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Do Pets Go To Heaven?

Updated on July 10, 2016
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Every pet owner has asked this question or something similar: "Is my pet going to heaven?" Every pet owner whose pet has died has been comforted by someone saying, "Yes, you will see your pet in heaven." Then there are those who are disappointed when someone says, "No, your pet will not go to heaven."

Let's see what the Bible says. The Bible is completely silent when it comes to answering that question. However, you can come up with scriptures that say "Yes" if that's what you want to hear. And you can come up with scriptures to substantiate that the answer is "No."

First of all, heaven is reserved for the redeemed. Who are the redeemed? The redeemed are those who have sinned before God and have been reborn with a new nature. That been said, your pet has not sinned. Your pet has not been redeemed.

Jesus died on the cross for humans; not for animals. Jesus died to save those who have confessed with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus died and God raised Him from the dead on the third day. Animals do not and cannot confess Jesus is Lord and believe that Jesus died for them.

Another consideration is that man was created by God and made in the image of God. Animals were not made in the image of God. Therefore, no matter how beautiful and smart your pets are, they can never know God, worship God, pray to God, or praise God as humans can do.

Pets do not go to heaven.

Here is something to think about. What if your pet goes to heaven, but you don't? In other words, if pets go to heaven, then the owners much go too.

Since your pet has been loved by you on earth, surely you want to see it again in heaven. However, God is more interested in you going to heaven and being in His presence night and day. When you get to heaven you will be able to connect through your spirit with those who are there. Since your pet doesn't have a soul or spirit, I hate to break the news to you, but your pet will not go to heaven.

But here is good news. You will not remember your pet in heaven. God will remove even unsaved loved ones from our memory as if they never existed. He will do the same thing with your pets.

There will be other animals in heaven, but not yours. The old earth would have passed away and God will establish a new heaven and a new earth which will include animals. The animals will be there for all to enjoy; not just you. There will be no individual ownership of any kind in heaven. Not even for spouses because there will be no marriage in heaven.

While the Bible doesn't give a definite answer about our personal pets in heaven, it does say that the redeemed will have eternal life. Therefore, to me that means pets without the need for redemption will not be in heaven.

As far as other animals being there, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and new earth: "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox . . .(Isaiah 65:25 NIV) In the Book of Revelation, John’s vision of heaven also included animals, showing Christ and the armies of heaven "riding on white horses." (Revelation 19:14 NIV)

DO YOU THINK PETS GO TO HEAVEN?

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Final Thoughts

  • For those of you who have pets: Love them and care for them while on this earth. God gave you pets for human enjoyment; not for pleasure in heaven.
  • For those who want to find comfort because they had a pet who died: Enjoy the memories of your pet while it was alive.
  • For those who think their pet is in heaven: That's fine to think that way. And you will not be disappointed when you get to heaven and you don't see your pet. Why not? Because there is no disappointment or sadness in heaven.
  • For those who know their pet is not in heaven: Then you are free to focus on getting to heaven yourself with or without your pet.

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    • profile image

      live4him 5 years ago

      I'd love to do that, however, you want children to trust you. If you continually tell them the Easter bunny, Satna Clause, and the Tooth Fairy are real then later tell them they are not, then wha'ts keeping them from distrusting you on the topic of God. They may think God a a fictional being made up like the Tooth Fairy to make them feel as if they should be behaving.

      I'm not a parent, I'm a teen, but this is how I would feel as a young person

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      sue62369, thanks for reading and responding by sharing your thoughts.

    • sue62369 profile image

      sue62369 6 years ago

      Thank you revmjm for the email and link. I believe in what you said regarding animals in Heaven, but my point was why can't we let our children believe that their precious pets will be taken care of after they die just for that comfort. As they must crawl before they walk so should we nurture them in the harsh knowledge that death is a part of life. Ease them into this reality in its due time as the mature.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      immolated, thanks so much for your response to the question: "Do pets go to heaven?" You have written exactly what I believe. I especially like that you said, "wishing just doesn't make it so."

    • immolated profile image

      immolated 6 years ago

      Unfortuntely, a pet is just like any other animal, therefore not made in His image, etc. Also, the Bible simply states that the only way to get into heaven is to receive Jesus as our Lord. And the rest of the process, which a pet cannot even fathom, much less make a concious choice to do. I wish my pets could be in heaven with me, but wishing just doesn't make it so. Reality is tough, especially when it comes to death of pets. Even a second death.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Slarty O'Brian and PlanksandNails, thanks for reading and sharing your viewpoints on this sensitive subject.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      From a Biblical perspective, we live in a cursed world because of sin (Genesis); therefore, if pets live in this world, they too would be included, wouldn't they?

      Unfortunately to the dismay of owners with lovable pets, this would mean they are a product of sin.

      This is starting to get dire. I'll leave it at that.

    • Slarty O'Brian profile image

      Ron Hooft 6 years ago from Ottawa

      I get your point. But if redemption is a way to bring us back to god, assuming sin is to go away from god, then pets, as you say, have never sinned so would never have been away from god. In which case they would be more worthy to be with god than even the redeemed.

      My understanding is that the problem is they have no soul. But perhaps we can get them back by request? ;)

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      PlanksandNails, this hub really has provoked discussion. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Maybe if we define pet, it might change the lens of this hub.

      Does "a domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement" go to heaven?

      @ Dave, In what context is an ant an insect, animal, person or pet?

      Also, we hear of stories in the headlines of animal attacks from other owner's pets. Is this love?

