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Do Animals Go to Heaven?

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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lish1936
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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby lish1936 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:00 pm

Steve wrote:No I was being dead serious.


Got it! Didn't mean you were not serious, just I (or should that be "me"). Grammar...grammar...grammar.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby BEING » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:57 pm

Wonderful discussion!

I am weary of posting what I think when it comes to discussions like this... I have gotten in the habit of searching the bible for specifics :book2 I am clearly NOT a bible scholar, but I don't recall seeing any scriptural reference to animals (as we know them) being in heaven.

Would it be nice for our pet dog that passed away in 1997 to be waiting at the gate when we get there? Absolutely... do we know that for sure? Nope.

*shrugs shoulders* There are some things that we will not find out until we get there.
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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:34 pm

BEING wrote:Wonderful discussion!

I am weary of posting what I think when it comes to discussions like this... I have gotten in the habit of searching the bible for specifics :book2 I am clearly NOT a bible scholar, but I don't recall seeing any scriptural reference to animals (as we know them) being in heaven.

Would it be nice for our pet dog that passed away in 1997 to be waiting at the gate when we get there? Absolutely... do we know that for sure? Nope.

*shrugs shoulders* There are some things that we will not find out until we get there.


True. There are some things the Word of God is clear on, but not everything. We can seek to be theologically correct (or true to the Word), but not everything is meant be revealed by what has been given us by the written Word. What is most important is the revelation of God in Christ.

And in case . . . no, I am not advocating departing from the Word.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby carpenterdaughter » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:19 am

First, I would like to say that I have always considered myself to be an animal lover. My little dog, Annie (and the others who have graced my life from my earliest memories), definitely brings joy to my life. As much as I am emotionally attached to her, I do not think that she has an eternal soul. Someone in an earlier post questioned why Christians would stumble over the idea of animals going to heaven. I'd like to explain my position on that question.

Animals are part of this creation, this glorious creation that was marred by man's disobedience. This creation is passing away--in fact, it will one day be destroyed, and God will create a new heaven and a new earth. I do not believe there is a single scripture that points to the redemption of animals. They are living beings, but it is man who was created a little lower than the angels. I like to think of animals as special comforts given to us for our journey here--and respecting them as part of God's handiwork is good!

However, as Believers, we have to be careful in our thinking. We live in an "upside down" world. I am mindful of Paul's description of natural man. (see Romans 1:18-32) This "natural" mindset is what we are being redeemed from. On our journey to more knowledge of our Father in Heaven, we are learning to worship the Creator, instead of creation.

Maybe I can make my point more clear by pointing out that we live in a world that applauds celebrities or organizations like PETA who fight for social justice for animals and environmental reform, but also considers that a more "civilized" world includes women being guaranteed the right to murder their unborn children. How twisted is that?! We have to remember that mankind is hated, and there is an enemy who loves nothing more than watching us destroy ourselves and flounder around under his lies and deception.

Please understand I am not saying we should totally disregard animals and the environment. Doing all we can to be responsible stewards of God's creation is part of how we ought to live in this dying world, but we must be very, very careful to guard what matters most. This physical world is temporal--the souls of men are eternal, and loving this creation more than we love the Creator and His will is the root of man's rebellion. We are to live redeeming the time because the days are evil. Dwelling too long over questions like this is a distraction from our calling to proclaim the truth of the gospel: Jesus is God's redemptive plan for the souls of mankind.

Finally, I end by pondering over this irony. What is amiss in me when I am more concerned over the eternal soul or well being of my four-legged friends than I am over the souls of my neighbors down the street? It is easy to love my pets, but I need the grace of God to turn my heart toward people.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:00 pm

I'd like to answer. Everything is amiss with me. I'm a mess, but somehow the Lord keeps being a personal God that reaches out in personal ways to touch me. I remember in my early 30's shopping for a new car. I was always sensible about cars . . . nothing fancy. Well, had a really dangerous job and one day when the police scolded me again about my lack of sense (did things that could kill me at work), and how this last incident could have killed me if I would have been hit at the temple, I said to myself, 'Self, you do have a dangerous job and one day you may die doing it (although I wasn't worried as I knew where I was going). You should at least get yourself a car you would really like and enjoy.' So, then I prayed, "God, I don't even know if it is worth praying over, like should I be praying over this . . ." And I proceeded to tell him how I wanted a nice car and stuff. I was looking for a jeep or convertible because I wanted to be able to put the top down. Then, a week into my shopping a test drove a Camaro. It was nice, but not a convertible . . . I mean I couldn't afford that, a Camaro convertible. So, decided if I couldn't find a jeep or convertible I could afford, I would consider a Camaro. Wow if not shortly after that I walked into a dealership and saw the most beautiful car I ever seen. Burgundy Camaro Convertible . . . oh, but could I afford that beauty???

I was shocked when I saw the price. It was cheap. I thought, 'This is either the Lord or maybe there is something wrong with it, but I think it is the Lord.

