Good morning. It is Friday, March 18, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
Have I ever told you about my first pet? I was about 4 years old, and he was a Black Banty Rooster. I named him Blackie, of course.
Although I loved that little guy. I do not have many memories, such as how long I had him. But I do remember holding him and snuggling my face into his silky feathers. I also remember the neighbor's dog killed him.
I asked my mom if my Banty would be in heaven with me. My mom in all her wisdom told me "If God knows you will not be happy in heaven without Blackie, he will be there." Such a sage response and I was satisfied with that answer.
We know animals in general will be there.
Isaiah 11:6-9 tells us: “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. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea." NKJV
Such a beautiful, peaceful promise of how it will be someday. But will our pets be there?
Billy Graham once said "“God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
Let's look at some interesting passages from the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21 "For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts...All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?" ESV
These verses do not answer the question; however, I believe it supports the fact that God loves his creations; man and beast. Both have breath, both were made from the dust and both return to the dust when they die. Only God knows whether the breath of the animal will be made new.
Job 12:10 "In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind." ESV
Genesis 9:9-10 "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth." ESV
According to this passage God's promise, or covenant, not to destroy the earth again with water, was made not only to humans, but to the animals. He cares for His creations!
Genesis 9:16 "When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
For those of us who have loved and lost beloved pets, this is a legitimate question. And I know, truly, that if my pets are not in heaven it will not matter. The glory that awaits us is nothing compared to the reality that is today, including the love of our animals.
1 Corinthians 2:9, " But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” NKJV
Will our pets be in heaven and on the new earth with us? Well, I could not find any passage in the Bible that proves that idea, but I cannot help but think that such a loving Creator God would not cause them to stay in the dust for eternity. I like to think they will be there. But again, I am sure my heart will be fine without them.
Someone once wrote to Billy Graham about this very subject. His response:
"I understand your grief; we are always sad when they die. I sometimes wonder, however, if God isn't using them to remind us of a far greater reality -- and that is the reality of our own deaths. Life is brief, and it can end in an instant. The Bible says there is "a time to be born, and a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2). That is why we must never take life for granted, but see every minute as a gift from God to be used for His glory. And if we aren't sure of our eternal destiny, now is the time to be sure by making our commitment to Christ."