Child Wonders If Animals Go to Heaven

We're so sorry to hear that your dog died. It sounds like he was an important part of your family for a very long time, and we understand how hard it is to think about life going on without him. It hurts a lot; and yet the hurting isn't all bad, because it shows that you have a lot of love and compassion in your heart.

Did you know that the Bible says that good people care about their pets? Proverbs 12:10 tells us this: "A righteous man regards the life of his animal." With this in mind, we believe the best thing you can do is turn to God in prayer and ask Him to comfort you whenever you miss your dog. He cares about everything that concerns you, and His love for you is greater than anything you can imagine.

We also realize that you're wondering if you will see your dog in heaven someday. This is a question people of all ages have asked, and it's a hard one to answer. You see, the Bible doesn't specifically tell us what happens to animals after they die. This might be the reason why your Sunday school teacher said that there won't be any pets in the life to come. His answer seems to make sense from a certain point of view. But we think there's another way to think about this.

First of all, it's important to remember that the Bible tells us that human beings have a special place in God's plan. For one thing, only human beings have been created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27). Because of this, only people (not animals) can look forward to being sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father after we die. Along with Jesus, we will inherit God's wonderful and eternal kingdom!

But, from our point of view, animals might be there too! Romans 8:18-27 tells us that Christ came to earth to redeem all of creation, not just human beings. Did you know that some of the prophets in the Bible had visions of the peaceful kingdom of God, and their visions included different kinds of animals? Isaiah 11:6, 7 gives us a beautiful description: "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."

To say this another way, the Bible gives us an amazing glimpse of heaven. Even though we can't even begin to imagine exactly what it will be like or how wonderful it will be, we are confident that there will be lots of life there! It won't just be a place where human souls and heavenly spirits float around. Revelation 21:1 says that heaven is a place where we will enjoy a glorious and perfect version of creation as we already know it! As you've probably learned in Sunday school, God created all the different species to be Adam's friends and neighbors in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:18-20). Perhaps they will have a place in His eternal Kingdom, as well.

So then, will you get to be with your dog in heaven someday? Equally sincere Christians will have differing answers to this question. And though it's not up to us to say for sure, we think it's a definite possibility.

Resources
Heaven for Kids

801 Questions Kids Ask About God

Copyright © 2010, Focus on the Family.