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Question:
Is it true that animals will not be in heaven because they are beneath man and do not have souls? I have a hard time believing that God would create all of these innocent creatures for the service of man and then not consider them beyond this life. After all, they didn’t eat the forbidden fruit like man so their souls (if they have them) wouldn’t need salvation like ours, right?

Answer:

I’m answering questions for a few days about heaven. If you have a question, send it to me: brent@brentriggs.com

First, let’s answer the comment about animals and “souls”. Animals are not eternal, and not created in the image of God like humans are (Gen 1:26-27). So the question of sin and salvation is both irrelevant and inapplicable.

Now, about animals in heaven. No, it is not true that animals won’t be heaven. The Bible mentions animals in heaven several times:

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

There is no clear Biblical imperative to think this list is exclusive.

While we can only speculate based on what we know of God’s character and what He has already shown in His creative acts, I don’t think it is a stretch to say that the animal kingdom will be present in heaven the same way it was present BEFORE sin entered humankind.

The biggest reason people automatically assume, and dismiss the idea of animals in heaven, is the misconception that heaven is NOT a physical, tangible place or existence, but rather we are all ghosts floating around a “spirit world”.

As we will inevitably discuss in this series of questions on heaven, we will show that the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that HEAVEN is a physical existence, albeit in a new, incorruptible eternal form that is beyond our ability to fully grasp while cloaked in this sinful tent.

Heaven and earth will be RE-created (2Pet 3:10; Rev 21:1). They will be made new. It would be inconsistent with God’s character that the new heaven and earth were some unimaginable, completely different version of what heaven and earth were when God created it perfectly the first time. The only difference is, sin will no longer exist or have a chance to corrupt.

So just like animals were part of God’s perfect creation originally, I believe they will be a part of the new recreated, perfect heaven and earth – supported Biblically in my estimation by 1) the verses that mention animals in heaven, and 2) it is consistent with God’s nature and revealed tendencies.

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