Do Animals or Pets Go To Heaven? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Almost everyone has lost a beloved pet.  They become part of the family and many couples who are childless consider their pets as their own children.  So what happens to pets after they die?  Do the go to heaven?  Will we ever see our dearly departed pets again?  What is their fate?  What does the Bible say about animals after they die?  These precious loved animals include dogs, cats, horses, and even a few unorthodox pets that families have grown to love and grieve after they are gone.  Let’s see what the Word of God says about whether or not animals or pets go to heaven?

Pets Are Part of the Family

Are pets part of the family? This may seem like a trivial question for some people but for those who have pets, this is a question that has been asked particularly after the death of their pets.  The Bible is clear that babies, young children, infants, or toddlers that die before they are able to accept Jesus Christ as Savior go directly into the presence of the Lord.  When a parent loses a child, they can be comforted with this fact, but this does not mean that they will not grieve them.  I can remember losing pets and losing them is painful; our family has grieved these who were lost too.    They are part of the family.  They are treated as a child and I have had a few pets that thought that they were human too in the way they acted.

I know of several couples that were unable to have children and so they were especially close to their pets and loved them as they would their very own children if they were able to bear them.  Many elderly couples and those who have had a spouse die are left only with their pets and animal’s companionship has sustained them through many lonely days and long nights.  A pet’s love is so very often completely unconditional.  They don’t care what your day was like, what went wrong at work, what your mood is when you come home.  They are always ready to jump up into your lap and are so full of joy at seeing you that they display this love in their actions.  How often I have come home from a hard day at work only to see my beloved dogs or cats run with joy to greet me.  Their sheer joy at seeing me often makes me forget what a difficult day I had because they are there to meet with eager expectation.

Famous Christians Who Believe Pets Go To Heaven

Randy Alcorn in his book called “Heaven” believes that animals will be present in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Famous Christian authors who believe that pets go to heaven include: C. S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft, Sylvia Brown, Niki Behrikis Shanahan, James Herriot, and dozens and dozens of others; the list of Christian pastors, theologians, and clergy is too long to list here. Suffice it to say that a lot of Christians believe that pets do go to heaven and that there will be animals in heaven.

What the Bible Says About Animals

Let’s take a look at the scriptures that relate to animals and what is said of them:

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21: “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath (literally “spirit“); humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

Job 12:10 “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath (literally “spirit”) of all mankind.”

Genesis 9:9-10 I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.”

Genesis 9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Genesis 6:19-22 “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.  You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”

Genesis 1:30 “And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”

Hosea 2:18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety.”

Luke 12:6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.”

Animals in Heaven

The Bible indicates that animals will exist after His return and the beginning of the Kingdom as Isaiah 11:6-9 reads, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”  Here is the Word of God declaring that animals will still exist in the future, after Christ’s reign begins. Ecclesiastes mentions that there is a “spirit” in man but also in animals in (3:19, 21) but this does not necessarily mean that it is an eternal spirit.

Revelation 19:11-14 indicates, for example, that Jesus returns to the earth with His army of saints on white horses, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”

The Conclusion

Upon examining the scriptures we just don’t have biblical support to say this with certainty whether or not our pets will be in heaven, however it does appear that animals will exist in the Kingdom of heaven (Isaiah 11:6-9). If our pets will be resurrected or not, we just cannot say for sure. A more important question is if you, the reader, will be in heaven.  It is pointless to ponder the question of whether your pet goes to heaven if you yourself are not there.  The only way to be sure is to make certain you can go there. Decide today to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and have the full assurance that you will go to heaven and receive eternal life.  As for your pets being in heaven or not, the only way to find out is to go there yourself.  That is my prayer for you.

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Is Smoking Cigarettes A Sin?

What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

Does The Bible say What the Devil Looks Like?

Sources

The Holy Bible, New International Version

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

rebecca October 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Hi! I would like to comment. Do you change from spiritual body to physical body in heaven? Then change back from physical to spiritual? Are our physical bodies different in heaven than on earth? Will there be eating in heaven?

I wonder.

Rebecca

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Celita Louback Welsch October 9, 2015 at 10:32 am

Excellent article and excellent conclusion.

Let’s think: God created the universe and animals but Jesus didn’t die for the soul of animals because they don’t have soul, but “spirit=life”.
8And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
The heaven is for the saints, those that Jesus justified by his precious blood.
God created us his image. We have spirit and soul. The redeemers , the church of Christ is called BRIGE, so God’s people. I don’t need to be distract by any animal in heaven because I know God prepared us a celestial home where joy and worship will be our holy “rotine”! Praise the Lord!

