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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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jo555
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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:18 am

RedBaron wrote: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.


I agree we shouldn't worry about it. We know God is good and He is good to animals too . . . and that's in scripture (if He looks after the birds of the air, how much more you).

I grieve, say my prayer for the Lord to take them to be with Him, and then I take a bible, read Romans 8 over them, then rip out the chapter and bury it with them.

How I respond now, and how I responded when I was nineteen, grief-stricken for my beloved childhood pet, is similar, but also different. I personally carry a confidence that I will see them again in heaven, but that's me. For me to believe otherwise would be like telling me to believe something against what I believe God has already shown me in his way. And, as I don't see anything in scripture that doesn't say otherwise, I personally don't see the harm.
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 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:31 am

And of course, I would not invite anyone to believe differently just based on my word. I believe when we take others' words over God's then we are in danger of doing crazy stuff, like drinking poisoned Kool-Aid (whether natural or spiritual).

I don't believe anyone should change their belief based on another's word. Yet, forums like this invite us to share the Word where the receiver can personally take that Word to the Lord and have Him enlighten them and implant it in the heart. God does use other people at times to start the process, but He does not want us to take others' words over his. It's the Holy Spirit's job to enlighten the heart.

From my time here, I believe everyone that shares regularly on the theological section does that, but I will share it in case there is someone new browsing that may need to hear it.
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 » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:37 am

And, thanks for letting me share . . . on and on.

Whether helpful or annoying, it actually has been a nice diversion to the things going on, on my end. I guess that can be either good or bad, but in this case, I see it as something good.

I'm going to see about stepping back now . . . unless I feel like telling a, hopefully harmless, funny. When I find myself repeating myself I think it comes across as being pushy . . . and since I don't always know myself . . . I'll take a step back for now.

You all been great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Love Jo, and Bella and Cocoa (tee, hee)
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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 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:28 am

First, I feel the need to clarify something I said in my first post--the question, “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?” That question was meant as a confession, not an accusation. That was my admission of my own nature.

My motivation for replying to these posts is to challenge our thinking, not condemn. I will say, though, that part of having our minds transformed always involves rejecting something. One might even say that that is what the process of sanctification looks like: a gradual progression of rejecting falsehood to cling more and more to Truth.

One of the ways we progress is through conversation and relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not always going to agree, but that does not mean that we are wrong to discuss our disagreements. Definitely, we should be mindful of each others’ hearts as we disagree. Most certainly, scripture is the anchor point and the ultimate gauge of what we should keep and what we should reject, but we also need to listen to each other and learn from each other.

Having said all that, what I would like to add to this conversation now is a question. WHY? Why does this question about whether or not animals go to heaven matter? Why is it striking a chord in us?

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:41 am

carpenterdaughter wrote:First, I feel the need to clarify something I said in my first post--the question, “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?” That question was meant as a confession, not an accusation. That was my admission of my own nature.

My motivation for replying to these posts is to challenge our thinking, not condemn. I will say, though, that part of having our minds transformed always involves rejecting something. One might even say that that is what the process of sanctification looks like: a gradual progression of rejecting falsehood to cling more and more to Truth.

One of the ways we progress is through conversation and relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not always going to agree, but that does not mean that we are wrong to discuss our disagreements. Definitely, we should be mindful of each others’ hearts as we disagree. Most certainly, scripture is the anchor point and the ultimate gauge of what we should keep and what we should reject, but we also need to listen to each other and learn from each other.

Having said all that, what I would like to add to this conversation now is a question. WHY? Why does this question about whether or not animals go to heaven matter? Why is it striking a chord in us?


Well, I'll jump back in as I am not discussing whether they go to heaven or not . . . just trying to reply to our dear sis' questions.

I don't put an animals well-being over a human being. As much as I love my dogs, I've even told my parents I would look to put Bella and Cocoa in a nice home if they are adding to their challenges (my parents are elderly and have their challenges. But, they love my dogs, and they are like therapy for them, so they won't hear of it.

This is a theological forum and as such, it shouldn't be unusual to discuss this topic here. It doesn't mean that we are placing it as more important than the souls of others (I can't speak for everyone, and I don't always know myself, just saying). Yet, when it comes to these topics where the Bible doesn't appear to give a straight out answer, then discussions like these can go on.

