Monday, July 25, 2011

My Pet Died - Did It Go to Heaven?

My Pet Died - Will I See Him in Heaven
Recently one friend almost lost a pet to a snake bite, and another friend lost a cat to liver cancer.  People who own pets all face loss of a pet eventually.  Because the animal has become such a part of their lives, the loss is tremendous.  And, Christians especially want to be comforted knowing that they will see their pet again in heaven.  So – will they or won’t they?

 To answer that question, we need to be on the same page regarding exactly what and where heaven is.  So, let’s start with first defining heaven.  According to the Bible, heaven is the home of God Almighty, the God of creation, the God who wrote the Bible.  It is a specific place.  It is a perfect place. 

 Second, what people will be in heaven?  Jesus clearly says no one gets to God the Father except through Jesus Christ the Son.  Some people find this offensive.  They feel that God should make a number of ways into heaven.  God did make ONE very expensive way into heaven. 

If you chose heaven through Jesus Christ, then you know exactly where you are going. 
And through Jesus Christ you get to
enter into the Kingdom of Heaven through the front door,
go up the throne of God Himself,
and you will be a joint heir with Jesus Christ. 

Also, one way into heaven is sufficient. 
Everyone gets an invitation – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.  Everyone gets the same first class invitation.  
No one is invited to enter in through the back door and spend eternity working as kitchen help.

 In order to get to heaven, an individual must make a specific choice to accept Jesus Christ.  That guarantees that person entrance into heaven.  The heaven of the God of the Bible is the place I mean when I talk about heaven.  It is important that if you want to see a pet in ‘heaven’ that you first make sure YOU personally are going to heaven.

 Mankind is different than the animals. 
God formed man with His own hands. 
 Man was created for more than the animals. 
Christ did not die for animals. 
He died for human beings.  He died for you and me. 

But, does God have a plan for the animals?  I believe He does.  The important things is that animals are just that – animals.  They wouldn’t have to do anything to enter heaven.  (People enter heaven through grace by faith, not of works.  They just have to make the choice to go through Jesus Christ.)

 Here are some reasons I believe animals will be in heaven.

 When animals were first created they did not die.  When Adam and Eve sinned, death entered in.

 Noah built an ark.  Noah and his family chose to obey God and go into the ark.  They had to make a conscience decision to follow God or not. God sent the animals into the ark.

 Animals will be in the Millennium Kingdom.

 Another way to look at it is, ‘Why wouldn’t animals be in heaven?’ 

 In today’s world, families are smaller and more fragmented than ever before.  People often don’t have many or even any family to show them love that is unconditional and unselfish.  In a way, that is what they get from pets.  Pets give unselfish and unconditional affection to their owners.  They are interested in everything the owner does.  In the absence of family and friends showing the love of God to others, God can use even an animal to show love. 
A pet can be used by God to fill a gap for a human being.

 People may have a view of God corresponding to their view of their own father, or parents, or someone with a strong influence during their upbringing.  If their father or father figure was harsh, they may view God as harsh.  If he was a pushover, then they may view God as a pushover.  If he was absent, then they may view God as absent and uncaring.   But, in a pet there is a creature that just loves its owner.  (For a correct view of God, go to the Bible and study it.  Even people with godly loving parents will see the perfect Father through learning about the God of the Bible.)

 The loss of a pet can also cause people to consider heaven and what happens when they personally die. They want to know they personally can be sure they will go to heaven.  What would be the point of your pet going to heaven if you personally went somewhere else?  Pets can be an evangelism tool!

 When I think of heaven I think of my sister, my dad, my granddad, and other family members and dear friends.  There are people who have no such happy thoughts or reunions to which they look forward.  No one will be lonely in heaven, but knowing some of the people you will see there does it make for wonderful anticipation that those without people in heaven may not have.  I also think of pets, but I don't think of them first.  Although I must confess when looking forward to seeing them again, I often picture them with a specific pet.

 We don’t know exactly what we will be like in heaven.  1 John 3

1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Based on these verses, it seems to me that if we can't even know what we will be like, we can't really understand what animals will be like either.  Surely they had a larger capacity for everything before the fall.

 We don’t exactly what heaven will be like.  1 Corinthians 2:9 tells us, ‘ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.’   So, based on the word of God, we can know that heaven will be wonderful.  It is so wonderful, that it is beyond our capacity to understand just how wonderful it is.

The truth is we can't prove it either way from the bible. anything we say is speculation.  we can only have a strong opinion.  We can be positive that animals have no requirement to trust Jesus Christ.  They have capacity to understand anything about how to be saved
 They were mot created with the same capacity as human beings. they don't have the same capacities as human beings 

 As Christians, we trust our eternal destination to Jesus Christ. 
It is definite that we can trust Him with the animals of creation as well. 
God will do what is right.