Will We See Our Pets in Heaven?

968DD525-EE14-4CA2-93A1-39E759D7DB4FToday’s tough question:

“Will we be re-united with our pets in heaven?”

As a big-time dog lover, I sure hope so!

From my research, the Bible doesn’t discuss the immaterial/non-physical part of our pets after death. I’d be overjoyed to arrive in heaven and find my dogs sitting next to the Master. Certainly, the heart longs for such things.

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way to heaven. How that would work for pets, I’m not sure. Let me put it this way: When we reach heaven, we will see that God is perfectly just and righteous in all of His decisions. We will have no objections to what we encounter in heaven. None whatsoever.

Rather than tell us about how we are to view animals after they die, God’s Word tells us how to treat animals while they’re alive. This verse is wonderful: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 NIV)

God entrusted His animal kingdom to our care. “Have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on earth.” (Genesis 1:28 ESV) We are stewards of all creation, including animals. When you’re a loving master to a pet, you’re obeying the Lord’s command in Genesis 1, exercising proper dominion.

The Bible tells us that God pays attention to animals. No animal is too small or too numerous to escape his notice. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” (Matthew 10:29)

When the Bible depicts a new earth after Jesus’ second coming, the description includes animals. Previewing God’s perfect kingdom, Isaiah wrote, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Isaiah 11:6-7)

Behind today’s tough question lies another question: How do I grieve for a pet? This can be an awkward question. You may not feel that you’re supposed to grieve over an animal the way you do over a human.

Tell that to the tears and heartache! “Supposed to” and reality don’t always match up. Some of the most intense emotions I’ve ever experienced were feelings of grief over the death of my family’s dogs.

Allowing yourself to grieve is the healthiest way to process sadness. And losing a pet is sad. Grief has its own timetable. You grieve as long as you grieve. In the middle of the grief, you can thank God for the years He gave you with your pet.

In all grief, God is our comfort. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

Eventually, as time brings a measure of healing, we embrace a new season. Our journey continues. In His kindness, God will bring new joys, new opportunities, maybe even a new furry friend that you can enjoy.

Previous tough question: Was God Less Merciful in the Old Testament?

Author: Christopher Kennedy

Senior Pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, School, and Child Care in San Antonio, Texas. Husband to my beloved Ashley. Dad to the four most wonderful children in the world.

6 thoughts on “Will We See Our Pets in Heaven?”

  1. The Lion will lay down with the lamb. The trees of the Garden of Eden and much more is in the New Jerusalem.
    It appears that this 1500 mile squared city is a big one but not all streets of gold. There is obviously landscapes. Water runs down hill. Trees grow in soil. Animals need food. The whole thing wont be on this planet. It will land like a space ship on another planet with no sea. So in a way it is an Ark. And what was done on earth was intentionally done to resemble what is in heaven. I think when we get there we will be surprised to see things resemble some of the things done on earth by Gods direction. Patterning things done in the heavens.

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  2. I love this one. Our fur babies are members of the family. Their passing, just like humans, is worthy of the grief of losing someone we love. Heaven will be perfect so that would certainly include snuggling up to our pups.

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  3. When I was in middle school, I asked my Lutheran pastor if I would see my beloved pet in heaven. His response was “I think since heaven is the perfect paradise and God chose to bless us with our pets on earth then we will have them in heaven”. As a child this brought me a lot of peace. Your post brings me peace as an adult, thanks Pastor Chris!

    Like

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