So, even though it was cheap, I tried to bargain it down. They said no, then they called there manager. The guy was telling me how it is already so low and they put new tires, etc, etc, etc. . . You know how they do, but this didn't seem like an act. Finally, as I kept asking for a discount, quite mad he told the guy to take 700.00 more off. Said he was doing it because it has been just sitting in the lot and wasn't moving (it was waiting for me).

When I called my credit union they said, "They are selling it for what? What is wrong with the car? Are you sure it is a reputable company (it was a major dealership)? We will not only give you the price, but pay so and so fees too."

16 years later I still have the car. It has been nearly problem free until it hit about 180,00 miles. I think it would have still been in better shape even then, but I kinda neglected it the last couple years I had it.

Coincidence. Maybe some will say these things aren't important to God, but I know better. Maybe I am not mature enough, but as my brother once said, "Jo, remember when we lived in New York and we were kids . . . we had things wrong regarding theology, but God moved powerfully. We were just kids that really loved the Lord and wanted to know Him more and see people helped and healed and God used us."

God is a God that wants us to see beyond ourselves, but He is a very personal God too and there is a good deal of things that matter to us that matter to Him too because He loves us. Just ask my older sis. She sees how God touches her lives in such simple ways because her life is so difficult with a special needs child, that even finding the right box at her door to mail something is a blessing from God.

And for those who make think I am selfish . . . I won't deny that the old nature does rear its ugly head from time to time, yet I have left my home, my job, my privacy, changed my whole life to care for my elderly parents and so pa won't have to be put in a home because ma is old and has her issues too and can't handle him for a prolonged period by herself. Some times I look in the mirror and I don't recognize the girl that looks back at me. I joke, "I used to be cute. What happened? But, it's all worth it, even as it is so, so hard at times. It is the hardest thing I have ever been through, watching my parents get old and the challenges that come with it.

Yes, I can be selfish, but my life is also a testimony to how much I care for others, and am willing to give up for them.

Anyway, I know my fluffy is in heaven, and other pets. I just know and I don't believe there is anything in scripture that contradicts that.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:19 pm

Oh, that's just one story in many . . . which I am sure others have.

Some times it is so sweet I am as tinkled pink as a child . . .

I think at times He is looking down and smiling at my delight.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby carpenterdaughter » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:18 am

Please understand, I do not mean to challenge for the sake of challenge itself. Also, I believe that having affections for our pets and a desire to protect all forms of life is part of who we are as beings created in the image of God. God put Adam in the garden and gave him that charge, after all.

Here is the reason why I have chosen to enter this conversation at the risk of offense: what we believe about God is VERY important. What we believe about salvation/eternity is VERY important. We cannot decide for ourselves God's intent based on our human sentiments alone. What we believe must be backed up by scripture. The Word of God is our anchor point--it is the vehicle by which the Holy Spirit teaches us all things. We can't conclude that because I think my dog Annie has an eternal soul and because I love her so much--and God wants me to be happy, so surely He will have her in heaven with me . . . If we could argue that, we could project those same types of hopes/wishes on people.

I would reassert again my original post on this issue. This physical world and everything in it will one day pass away. There are created things here that can provide joy and comfort to us on our time spent in our own physical bodies, but we are continuously reminded that we are not to love this world (in the sense that the created is our treasure and not the Creator). In my opinion, we (and I am including myself in this) Christians as a whole have not yet reached that place where our hearts wholly long for our true home. There is a part of us that wants THIS life to be better and last forever. In some ways, we are a lot like the pharisees--and even the disciples--who just couldn't get to that place where they realized that this life isn't "it." They kept thinking in terms of this physical world--but Jesus spoke of spiritual things. Heaven is the full presence of God--knowing and being known by God--seeing Jesus--being with Jesus . . . describing it as a place where we are reunited with our pets--no matter how much we love them--diminishes what should be more central. Being reunited with our Father in heaven for eternity is the prize, y'all . . .

And what's the harm in hoping/believing that our pets will be with us in heaven? Maybe it's not necessarily harmful, except that it invites us to speculate about God and draw conclusions based on our ideas and not scripture. To me, that is very dangerous territory.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:35 pm

I hear you, I just don't see scripture as you do in that regard. I don't believe there is anything in scripture that says animals aren't heaven bound, and I believe there is enough to support that they will be, or at least some. You seem to imply that if anyone wants their furry friends in heaven it is just an emotional thing that is nonsense and not based on scripture. I don't know of any scripture that spells it out plainly, but I believe there is enough to support the belief that there will be.

I just don't see eye to eye on you on some of what you wrote. If I recall, you have a heavy leaning on Calvin. I can see it in your writing . . . and I am not saying you are wrong with everything you write. I am not saying I know everything. I just see God engaging humans in the process, I believe, more than you.

Either way sis, love your passion for the Lord . . . and that is what matters most.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:41 pm

Quote: In my opinion, we (and I am including myself in this) Christians as a whole have not yet reached that place where our hearts wholly long for our true home. There is a part of us that wants THIS life to be better and last forever. In some ways, we are a lot like the pharisees--and even the disciples--who just couldn't get to that place where they realized that this life isn't "it."

