What The Bible Say About Animals And Eternity
The best reference to the final destiny of animals would be the passage found in Ecclesiastes 3. Notice the reference to beasts found in verses 18-22, and particularly verse 21:
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
There has been much debate through the years over this verse. The most natural understanding of this verse is as a statement concerning how man and animals differin soul or spirit, as discussed above.
The word translated spirit is the same Hebrew word ruach that is translated breath in verse 29. Solomon, in these verses, rightly identifies the essential difference between the human soul and the soul of an animal. He is saying in these verses that the soul of man returns to God when the breath of life ceases. However, the animal was made to derive its happiness and fulfillment from the world.
What Does The Bible Say About Animals/pets In Heaven And Do Animals Have A Soul
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Bible Verses For Pet Loss Can Bring Comfort
Friends who are religious will welcome these verses, and may even be somewhat comforted by them. Be careful not to offend friends who have different religious beliefs, and offer comfort to these friends in ways that soothe them. Don’t try to push specific beliefs on someone who is hurting from a new loss, but do help spiritual friends with grieving for a pet from a Christian perspective.
Also Check: Chronological Order Of Bible
Will We See Our Pets In Heaven
To answer the question, consider this story of the elderly widow whose beloved little dog died after fifteen faithful years. Distraught, she went to her pastor.
“Parson,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks, “The vicar said animals have no souls. My darling dog has died. Does that mean I wont see her again in heaven?”
“Madam,” said the old priest, “God, in his great love and wisdom has created heaven to be a place of perfect happiness. I am sure that if you need your little dog to complete your happiness, you will find her there.”
Scripture Speaks Of Animals In Heaven
Even so, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and a new earth:
“The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpents food.”
In his book, The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis suggests that tame animals at least may make it into heaven through their relationship with humans in the same way humans do through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Most of us can’t picture a paradise of unspeakable beauty without flowers, trees, and animals. Would it be heaven for an avid birdwatcher if there are no birds? Would a fisherman want to spend eternity with no fish? And would it be heaven for a cowboy without horses? But these are mere human ideas of what heaven will be like.
While theologians may be stubborn in classifying animals'”souls” as inferior to those of humans, those learned scholars must admit that descriptions of heaven in the Bible are sketchy at best. The Bible does not give a definitive answer to the question of whether we will see our pets in heaven, but it does say, “With God, all things are possible.”
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What Does Heaven Look Like
Another common argument against the notion that pets go to heaven is that “animals don’t have souls.” Often, a proponent of this view will not hesitate to say that there are no animals in heaven, for this reason. Again, the Bible isn’t exactly clear on that, so the question is not answerable on a strictly scriptural basis.
Rather than attempt to address this directly, therefore, I’d like to raise another question: What do you believe heaven is like? If you ask this question of most people, you’re likely to get a description of a glorious garden, filled with beautiful trees and radiant flowers, with sparkling waters and soft breezes. Very few people imagine heaven as some sort of giant, sterile concrete parking lot, devoid of life. We base our image of heaven on the beauties of the creation that is Earth.
Does your garden have birds singing in those heavenly trees? Do butterflies flit among the divine flowers? Just as I can’t imagine a heaven without plants, neither can I imagine one without animals. Whether animals have souls, I am convinced that there are animals in heaven. And if it is remotely possible to encounter heavenly dogs and heavenly cats amongst those heavenly flowers and trees, then perhaps it’s not such a huge stretch to suppose that one of those might be your heavenly dog, or my heavenly cat.
Do Animals Have Soul Or Spirit Like Humans
Animals have both spirits and souls like man . 3. They also have personality, freewill and share every emotion that humans experience including love, hate, jealousy, compliance, obedience, rebellion, insecurity, contentment, affection, loyalty, anger, playfulness, independence, dependence, selfishness, sharing etc.
Is There An Eternal Future For Animals
One last thought needs to be added here though. Is there a proper focus that needs to be stressed when asking about animals in heaven? While as finite humans we naturally seek things that bring us comfort and we joyously await our resurrection bodies , what is our hope of heaven supposed to be rooted in? Is it not being with Christ and seeing him face to face and being in his presence ? There is nothing wrong with wanting to walk the streets of gold or of finally meeting Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or of seeing and eating from the Tree of Life , but these are not to become what we pin our hope and expectation on. The same is true with the topic at hand. Animals should not be the focus of our hope and joy in heaven: Christ should be . And when we get there, everything else will pale in comparison.
Oh, that will be glory for me,Glory for me, glory for me,When by His grace I shall look on His face,That will be glory, be glory for me.8
Do Animals Have Spirits Or Souls
An interesting question! Some people say animals have a spirit but not a soul, some say they have a soul but not a spirit. Men are made up of a body, a spirit, and a soul. Check out the verses below to see how animals also have a spirit and a soul.
Also Check: Chronological Order Bible
The Spirit Looks Like The Body It Is From
2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Judging from 2Cor 12:2, if a person has an out of body experience, their spirit looks like their body . This is to say that when a spirit leaves a body, to doesnt look like an animal, a cartoon ghost without legs, or a bright ball of light it just looks like whatever the body looked like that it came from.
