures that must be considered when searching for an answer to the question of animals in heaven.

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits…”

“Creation was subject to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope”

“Creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption”

These quotes are taken from Romans 8:15-25.  Animals were created before man and are a major part of the creation. Scripture addresses eternity using the phrase, “all flesh” many times.

What do you think? What has God laid on your heart about the future of animals? Is there a different path for dogs, horses, cats, or other critters that shared their love with a special person and animals who never knew relationship with a human?

Is it possible that animals could be elevated into eternal life in the same way people are; through relationship with the one who has dominion over them?

  • Do animals have a soul?
  • It they have souls, are they immortal?
  • If animals have immortal souls, will they share heaven with us? Will some of them – all of them?

What questions do you have? What answers, what opinions, what scriptures?

Will there be horses in heaven?

. . . . .

 

 

Comments

  1. Lisa Brewer:

    Lynn,

    I may have the answer you seek. From the time I saw your question, I wanted to respond but time did not permit until now.

    Years ago, I lost a dear, sweet, beloved pet. She never did have the best quality of life due to health issues. At the end, she was suffering and while she lay on my lap struggling, I asked God to take her. She was gone within the minute. I’m crying just sharing that.

    I grieved for weeks when, in my quiet time, the Lord showed me my beloved pet in his arms and then playing. She was happy and healthier than she ever was here. He asked me if I wanted her back. I said, “NO!” I do not believe in reincarnation. I believe the point was to show me that I loved her too much to take her from her happy, healthy, heavenly life.

    The Lord went on to share with me that in the same way we are made alive in His love, our beloved pets are made alive in our love. It’s all about the love! I took that to mean that not every squirrel we see hit on the road is in heaven. But, every pet animal we love is in heaven.

    Some 18 months later, I was researching for a sermon I called, “God’s Goodness in Unmet Expectations.” I was reading C.S. Lewis’ “Problem with Pain.” He included a chapter on animals. In that chapter, I read about our deceased pets being in heaven. He basically said, “In the same way we are made alive in His love, they (our beloved pets) are made alive in our love.”

    A couple years ago, I had to send another beloved pet ahead to be with Jesus. As the lethal dose was given, I hung my head and cried. Within 20 seconds, I heard, “Got him!” Again, crying but, joy filled that I will see them all again.

    God is good, ALL the time!
    Shalom,
    Lisa

    • Lynn:

      Lisa, my personal thoughts are very similar to yours. If you haven’t read, A Dog’s Purpose by w. Bruce Cameron, I highly recommend it. I believe I will see certain of my animals in heaven. But when (or if) I write about it I have to include where my opinions are supported in God’s Word.

      Thank you for sharing your memories and experience. When I wrote the last chapter of Amazing Grays I was crying before finishing the first paragraph. The tears were not of fond memory, but how I squandered God’s answer to prayer. And yet, He is merciful and will (I believe) give me another chance to share what could have been when I join Sky on the other side of the Narrow Gate.

      Indeed, it is all about the love. I’ll have to check out that title by C.S. Lewis. I’ve read most…

      Blessings,
      Lynn

      • Lisa Brewer:

        Thank you for the response. I understand now that you want scriptural proof for what you believe.

        If I were looking to write something similar and based on my belief as described, I would then go looking for scripture about…

        – the quickening power of the Love of God (God is love).

        Other things to consider that may lead somewhere…

        – even animal creation was spared in the flood

        – the earth creation will be purified by fire later, but not destroyed

        – creation was listed in order of importance to God (i.e. plant life, fish, animals then man) if God will spare what was created before animals (plant life) and spare what was created after animals (man), why would He not spare what was created between them?

        – the lion will lay down with the lamb (future) and kids will pay around snakes.

        – not one sparrow falls to the ground that He does not notice. He is concerned about all His creation.

        – Jesus had no enmity with animals (riding colt). Perfect love casts out fear.

        – Scripture talks about the entire house (animals too?) of a righteous person being sanctified. At the same time, God commanded animals of the wicked to be destroyed.

        – He chose the spotless lamb to be a picture and shadow of Jesus.

