No one loves animals more than this writer, I firmly believe. Nothing pulls at my heartstrings more than a sick, injured or hungry little girl or animal.
And I have often heard people ask the question as to whether or not there will be animals in heaven. Many look at this question from an impractical view whereas others try and use reason, over sentiment. But the answer lies within the word of God if we only give honest scrutiny into the pertinent scriptures.
First let us look at the difference in man and other animals in God’s view. Beginning with the first mention of animal life in the creation, let’s read:
“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
“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 air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-28 KJV)
Notice that all of the animal kingdom, of the sea, air and earth, were created on days 5 and 6. Also notice that man is the only creature wherein God said he should be made in ‘our image’. So, what does that mean? God and all life before this creation were spirits. No physical matter involved in their being at all. Man was built of physical matter which certainly was not ‘in our image’. So what made him fill that image. It is explained in Genesis 2:7:
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
This soul was the “spirit” which is in the image of God, everlasting…it can never die. And, mankind was the only creature which was gifted with that eternal soul. And if you read the last 2 sentences in the quotation from Genesis above, you see that man was to have dominion over all the other creatures. Because of the spirit in man, God has forbidden man to kill another. Yet, God gave man permission to kill animals for food and clothing.
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6 KJV)
There is little inference that there will be animals in heaven, though there is not absolute proof that there will not be. Many of us might be delighted to think that some of our beloved animals would be there. However, it is stretching the imagination to try and prove they would be. Here is what some refer to as evidence that there will be such.
Animals are described as “living creatures” in Genesis with creatures being translated from the same word as the soul in man the Hebrew word “nephesh”. And it is there used a number of times. It still doesn’t mean that it is used in the same sense. “Creature” is used in translating from the Hebrew “nephesh” and also “soul” is translated from that same one. Yet there are differences in creature and soul as all can realize.
To read one scholar’s view who makes his case for the possibility of domestic animals in heaven, click here: However, I suggest caution in interpreting this fact. Even this author ends up saying that the Bible is silent on the matter, yet he would not be surprised if they were there.