Luke 16:23-24 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue for I am tormented in this flame.
In hell, the rich mans spirit had eyes, had a tongue, Lazarus spirit had fingers, Abraham had a bosom This implies a full human spirit body.
Would It Be Heaven Without Fido
Would heaven be a wonderful place — would it truly be “paradise” — if our pets weren’t there? For many, the answer is “no” — and obviously, God knows this! Placing restrictions on what can or can’t be in heaven is a fruitless exercise, much like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin no one has brought back a report, and sooner or later we’re all going to find out anyway. In the interim, we are free to imagine whatever we choose.
However, there are many who feel that it is important to be “right” about everything, especially everything spiritual — that there is no room for spiritual “error.” These are the folks, I suspect, who argue most loudly and angrily against the concept of pets in heaven. And there are certainly many issues on which, for a Christian, there is no “wiggle room” for debate. Where the answer matters, the answer is given. If the answer is not given, then it is quite possible that the answer doesn’t really matter — i.e., there is no penalty for being “wrong.”
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Bible Verses About Animals Having A Soul
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.
A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal,But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,And the breath of all mankind?
Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
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Animals Have The ‘breath Of Life’
In the past few decades, scientists have proven beyond any doubt that some species of animals possess intelligence. Porpoises and whales can communicate with other members of their species through audible language. Dogs can be trained to do relatively complex tasks. Gorillas have even been taught to form simple sentences using sign language.
But does animal intelligence constitute a soul? Do a pets emotions and ability to relate to human beings mean that animals possess an immortal spirit that will survive after death?
Theologians say no. They point out that man was created superior to animals and that animals cant be equal with him.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Most interpreters of the Bible assume that mans likeness to God and animals subservience to man implies that animals have the “breath of life,” nephesh chay in Hebrew , but not an immortal soul in the same sense as a humans.
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.”
What Is A Soul
To define what is a soul, I will use a human perspective. As humans we are comprised of three parts, body, soul, and spirit. Here is an example of this from Scripture.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ .
Your body is your physical shell, and your spirit is the part of you that allows you to connect and commune with God. Your soul is where your mind, will, and emotions live. I found a wonderful description of the soul from a Bibles for America post, that I want to share with you.
Our soul is our personality, who we are. With our soul we think, reason, consider, remember, and wonder. We experience emotions like happiness, love, sorrow, anger, relief, and compassion. And were able to resolve, choose, and make decisions.
Using this as a backdrop, lets now apply this to animals.
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Christianity And Animal Rights
The relationship between Christianity and animal rights is complex, with different Christian communities coming to different conclusions about the status of animals. The topic is closely related to, but broader than, the practices of Christian vegetarians and the various Christian environmentalist movements.
Many Christian philosophers and socio-political figures have stated that Christians should follow the example of Jesus and treat animals in a way that expresses compassion and demonstrates the respectful stewardship of humanity over the environment. William Wilberforce, a co-founder of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, is an example. Large organizations in which a variety of different groups work together, such as the Humane Society of the United States, have undertaken religious outreach using such arguments.
Andrew Linzey has pointed out it would be wrong to see Christianity as an inherent enemy of animal rights since Christian theology, like all other religious traditions, has some unique insights to viewing animal life as having fundamental value. Throughout history, there have been Christian thinkers who have raised tough ethical questions about the moral status of animals. Francis of Assisi is perhaps the most well-known example.
What Happens To Our Pets
What happens to animals when they die? Do they have souls? Christian apologist Dan Story examines this issue.
Having loved and lost several dog friends during the past thirty-plus years, like millions of other pet owners, I wondered if Id see them again in the next life. So I embarked on research journey to learn what the Bible, Christian theologians and even science had to say on the subject. I came away convinced that is there is a huge amount of compelling evidence that pets and sentient wild animals will join Gods people in Heaven. I demonstrate this in my new book,Will Dogs Chase Cats in Heaven?: People, Pets, and Wild Animals in the Afterlife What follows in this blog is an excerpt relevant to that conclusion, which rests on the accumulated evidence of the previous seven chapters.
I demonstrate in my book that many Christian scholars believe that animals have souls and will inhabit Heaven. The question I address here is what is their origin? As I see it there are only three options.
Do elk and other wild animals have souls? Will they join us in heaven?
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Do Animals Have Souls Like Human Beings
- 2 minute read
Animals are considered souls according to the Bible and every living soul died in the sea . The Scriptures tell us that like humans, animals receive the breath of God or spirit to come alive and then they become souls. Solomon the wisest man states that both man and animals receive the same breath. And he equates the word breath of God with the word spirit:
Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth? .
Death, is the lot of people and animals. David says that man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish . When the breath of life departs from the body of any living creature, it dies . However, humans are different than animals in the rewards they receive. For through faith in God, humans will be redeemed from the power of the grave and will have eternal life .
The phrase Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward? simply means that human wisdom cannot affirm what happens to the spirit, or breath of God except that it shall return unto God .
In His service,