        – The righteous care about the well being of their animals. Prov, I think.

        – We know babies and the very young go the heaven based on David losing his child with Bathsheba and knowing he would see his child later. Maybe, it is true for animals too as they are unknowing/ignorant as well. We know there is grace for ignorance according to Paul.

        I hope something here will spark something within you to be able to finish something that you obviously are passionate about.

        Shalom!

        • Lynn:

          Lisa, thank you for being so quick to help. The questions in this post are simply to get readers thinking and to perhaps glean a response. I wasn’t specifically looking for scriptural back-up in comments, but appreciate all you’ve suggested. You noted one or two biblical concepts that I haven’t considered yet – though there are many!

          Indeed, there are many, many verses from Genesis to Revelation (inclusive) that I think may apply to animals as well as humans. As you’ve probably experienced in conversations yourself, many people are vehemently opposed to the idea of sharing heaven with critters. When (if) I finish one of the two books presently in progress on this topic I must be certain I’m not interpreting God’s Word in a way that suits my hypothesis. I need to be able to answer the people who will oppose the message. The reason neither manuscript has moved forward is that God decides which books get finished and which must wait.

          God’s timing is perfect. If I am allowed to complete the project He will provide the means, inspiration, and central message. You’re so right, I am passionate about this. but must wait until the “fullness of time.” Well over a year ago I ordered all the relevant books on the subject and read them, including the words of authors from previous centuries. Did you know that Martin Luther also believed animals will be in heaven?

          And I’m always looking for stories, histories, and examples of the relationship between other Christians and their animals. Some may make their way into the eventual message…

          Blessings,
          Lynn

  2. Roger Williams:

    “Animals were created before man and are a major part of the creation.”

    A challenging question you ask, Lynn …

    1) Given that animals were created before man, it’s clear to me that God “loves” them – not “loved” them.

    2) Based on God’s loving nature, I believe you can expect to see animals in heaven.

    3) Jesus said the word of God will never pass away, which means for me, the desires of our heart will be fulfilled forever.

    4) I love, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard….” Will part of that surprise be meeting up with pets? Some would say there’s no room for ‘yes’. There’s no room for ‘no’ either!

    5) There’s a new heavens and earth up ahead and we’ll get to be in both. A new earth without animals would make no sense to God, so why not heaven?

    6) There’s no tears and sadness in eternity, so if the departed pets people loved are not there, there’ll be no memory of it.

    7) I like music more than animals … there’ll be music in heaven like I’ve never heard it on earth.

    8) What about people who like animals more than music, will they be deprived? No.

    9) Man’s creations won’t be there (although given that God is a Creator I’m sure we’ll be creating too) but God’s will be.

    Just another opinion, Lynn … I pray God God’s blessings upon your manuscripts.

    Roger

    • Lynn:

      Roger, thank you for your delightful and thoughtful comment. I particularly appreciate number four. I have three questions to consider. Do animals have a soul? If so, is that soul immortal? If immortal, will animals share heaven with us? The first answer is not so difficult. Many, many verses in scripture provide the answer. Since I cannot offer evidence of any answer without God’s Word, I’m still working on the second two questions. Your responses are so similar to what I believe… but if I am to present answers for readers to consider prayerfully I need to offer more than simply my opinion and hope. The path to finish this work isn’t open yet. I have every confidence that if God permits me to complete the work He will also provide the means to do so.

      No room for yes, no room for no. That rings so true to me. Now, to figure out why…

      Blessings,
      Lynn

  3. Dan Cooksey:

    Absolutely! We know there are white horses in heaven – (Rev. 19:11-16) “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True… On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

    I’m not surprised that Jesus is a horseman.

    God said all of his creation was good so why wouldn’t he want to share heaven with all of it? C.S. Lewis said that all that we see on this earth is just a pale shadow of the reality in heaven and I believe that. I plan to ride Sugar someday throughout all of heaven and I’m looking forward to it.

    Dan

    • Lynn:

      Sky’s mother’s name was Sugar, Dan. I don’t know if she’ll be there, but I expect to see Sky. Do you think all animals will be there, or just some?

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