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Animals In Heaven?

From the Bible I think a stronger case could be made that animals will live forever than not.

1. The Hebrew is quite clear that both humans and animals have spirits and likely souls too (Genesis 1:21; Genesis 2:7). In fact, my understanding is that the way to distinguish whether a creature has a soul or not (according to the Hebrew "a living being/soul") is whether or not they have red blood. This would exclude plants, insects, and microscopic life, which truly are programmed automatons and exhibit no traits of personality or anything beyond instinct. Zoology has pretty well established that a variety of animals exhibit clear and unique personality traits that can't be explained by instinct. The Talmud also pretty explicitly backs up these points.

2. This is the big one for me: no death occurred before Adam's sin. None. The first recorded death is in Genesis 3:21 where God slays an animal to provide a covering for Adam and Eve. Humans and red-blooded animals were designed to live forever, but the Fall brought death to all of creation. This being the case, Romans 8:19-22 and Revelation 21:4 pretty much settle it for me. I think Revelation 22:2 backs this point up as we see Eden restored (although in a new form).

3. Matthew 6:26 and 10:29-31 clearly indicate a committed love on God's part towards all of his other creatures. Especially since Jesus purposefully chose as His example the small and rather un-majestic sparrow. IMHO, this necessarily excludes the possibility that He would allow His beloved creatures to simply "cease to exist".

4. Supporting evidence: four living creatures in heaven (Revelation 4:6-9) and animals in the Messianic Kingdom and in the New Heavens and New Earth (Isaiah 11:6-9; Isaiah 65:25). Interestingly, Isaiah 65:25 references carnivorous animals again eating plants as they would have before the Fall.

Priorities do matter though, and I know a number of people who genuinely struggle in this area of loving their pets vs loving their family and friends. Humans are much harder to love because of sin. Animals are much easier because they shower you with love freely. Humans rarely do that.

As Christians we absolutely have to prioritize our family, friends, and neighbors. Humans are much more valuable to God than animals and uniquely possess the Imago Dei (Image of God). Animals are without sin and so don't need to hear the Gospel... but your family, friends, and neighbors do!

Now as far as the Rapture is concerned... I simply don't know if animals will be included. I tend to think not, but that instead we will see our pets again in the 1,000 year reign or in the New Heavens and New Earth.


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5 comments :

  1. This verse is true. Relationships restored. Purposes renewed. Health better than ever. Families reunited. Provision - purpose - rule - dominion - Eden - all back. Why wouldn't God restore our animal friends/

    Ephesians 3:20-21 (NASB)

    Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so blessed by this,...beyond so much else that is ever spoken about anywhere on earth! i give thanks.......*//// beautiful Greg, thank you my friend n brother in Christ Jesus...tony in vt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks Gary n PRAISE GOD WHO IS WONDERFULLY GOOD!,...tony.vt

    ReplyDelete
  4. What about Romans 8:22, 23?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    Your judgments are like a great deep.
    O LORD, You preserve man and beast.

    ReplyDelete


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