Will There Be Animals in Heaven?
Scripture does not conclusively tell us whether our pets will make it to heaven. However, the Bible does provide us with some significant clues regarding whether or not animals will inhabit the new heaven and the new earth.
First, animals populated the garden of Eden. Thus, there is a precedent for believing that animals will populate Eden Restored as well. Animals are among God’s most creative creations. Thus, it would seem incredible that he would banish such wonders in heaven.
Furthermore, while we cannot say for certain that the pets we enjoy today will be “resurrected” in eternity, I am not willing to preclude the possibility. Some of the keenest thinkers from C. S. Lewis to Peter Kreeft are not only convinced that animals in general but that pets in particular will be restored in the resurrection. If God resurrected our pets, it would be in total keeping with his overwhelming grace and goodness.
Finally, the Scriptures from first to last suggest that animals have souls. Both Moses in Genesis and John in Revelation communicate that the Creator endowed animals with souls. In the original languages of Genesis 1:20 and Revelation 8:9, nephesh and psyche respectively refer to the essence of life or soul. Not until Descartes and Hobbes and the Enlightenment did people think otherwise about animals. However, because the soul of an animal is qualitatively different from the soul of a human there is reasonable doubt that it can survive the death of its body. One thing is certain: Scripture provides us with sufficient precedence for believing that animals will inhabit the new heaven and new earth. In the words of Isaiah: “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” (Isaiah 11:6).
Adapted from Resurrection
For further study see, Hank Hanegraaff, Resurrection (Nashville:Word Publishing, 2000), chapter 13.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”
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