If you have had your pet pass away it can be difficult. Its times like this you may ponder whether you will see your pet again. So did I...
Have you ever wondered if your favorite dog Fido or Cat Mittens will ever enter the pearly gates? There have been dialogs for years on whether pets have souls (or spirits) Come explore this with us.
There are a variety of traditions regarding the afterlife in various belief systems. Since I am a Christian, I will explore it through a Christian worldview and allow those of other faiths who can do a much better job at explaining their philosophy/theology to do so.
This topic can be a touchy one because generally people who are looking for articles like this one on whether animals go to heaven are devastated after the loss of a pet. It is a painful process to lose a pet. Sometimes our pets can be the closest living being we have. Having lost a pet, let me say to you if you are searching on the internet for some insight I am so very sorry for your loss and will do my best to answer some questions in the most sympathetically way possible.
Generally, the traditional Christian view on this subject goes something like this. As people, we are made up of the body, soul, and spirit. The body is defined as well you know.. your physical body. The soul is generally referred to as your mind will and emotions. Your spirit is what is left to go live with God. Since people and animals are both referenced and differentiated in Genesis 1:24-31 to a unique position… the animals first created, would be under the covering or dominion of people, who are Created in Gods image and subsequently be disqualified from an afterlife, because people, like God, are created to be eternal.
Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creepers, and its beasts of the earth after its kind; and it was so.
Gen 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth after its kind, and cattle after their kind, and all creepers upon the earth after their kind. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creepers creeping on the earth.
Gen 1:27 And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. And have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the heavens, and all animals that move upon the earth.
Gen 1:29 And God said, Behold! I have given you every herb seeding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree seeding seed; to you it shall be for food.
Gen 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to every creeper on the earth which has in it a living soul every green plant is for food; and it was so.
Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
I can see the logic of the argument, but I believe it leads to too much subjection. It is true that God is eternal and made man to be eternal. It is also true that nowhere in scripture does it have any reference to animals going to heaven, but for that matter, it doesn’t say they don’t either. Just because we were made in his image, and have a spirit; why does that lead us to the conclusion that animals don’t have spirits because they weren’t made in this image?
Second I hear about people to use scriptures out of context like this one to conclude because there are negative references about Dogs that they must be as beasts to be destroyed. However, consider what Vincent’s Word Studies says about scriptures like these...
Rev 22:15 But outside are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and makes a lie.
Php 3:2 Beware of dogs! Beware of those who do evil things. Beware of those who insist on circumcision.
Dogs (οἱ κύνες)
The A.V. omits the article “the dogs.” Compare Phi_3:2. This was the term of reproach with which the Judaizers stigmatized the Gentiles as impure. In the Mosaic law, the word is used to denounce the moral profligacies of heathen worship (Deu_23:18). Compare Mat_15:26. Here the word is used of those whose moral impurity excludes them from the New Jerusalem. “As a term of reproach, the word on the lips of a Jew, signified chiefly impurity; of a Greek, impudence. The herds of dogs which prowl about Eastern cities, without a home and without an owner, feeding on the refuse and filth of the streets, quarreling among themselves, and attacking the passer-by, explain both applications of the image” (Lightfoot, on Phi_3:2). (Vincent’s Word Studies)
Here are some things to think about.
God cares about Animals. Take Noah’s Ark. He just didn’t save Man from the impending doom but saved Animals too.
Solomon in his Godly wisdom says. . .
Proverbs 12:10 A righteous one understands the soul of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
In Christian and Jewish belief it was required that in order for a person to be sanctified from his Sin, the shedding of (innocent blood) was needed to be shed for remission of sin
Paul in the book of Hebrews says it this way...
Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.
I find it interesting that first there is a correlation between a spotless pure animal and our Lord Jesus…. Though Christ is eternal. No beginning, no end. Is it possible that animals created without the ability to sin? Subsequently, not being subject to the same rules of man giving them a chance of eternal life? Just a thought.
Lev 1:10 And if his offering is of the flocks, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall bring a male without blemish.
1Pe 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;
God finds no pleasure in the process of destroying innocent animals. In fact, those that during this time were sacrificing for their own glory or tradition alone he says this.
Isa 66:3 Whoever kills a bull is like someone who kills a person. Whoever sacrifices a lamb is like someone who breaks a dog's neck. Whoever offers a grain sacrifice is like someone who offers pig's blood. Whoever burns incense is like someone who worships an idol. People have certainly chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in detestable things.
God finds no pleasure in the destruction of innocent blood. Here in 1 Samuel he says thi....
1Sa 15:22 Then Samuel said, "Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.
Paul in Hebrews explains the sacrifices this way…
Heb 10:1 Moses' Teachings with their yearly cycle of sacrifices are only a shadow of the good things in the future. They aren't an exact likeness of those things. They can never make those who worship perfect.
Heb 10:2 If these sacrifices could have made the worshipers perfect, the sacrifices would have stopped long ago. Those who worship would have been cleansed once and for all. Their consciences would have been free from sin.
Heb 10:3 Instead, this yearly cycle of sacrifices reminded people of their sins.
Heb 10:4 (The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins.)
Heb 10:5 For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said, "'You did not want sacrifices and offerings, but you prepared a body for me.
Heb 10:6 You did not approve of burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.'
Heb 10:7 Then I said, 'I have come! (It is written about me in the scroll of the book.) I have come to do what you want, my God.'"
Heb 10:8 In this passage Christ first said, "You did not want sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin. You did not approve of them." (These are the sacrifices that
Christ became the atoning sacrifice once and for all so that we would be reunited with him in a perfect relationship and that the sacrifices would stop.
Heb 9:12 He used his own blood, not the blood of goats and bulls, for the sacrifice. He went into the most holy place and offered this sacrifice once and for all to free us forever.
All of creation is created to worship him. If this is the case consider first that in Romans 8 it says that all of creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who is Children are, and that the creation would see the Children of God set free from slavery and decay. To say they have an eager desire to see this time says to me they may have a part in seeing it come to fruiting.
Rom 8:19 All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are.
Rom 8:20 Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope
Rom 8:21 that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have.
Rom 8:22 We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time.
Rom 8:23 However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin.
In Revelation, it says that every creature on the earth and under the earth was singing and praising him. Because later in Revelation it says there will be no more death the question I would have is if whether he now created a new set of creatures to live eternally or if those animals we have known and loved will be there a part of the final festivities.
Rev 5:13 I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea. Every creature in those places was singing, "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory, and power forever and ever."
Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.
Though it is not clear whether or not Fido may make it to the pearly gates, I believe that it is possible, and look forward finding out when I get there.