I don't see why we would have to reject one or the other. In some cases that may be the case, yet I'm more about everything being reconciled in Christ, so, as you mentioned, it may be more of a priority issue.

Because one of our beloved pet's pass, and we grieve for the time, and want to see them in heaven, doesn't mean we are placing their souls as a priority over our neighbors. Maybe it does . . . maybe not. It is fine to grieve over something you love. It doesn't mean something is wrong with you. Maybe so, maybe not, I'm not God so I can't see what is going on in the heart unless He reveals it.

Now, I believe if the grieving goes on for a long time, then that may be off (again, not God so leave it to Him to say . . . he knows each). I grieved a very long time for my childhood pet . . . yet I don't grieve as long anymore . . . I miss them, but grieving passes quite sooner.

Sis, for me what I don't care for is that you say this is off, and then you seem to tag to it the condition of the heart for the person that you've deemed as off.

But that's me. It is a pet peeve of mine . . . bugs me when people do that because we don't know what is in another's heart . . . unless, of course, the Lord reveals (and not saying I am exempt from doing the same). Yet, I'll say that maybe I am reading more into there is . . . and you may just be posing it for us to consider it. And, I got my issues to so . . . you know, just saying.

Our reasons wanting to help the souls of our neighbors can be off too. Some may be seeking brownie points with God. Some due it more out of obligation. Yet, we should rejoice for the soul that does come to the Lord, no matter how they came to know Jesus.
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 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:27 am

Just want to throw this thought out there. Maybe we're "putting the cart before the horse" in this discussion. Maybe we ought to study up on heaven and come at this discussion from that starting point. I know that is what I need to do--going to do some pointed studying on what the Bible has to say about heaven . . .

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby jo555 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:27 am

carpenterdaughter wrote:Just want to throw this thought out there. Maybe we're "putting the cart before the horse" in this discussion. Maybe we ought to study up on heaven and come at this discussion from that starting point. I know that is what I need to do--going to do some pointed studying on what the Bible has to say about heaven . . .


:thumbs

We know that at the least, there are distinctions with heaven if Paul spoke a third heaven . . .
Yet I'll see about taking that break now from the topic as although it has been a nice diversion, I may be overly sensitive lately . . . running on fumes and need to recharge.

Thanks again, and thanks for your patience.
You all been most kind.
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 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:33 pm

I’m feeling the need this morning to attempt to explain why I was drawn to participating in this particular discussion. I’m going to need something from all of you who read this. I’m going to ask you to set aside any “offense” that may or may not be your first reaction. I am coming to you now as sincerely as I can, not to attempt to put down anyone in particular—and definitely not to speak against my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I am doing the best I can with my limited language capabilities to express to you something I see that troubles me, in the hopes that by looking at what I see together with fellow believers, we ALL might get a clearer and more unified vision of who we are as the Body of Christ. And I am perfectly willing to admit that I do not think that I have “all the answers” by myself—and that I am just as capable of wrong thinking and believing as anyone else. I will confess my own desperate need for spiritual growth. I have been a baby for too long now. Too many of us have been. PLEASE--don't get mad at me for saying that . . . I say it with the best of intentions. You're just going to have to trust me on that, I guess.

What troubles me most lately isn’t just what is wrong in the world, but also what is wrong in the Church. Please, I’m asking you to bear with me—something I am learning about who I am in Christ and what “gifts of the Spirit” He has given me is that I think I lean toward prophecy. Not the kind that predicts the future, the kind that senses and sees things others may not see. And trust me, I do not think this “gift” makes me any better than anyone else. Most often, it puts me in hard and lonely places—and it is always coming out of me through “me,” someone who is herself STILL progressing toward who she will one day be. All I am doing here is attempting to share what I see. And if what I’m seeing is right, I think this is what God is working to redeem right now within His Church. That is what we all are, after all. We are His dwelling place on earth—He lives in our hearts and manifests Himself to the world through us. I think He is stirring us and waking us up, and that is exciting!

In many ways, I think that modern day, pop-culture Christianity (especially in the United States) has become the “norm.” And we can argue about that for pages and pages . . . In many ways we have forgotten and maybe never learned how to be exactly who we are: Spiritual. If you asked the average Christian what it means to be spiritual, I am willing to bet that they would give you a list of things that they DO that prove spirituality. They would tell you how often they go to church, how often they study scripture, how much they give, and how many mission trips they have been on or how many times they have shared the gospel or took a stand for “right” in a world that is quickly rejecting God. They might even tell you about what sins they are learning to overcome. I’ll be honest, a few short years ago, that is probably how I would have defined my “spirituality.”

