The destiny of animals
People who lose their dogs often wonder: Where does my dog go when it dies? Will it be in heaven with me? The Scriptures don’t answer this question. Some believe when animals die they simply cease to exist. Others, hope they will go to heaven.
In the Bible, Solomon the wise wrote of man, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). The spirit in Hebrew is ruach which means “breath.” In not one of the 379 references of its use throughout the Old Testament does ruach refer to an intelligent entity. That which here returns to God is simply the life principle imparted by God to both man and beast (Ecclesiastes 3:19–21; Genesis 2:7).
Man and animals
God created animals for man’s help and pleasure and God declared that His creation of animals was good (Genesis 1:25). But while humans were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), and has the capacity to choose eternal life through the plan of salvation, animals have no such choice, nor are they created in the image of the living God.
The Bible does indicate indeed that there will be animals in heaven. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den” (Isaiah 11:6-8 also 65:25).
Heaven beyond our imagination
Whether heaven will include the animals and pets we knew on earth is not known. But the Bible affirms that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4) The Lord will restore all the happiness that we lost through sin -including the loss of our pets.
The Lord promised, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). This verse is reveals the inexpressible joy of God’s kingdom of glory, the eternal home of the redeemed. All such knowledge is far beyond anything that people may know apart from the gospel of Christ (Isaiah 64:4).
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In His service,