Do Pets Go to Heaven?
Many people believe that pets go to heaven... but do they?
Many of us have lost a beloved pet or know someone who has wondered if pets go to heaven after they die? Will we be eternally reunited with our beloved pets one day? As always, when we ask questions like this, the first place we must look for answers is in the Bible.
We Are a Soul With a Body, Not a Body With a Soul
Because we are uniquely created in the image of God, only humans have a soul. Our soul is the inner part of us that can be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is the part of us that is more than just flesh and blood. The difference between human beings and animals is that humans are made in the image and likeness of God, and animals are not.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make mankind 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 livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NASB)
When God said that he would make man in his image, he did something that he did not do with animals. When a human soul has been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that soul goes to heaven, where God gives it a new, perfect body to replace the imperfect earthly one.
5 For we know that if our earthly tent, which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. (2 Corinthians 5:2 NASB).
Our “earthly tent” refers to our body. Our eternal soul returns to God in heaven, not our body. Animals don’t have a soul, so they don’t go to heaven in the same way we do.
There Will be Animals in the Millennial Kingdom
The book of Isaiah tells us there will be animals during the Millennial Kingdom.
“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fattened steer will be together, and a little boy will lead them. 7 Also, the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea..” (Isaiah 11:6-9 NASB)
The Millennial Kingdom is the name given to the 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ here on the earth after the Tribulation mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It is not possible to say if some of these animals might be the same pets we had before. We know that God is just and that when we get to heaven, we will find ourselves in complete agreement with His decision whatever it may be. (The Millennial Kingdom is not the same as eternity in heaven... but that’s a post for another day.)
Heaven Is for Those Who Are Saved
There is only one way to enter heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ...
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me”. (John 14:6 NSAB)
Anyone who believes in their heart and confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord will be saved...
9 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NASB)
Our pets cannot make such a decision, so God would have to make some other provision for them if He allows them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
However, we know that we will not feel sorrow, grief, or longing for what was on earth...
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17 NASB)
4 “and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NASB)
Here is no solid Biblical support to say with certainty whether or not our pets will be in heaven. I hope they will be. But the only way to find out for sure is to get there yourself. It is pointless to ask if your pet goes to heaven if you are not there as well! Decide today to repent of your sins and trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is the only way to say with certainty whether you will go to heaven or not.