Maybe I will say it this way: we, ourselves, as a Body are “stuck” in the physical, instead of the spiritual. We’re trying to make this physical world be what it will never be—we have within us a vision of PERFECTION because we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and we are trying to use our physical energies to bring to pass in this physical world what exists in our hearts. We can argue all we want about whether or not that is true or why it is true, but I would like to skip the arguments, if that is possible. THIS is what I really want you to hear, y’all—and it is for your joy—not your condemnation! I think the Lord is awakening in us and moving us AWAY from that. That is why I feel an urgency to challenge anything that looks like us staying where we are . . . We are NOT of this world, and our Redeemer is coming to claim His own! He is coming, y’all, and His coming is going to be so much MORE than anything we can possibly imagine—and we can experience part of that now—we don’t have to wait to die or until He returns. We ARE already becoming, and we can be conscious of that by looking for Jesus in the here and now. And, we will find Him by being grounded in the truth of who He is and who we are because of who He is. It is all about knowing Him and making Him known. There is our joy and consolation as this physical world passes away!

I cannot take any credit for where I am today, spiritually. I will be the first to tell you that I believe that all that I am is a product of what the Holy Spirit does in me in conjunction with the circumstances of my life. That is Grace. That is God doing for me what I do not deserve and what I am incapable of doing on my own. I cannot make Him move in my life. John 3:8 (ESV) says, “ The wind[a] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” BUT, I can ask Him to awaken me more and more all the time to what He is doing, and I can wait patiently for Him to keep His promises.

And you know what? I grew up in the church. I was “saved,” if that’s the chosen word to describe the first time I know that my spirit was awakened, but no one—at least not that I remember . . . ever taught me what I expressed in the preceding paragraph. Instead, I was taught that Christians do, do, do . . . (and please, don’t think I’m not grateful for that, because we should DO—but what we DO should be a natural product of who we are becoming). Our young believers NEED to know who they are. We ALL need to know who we are.

And, yes, I believe that the Holy Spirit is, indeed, working and moving in us to do just that. I have learned more about who I am in Christ the past four years because ALL my illusions of my “doing” to earn God’s favor were crushed all around me. God refused to give in to my begging Him to keep my own understanding of many things—especially my own power in this world. It makes me sad to know that for the most part, I did not get much help from my believing friends. Instead, I got more “do this” or “do that” and even a whole lot of “blame” and “shame.” I do not fault them for it today. I understand that God was showing me Grace—He wanted to teach me what it looks like to be spiritual. It was and continues to be a painful and lonely experience—except now—now, I have different eyesight. Now I recognize more and more all the time the Holy Spirit in me and in others, and it is exciting, not discouraging. It’s like an “Aha!” moment—just a little glimpse of a coming more. John Piper calls it the “already, but not yet.”

What an opportunity lies before us as writers! We can actively participate in what we see happening, and we can come together as one arm or branch of the ENTIRE BODY of Christ. We can function like the body described in the book of Ephesians—and we can boldly point to Jesus! We can speak the message of redemption, and His sheep will hear and will come. That is a promise. We can pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for each other; we can point each other to Hebrews 12 when the noise of this world causes us to doubt what we know in our hearts. And, we can help each other along the way.

As a matter of fact, I believe we WILL do these things because God will finish what He has begun in us. We will be everything He promised us we will be. Not just as individuals, but also as His Church. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within us. Within us. It is not something that can be experienced with the five senses. We might use those experiences to speak of or point to what we do not have language to express—but they definitely fall SHORT of the glory of God. That’s exciting, y’all! That kind of TRUTH is going to be what keeps us hopeful when the times become truly dark and unbearable.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby Colswann1 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:48 pm

God loves animals, seeing that he created them. Maybe he's got a heavenly pet or two!
Colin Swann

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby Fullheart » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:36 pm

This is a very old debate and one which stirs passion in many folks. Certainly we who love our animals want to believe they shall be included in eternity. No matter our preferences, truth is not subject to our whims and fancies. However, the true essence of this quandary is found in differentiating the soul from the spirit, which is where this discussion invariably leads. I do not take a strong stance on either side of the issue of whether or not animals (living today) will be in heaven. Scripture clearly reveals that there will be animals in the "new earth". But whether they are newly formed after the new earth comes, or they are creatures who were previously alive in the old world is what we hope to learn.