      If animals prayed to God, they would have to have a higher intelligence; therefore, able to understanding absolute morality, which is only attained by the grace of Jesus Christ by what He did on the cross. This requires faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ.

      Just as we are, so is all of creation (including pets) groaning as the result of sin. Our pets may not know sin, but they are a result of this cursed world we live in.

      Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 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 21:1-4

      Thanks revmjm for hub that provokes discussion.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Crystolite, since the Bible gives no concrete answer, it is hard to formulate an opinion that satisfies everyone. I guess we just have to wait and see.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Brilliant question but i cant really figure out a suitable answer to it,quite interesting hub,thanks for sharing.i really enjoyed it.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, Betty.

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      When I was a kid, I used to imagine having a pet Pegasus. So I noticed those flying white horses in Revelation a long time ago. I've been looking forward to riding one for a few decades.

      A fascinating hub!

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      trishoxen, thanks for reading and responding to my article.

    • trishoxen profile image

      trishoxen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach South Carolina

      I get asked this question alot, it's sad to think that my cat wont be in heaven.. but i wont notice anyway.. I'll be too busy glorifying God. But its still a comforting thought to know that your pet is going to be in heaven with you . Great post!

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Dave, thanks for reading and responding!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      How arrogant is man to believe that God will only permit humans into heaven.

      Proverbs:30: 25; teaches us that God sees even the little "Ants" as people,

      and Jesus teaches us that "What you do to the least of these my people, you do unto me.

      Pets are born sinless. Pets do not know sin. Jesus came for the sinner.

      Pets Give love. Pets protect. Pets do good deeds. Pets can rescue humans from danger, or warn humans of danger.

      The fact that we do not understand their language, does not preclude the fact that they speak, so how do we know that they do not pray or know God?

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Tara, thank you for reading and responding and thinking about this sensitive subject.

    • profile image

      Tara Howard 6 years ago

      This is a very thought provoking article. I always thought that there must be an equivilent to heaven for pets/animals, because the animals are God's creation also. I just thought there was a special place for special animals, but I understand what you say about redemption and animals lack of. Really great article, which brings about more questions.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Treasuresofheaven, this article has surely provoked a lot of dialogue. And that's a good thing. Thanks for your reading and responding.

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

      Very interesting Hub. Dogs and pets are very precious to many people, and they want to know. You have done well in stating your position and understanding.

      Well-written!

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Faithful Daughter, thanks for your detailed comments. They are duly noted. I appreciate you for expressing your beliefs. Both of us do agree that this is a delicate subject, and the Bible is indeed silent on it. This issue cannot be settled here on HubPages, but it has made for an interesting subject. The purpose of this article was met which was to provoke dialogue whether pro or con.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evi Lopez 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Revmjm,

      You have touched a very sensitive subject for people who have lost their beloved pets and although you make some valid points, respectfully I have to add that we are all not in agreement with some of your statements.

      The word soul in the Bible is not only used to refer to the spirit of man but also used to mean a life source; the word “soul” can be used for humans or animals and must be read in context to differentiate between the spirit of man or a living creature. Animals do not have a spirit but do have a soul, a life source. They are not judged in righteousness and according to their faith as humans, yet they are all part of God’s creation and do have a living soul.

      Job 12:9-10 says, “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” KJV

      When men and animals die, they will all return to dust. And if man is to return to dust just as the animals, no one can claim that our pets will or will not go to heaven. To say that pets do or do not go to heaven is merely stating an opinion because the Bible does not say that our pets will or will not go to heaven.

      Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 says, “I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 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. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” NIV

      The spirit of man will return to God for judgment, the Bible is clear about that, “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” NIV (Ecclesiastes 12:7) But who is to say that our pets will or will not be there?

      We should not be making claims on things we know nothing about. It is up to God if He will or will not place people’s pets in heaven, even if their owners do not make it there. I can think of a few dogs and cats who would not want their owners in heaven with them. So I leave it up to God if I will see my beloved pets in heaven or not. I could only pray I do. Not so much for my selfish desire, but because they did a lot of good while on earth and did not deserve to suffer the way they did. Therefore, I believe as Job, in His “hands is the soul of every living thing.” And since God is a merciful and benevolent God, this is where my hope lies.

      In Christ’s love.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      einron, I have added the scripture references to the article in case someone else has the same question as you. Thanks again for evidence of your reading the entire article.

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      einron, thanks for reading and responding to my article on this delicate subject. While the Bible doesn't give a definite answer about our personal pets in heaven, it does say that the redeemed will have eternal life. Therefore, to me that means pets without the need for redemption will not be in heaven.

      As far as other animals being there, the prophet Isaiah says God will include animals in the new heavens and new earth:

      "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox . . .(Isaiah 65:25 NIV)

      In the Book of Revelation, John’s vision of heaven also included animals, showing Christ and the armies of heaven "riding on white horses." (Revelation 19:14 NIV)

    • einron profile image

      einron 6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Very precise and clear message.

      But

      Quote "There will be other animals in heaven, but not yours. The old earth would have passed away and God will establish a new heaven and a new earth which will include animals. The animals will be there for all to enjoy; not just you."

      Where did you base your assumptioon on the above?

      Peace!

    • revmjm profile image
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      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      FaithDream, there will be nothing in heaven to sadden us. Therefore, we will not remember our unsaved family members and loved ones. That's why it is so important that we evangelize while on earth.

      I know a lot of people will not agree with me about pets not going to heaven, but I base my conclusion on redemption. Pets are not redeemed.

      As usual, thanks for reading and responding.