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Karen November 7, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Sylvia Brown claimed to be a psychic. If so… could she really be a Christian? The Bible, in more places than one, states we are not to be involved with psychics, fortune telling etc etc.

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Marc December 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

Thank you for your article. My dog died on Monday of this week and it has been so hard for me as I have been so busy being caught up with my own personal life I haven’t been able to forgive myself for spending more time or doing more stuff with him. He had cancer and it hit fast. I just want to know that he is with the lord and his that he is in a very state of happiness. I loved him so much.

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nancy January 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

My dog died a week ago today. I want to know that Bailey will be there with me too. I loved her very much! I miss her too. If we are to be truly happy in heaven and god know our hearts then our pets must be there with us.

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Tess Salzer January 25, 2016 at 10:53 am

Our family had a beloved horse die yesterday 1/24/16 and it was extremely hard to see him go. He was white by the way, and I firmly believe that God cares for the creatures he has created a they will be in heaven. I believe that the hope of seeing our animals again is a pull on our hearts so that we would want to be there also. Thank you for your article especially your conclusion, nicely written.

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eric montfort March 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I totally believe all animals and pets will be in Heaven with us and in a glorified state. God is perfect and good and it is inconceivable that animals who suffer so much on earth will not get rewarded after they die. And if we ask God to resurruct our beloved pets, He will do so being the Love and Creator of everything!

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rechel gillan March 24, 2016 at 6:18 am

Our dog just have to be put down today. I have never witnessed death before not even a relative so it was so sad to let him go. I did I not expect to cry so much, knowing he won’t be coming back home with us. I would like so much to see him again one day in heaven. At least now he is not in pain anymore.

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adi barrales March 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm

I have lost many pets, but today march 26 2016 I felt the worse of all pains, my heart aches as if it burns the rejection of all words come to me strong and the feeling of guilt and confusion take over me in great manner as I almost vomit to see my baby die in my arms. Yes it was my baby a puppy no older than 7 mos old who I loved as my own son and held him till the last minute and saw him felt him rest his body in my arms and his loving eyes looking at me and I asked my self why can you just get better? I felt his heart stop beating as mine agitated as I sobbed in tears an pain as I had to let him go and come home with out him. My throat is shut from pain my heart aches tremendously and I heard comments as it will be ok at least he is not suffering, and that I know but he was so happy and jumpy three days before and now he’s gone why? Why must he so innocent be gone and those around me who are ungrateful mean and care less be their just their?

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Sam March 27, 2016 at 10:47 pm

I just recently lost my best friend on st. Patrick’s day. I had come home from a good day at school as my dad sits me down to tell me that our dog had been killed. I wished that he was joking. But he wasn’t. Our 7 year old cockapoo had been ran over by a ups truck. I quickly realized that the truck was delivering things I had bought online. If it weren’t for me my dog would still be alive. We had done everything with her, Lucy, went camping, boating, and brought her to our cabin. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. I never thought of her as a dog, in fact I sometimes forgot we weren’t even the same species but more she was a friend. The only friend who didn’t care about my imperfections and she didn’t care about mine. She always knew how I felt and cheered me up. But because of me she is dead. Every morning she would jump up and wake me up and then just set her little head on me. Now I wake up every morning and go down stairs to find her not sitting in her chair. Then I remember that she’s dead. And pretty soon all she will be is a pile of ashes. And that she died on the side of the road with no one to comfort her or say goodbye. I wish I could go back and save her. We recently went to Arizona for a week and being separated from her was painful. Now to think that I will be separated for an eternity? What did she do to deserve that? It should have been me! Why does God do that? If I can never see her again in heaven then there would only be hell.

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Barry Barnes May 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm

When asked, “Do dogs go to Heaven?”, Evangelist Billy Graham responded, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
I believe that this is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
I feel very confident that all our animals will be restored when Jesus brings down the new Heaven and the new Earth. They are God’s pets too. He created all the animals and said, “It is good.”
You are very correct in stating that it is most important to make sure that we are there also to see them. The animal will be restored without having to believe or repent. But for us, it is important to be rightly related to God which is very simple… we just need to trust that Jesus came to fulfill the law that we are not capable of obeying completely and we will be accounted as righteous in God’s eyes just as it was for Abraham.

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Carrie K May 26, 2016 at 4:11 am

Hello, My dear dog Josie had cancer and we put her down…I am a Christian and so broken hearted..Josie was an angel…I pray she is on the other side, waiting to greet me when it is my time to pass..Our Lord is all about love and my Josie was the most loving living creature I ever encountered. She showed me more love than most humans.

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