If we aspire to knowledge of the truth and to rightly understand the word of God, we must come willing to learn, rather than to find evidence of our preconceived ideas, or to make it fit what we hope to be truth. Hence, a true humble, inductive exegesis of scripture is required if we are to properly benefit from its wisdom and guidance. But you already knew that, so I digress.

Yet, I have :book2 intently to discover if by some chance, our sweet little doggie might be able to join us in the here-after. And yes, that's exactly what I personally would fancy if it perchance may be found within God's will. But I do know, if this is not the case, then I will not miss my little Gracie-dog to the point of sorrow, because there will be no more tears (after a certain point). God does not say there will never be any tears in heaven. He says that He will dry every tear! There must be tears for Him to dry them. After an initial sorrowing for all that are lost, our bliss will never end and our joy will be complete. HE is our consolation and joy! And we will not miss anything or anyone who is not with us in eternity! That's good news, amen?

I had intended to show off my knowledge here and take us on a tour of the original tongues, but once again my pride has been smashed, and God is leading in another direction. However, I'll throw in a couple word translations, of which some of you have already begun.

Please remember that the world in which we now live is sin cursed. In order for any creature to be included in the new world, they must be redeemed from the old one. Christ is our redeemer. Did He die also for the animals? One could argue that, since He died for the sins of the world, and the world is a broad term, often used in scripture as a metonymy for all that is in the world, that animals can also be redeemed, (If they confess Christ as Lord?) But scripture nowhere indicates this to be true, or false. I've even at one point, came up with the idea that God could possibly recreate the same soul of our pet in eternity. He can do all things correct? When God first created all life, He proclaimed it all to be "very good". But sin changed that, and the world outside of Christ, our ark, is now doomed for judgement.

It seems that the Lord is not going to permit me to enter the discussion I'd intended concerning, soul and spirit and the scriptures which speak of them, except for this: The same word for "life & soul"—"Nephesh" is used when God created animals and when He created man. The difference came when God blew into Mankind's nostrils, "Ruach" (breath, wind or spirit). Giving, "neshamah" (vital divine breath) Genesis 2:7. He, then, gave mankind dominion over all other flesh. Before this, in shaping our form and designing our person with certain divine attributes: free will, creativity, and God consciousness, etc, He created us in His own image. Not so for the other creatures of earth. There are vast and distinct differences between man and the other creatures of earth.

It is my belief that soul and spirit are not synonymous, thus giving the animals a body and soul, and mankind, body, soul and the crucial spirit. We are spiritual and eternal and they are not. However, that does not mean that God will not include them. The bible is silent on the issue of today's animal souls and any role they may play in eternity. God can recreate the same animal soul to be again perfect. Will He? Your guess is as good as mine.

PS- I wuv my doggie! :shock:
PSS- Would love a PM from you!

Sheldon Bass (Fullheart)

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby LindseyRuby » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:56 pm

Such an interesting topic. Something I've wondered about.

I trust that whatever happens will be good enough for me, with or without the critters I knew and loved here. But, I would like a baby tiger when I get there! Do you think He'd allow me to have a baby tiger all my own?
She asked me to explain why the sun rose in the morning and set at night.
I tried to explain that the idea of the sun setting and rising was just an illusion.
The sun never really rises or sets, but that it keeps shining brightly all day long.
There is more to life than what we can see.

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby LindseyRuby » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:02 pm

[In all seriousness, is it possible?]
She asked me to explain why the sun rose in the morning and set at night.
I tried to explain that the idea of the sun setting and rising was just an illusion.
The sun never really rises or sets, but that it keeps shining brightly all day long.
There is more to life than what we can see.

~Rachel's Tears~

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Re: Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Postby Fullheart » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:56 am

LindseyRuby,

It is absolutely possible that God will allow you to have your own baby tiger. Animals will no longer be dangerous and will no longer be carnivorous. And there will be animals in eternity, as scripture attests. God will give you the desires of your heart. However, your desires are going to change drastically when you no longer are bound by a body of flesh.

I want a full grown tiger, and cheetah, and elephant and, oh well, you get the idea. :D

Fullheart (Sheldon Bass)

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