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Question:
How do I tell a young high school student, in a delicate way, that pets aren’t going to be in heaven? This young lady is convinced her pet is to go with her to heaven. She gets upset with God and the truth when we try to explain otherwise. How can we explain to her there won’t be any pets in heaven?

Answer:

Well my answer may shock you… THIS YOUNG LADY IS MORE “RIGHT” ABOUT THIS TOPIC THAN YOU ARE! Sorry, I know you were expecting some support from me. Hear me out…

First, the fact that there will be animals in heaven is undisputed Scripturally. Granted, it can only be conjecture that God will grant us a reunion with the pets we came to love on earth, but it certainly does not go against His nature to bless us with such a gift.

Don’t misunderstand me. Pets aren’t resurrected like humans; they do not have eternal spirits like humans but they do have “souls” in the sense that they have “life” that is above that of plant life or insects.

Animals are “aware” and “alive”… unlike a tree or a bug. If God were to bless us with our pets in heaven, it would be necessary to recreate them; but make no mistake, they are not “born again”, “regenerated” or resurrected in the manner that humans will be.

I’m not saying “the Bible says so” about pets in heaven; this is strictly my personal opinion… but I’m AM saying that it is not that much of a stretch to believe that God might grant us our “hearts desire” in heaven even if our hearts desire is getting Rover back.

I base that OPINION on two things; 1) there WILL be animals in heaven; and 2) God is a Good God who showers gifts on His beloved children.

If the Bible declared the ABSENCE of animals in heaven, then we would have to state that same about pets. But that’s not the case. Consider some of the animals in heaven:

  • Lion, lamb, wolf and ox – Isa 65:25
  • Horses – Rev 19.11; Zech 14.20
  • Lions, calf, leopards, cow, bear – Isa 11.6ff

I think allowing our earthly pets, or getting new pets in Heaven is very much in keeping with God’s revealed character as well. God created animals. Before man sinned, all Creation was “good”. Animals were peaceful and lived in harmony with man.

God gave us animals for our enjoyment and pleasure. He no doubt enjoys His beautiful animal creations not unlike an artist who enjoys the art he creates.

Given that many types of animals are specifically going to be in heaven, and lacking any specific Scripture to support your assumption… my opinion is to take the opportunity to teach her MORE about heaven, instead of informing her she is “wrong” on this minor issue.

Tell her about the “other” animals that will be there besides her pets. Teach how all animals were “peaceful” before the earth was cursed, which is a perfectly naturally lead into teaching her the Gospel and God’s plan of redemption for all mankind.

For what it’s worth, I would lean towards believing that God may very well allow us a reunion with our beloved pets unless someone can show me otherwise in Scripture. I think it is very much in line with God’s revealed character.

Regardless, there is no reason to treat this as a ridiculous, or patently false notion that needs to be squashed as false teaching. It is a very minor issue. The important thing is that she be aware of who, and why, and which, HUMANS will be in heaven; and how she can be one of them.

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