Well, as much as is wrong with me, this one is definitely not one. I long for home . . . so, so much. I long for the day when I am done with this world and the only reason why I can even imagine staying, is to help those I love. That's it. This place is no home for me.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:52 pm

Quote:
"And what's the harm in hoping/believing that our pets will be with us in heaven? Maybe it's not necessarily harmful, except that it invites us to speculate about God and draw conclusions based on our ideas and not scripture. To me, that is very dangerous territory."

No to this one too. For some of us it is not an idea that our pets will be in heaven. I believe anything is possible with God and that is scripture based, and there are plenty of sightings of animals in the heavenlies in scripture. Some may argue that is different. Maybe some, maybe.

What comes off as off, even offensive to me (forgive me for taking offense), is that you seem to be saying that you know better than those of us that think differently when I don't see anywhere in scripture that says that our pets definitely won't be in heaven. Then, you seem to credit is all to ideas and emotions, and that we would further draw our own conclusions on foundational issues.

Anyway, you can conclude what you like. I do believe you mean well and that is more important to me, even as I don't see eye to eye and feel the need to say so . . . I love you and your passion for Him . . . and God knows I got my issues so . . . you know . . . God bless us.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby tomoral » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Again, if you look into an animals eyes, you will see a soul. Where does that soul go?

Animals cry, they smile, they feel pain when hurt, they have a voice, and they have lungs and a heart. They also love. Just sayin'
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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:05 pm

tomoral wrote:Again, if you look into an animals eyes, you will see a soul. Where does that soul go?

Animals cry, they smile, they feel pain when hurt, they have a voice, and they have lungs and a heart. They also love. Just sayin'


Image

My Bella.

Just look into those eyes. And she hears good too with them ears . . . unless she is roaming the neighborhood (which she loves to do). Then, she has selective hearing when I call her to come back home.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:09 pm

My Cocoa. Mom says he's human. Cocoa is the most excellent guard dog. Although, I do have to keep an eye on him as if he gets out without me, he terrorizes the neighborhood. He can be a bully. He doesn't like other dogs, unless they are family. He doesn't trust strangers, and will bark at you insistently if he doesn't know you. I try to socialize him, but keep a good eye on him so he doesn't bite anyone.

Once he gets to know you . . . you can't help but fall in love with this cute, funny, terribly smart and loving dog.

Other night, due to a leak situation at home, we had to spend two nights at a hotel. Cocoa was most excellent and barely barked. I believe it was God's way of telling me everything is going to be ok. I've even got Cocoa quiet.

Anyway, went off the theological discussion, but I found it hard to resist the temptation to share these two precious ones, currently sharing their earth-life with me.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:30 am

glorybee wrote:
Mattguddat wrote:Glorybee...

Haha, excuse my lack of referencing. I was in a rush at work and threw that in as a conversation hook. Looks like it worked :wink:

You will find that animals have the breath of RUACH in them (thus giving them a soul Genesis 1:20 the word life is NEPHESH/soul) in Ecclesiastes 3.21. Genesis 6.17 also gives a generic term for flesh, meaning more than mankind had the breath of life.

RUACH is not OUR spirit. RUACH is the breath of God that creates life with, all living things with a soul (NEPHESH) are only in that state because God breathed/imparted RUACH. When God made man he breathed RUACH so we became NEPHESH (soul).


I'm no biblical scholar, but it seems to me that you're reading a lot into those verses that's not there.

In my opinion--and I admit that I'm not a theologian--if animals go to heaven, it's because Jesus died to save them from their sins. Since I see nothing in the gospels that states that, I don't believe that animals will be there. In fact, the Incarnation of Jesus--him taking on human flesh--tells me that he did that exclusively for humans. God did not take on the flesh of a dog or a cat.

I love animals, but when people attribute spirit or soul to animals, it seems to me that people are belittling themselves. It is WE who are God's children, and Jesus's brothers and sisters. And if we say that our beloved animals have spirit, it seems to me that we have to apply that to all animals. Will there be scorpions in heaven, too? Centipedes? Tapeworms?


Well, I'm still going. This is actually a nice diversion from some inconvenient matters at home.

Anyway, started reading through other replies . . . something I hadn't gotten to when I first posted . . .

I still don't see it clearly stated in the bible (although I do believe that at the least some will be, and see nothing in scripture to contradict that, and enough to support it) . . . although I wonder about Romans 8:18-25.

Yet, I wanted to share some thoughts . . . Neither did the animals sin, but due to man's fall, they were also subjected to a life of death and decay. I don't think it is far-fetched that for those that are redeemed, their pets will be redeemed with them.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby RedBaron » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:07 pm

I don't know. None of us know, as it isn't spelled out clearly in scripture one way or the other. God has used animals in the Bible to achieve His purposes, though.

That being said, my salvation doesn't rely on whether or not I believe if our pets will or will not get to heaven. It only relies on my belief in Jesus.

If they are there or not is totally up to God and I'm not going to worry about it.
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