Do Pets Go To Heaven? Do they go to the lake of fire? Where do they go, if anyplace at all?
These questions probably enter the mind of every pet owner, especially when they lose a beloved pet companion. We have pets that have personalities and feelings, and can think and reason. It seems as though whatever it is that makes each pet unique (a soul) is like that which makes each human unique. Therefore, we wonder if pets (or any other animals) go to heaven.
Why would God judge the innocent animals for the sin of mankind and
Before going on, it is most important to state that if pets do go to heaven, their owners will also have to go to heaven to see them. The Bible makes it clear that the majority of people will not go to heaven—see Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 and 14 (Mat 7:13,14) for one example. Therefore, it is critical that we remind everyone that they need to get right with God themselves or their chances of seeing a departed pet again are zero.
There are numerous examples of animals associated with heaven (including 2 Kings 2:11, Revelation 5:13 and 19:11-14) or the “new creation” (Isaiah 65:17-25). Still, the question is “were these animals new creations or do these animals include reborn earthly creatures?” Let’s look at the facts.
- Both mankind and animals are formed from the ground (Genesis 2:7, 19). This reveals that the physical bodies of both are similar, but it does not tell us about their immortality.
- God’s covenant with Noah included both people and animals (Genesis 9:9-11). However, that covenant was not one of eternal life, but that He would not again destroy the earth with a flood.
- The fourth commandment as recorded in Deuteronomy 5:12-15 includes a Sabbath rest for animals as well as people. Again, it reveals some equality between people and animals, but makes no statement regarding animals going to heaven.
- God takes care of both men and animals (see Matthew 6:26 and Psalm 104—verses 14 and 27-30 in particular). Although death is mentioned in Psalm 104:29, we learn nothing regarding an afterlife.
- At some future time, Christ (a Rod from the stem of Jesse) will bring about a time of peace where all animals and man will be in harmony (Isaiah 11:1-9). Still, the description is not necessarily of heaven, and these animals are not necessarily reborn animals.
Some writers claim that “all things” in passages like Acts 3:19-21, Philippians 3:20,21, Hebrews 2:8, and Revelation 21:5 include animals. The passage in Romans 8:18-25 certainly does include animals as part of “the creation.” Still, none of these passages reveals that the animals and plants included in “the creation” are reborn rather than newly created.
Ephesians 1:3-14 is a passage that speaks of redemption through Christ’s sacrifice. (Redemption concerns setting someone or something free that belonged to another.) Specifically, verse 10 states “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” Here, “all things” is universal—spiritual and material. That is, this passage is speaking about bringing everything back to a perfect “Genesis chapter 1” condition. Again, this does not directly comment on the eternal life of animals.
So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the truth—the Bible is silent regarding an afterlife for animals. However, we do have one hope. The key passage for this question does not deal with animals directly, but rather God’s promise to those who inherit God’s kingdom—those people who have gotten right with God and will go to heaven themselves. For them, the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 applies:
- 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
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.”