all dogs go to heaven button

The question:  

I cannot tell you how many times Hannah has said “Will Annie Belle go to heaven when she dies?” or “Mommy, it won’t be heaven without my doggies.”  Well, my answer has always been; “Hannah, dogs don’t have a soul, so I don’t think they’re going to heaven, but if it makes you happy; Jesus will make it happen for you :)” .  Then I got to thinking….I really have no biblical basis for this explanation I keep giving Hannah.  I did have questions as to where this all fits in with God’s word.  Just as I always do, first I pray and read God’s word, then I find someone who knows a lot more about it than I do 🙂  Once again, Jonathon Walton to the rescue to help me explain this one 😀

A minister’s perspective ~ Jonathan R. Walton

Many kids, as well as adults, have curiously pondered the question if their pets would go to Heaven or not. Sometimes, pets are part of the family, important members that leave a hole in our lives when they are gone. The first real lesson that my children got about death and loss was from the passing of one of our labs. I remember both boys crying when I had to tell them the news that Austin was not coming back home from the vet. They were heart-broken and almost immediately wondered if he would be waiting for us in Heaven. They created an image of him running in open fields instead of being in our fenced yard. He is chasing rabbits and cats and having all kinds of fun waiting for us to get there.

Is this version true? The foremost belief is that animals do not have souls, and therefore cannot go to Heaven. The real question is whether or not you will go to Heaven. You shouldn’t worry about your pets being there. You should be working to get there yourself. This answer seems too harsh.

On the other hand, many mainstream Christian authors and pastors believe that pets will go to Heaven. They quote various scriptures that could suggest that animals have a spirit, but really give no definitive answer. It is certain that some animals will be part of that Kingdom, for that imagery is expressed through the canon of Scripture. However, the truth is that neither belief can be verified with one hundred percent certainty.

If a child finds peace in believing that their pet could be in Heaven, I don’t see any harm in that belief. However, I think the death of a pet is a great opportunity to teach some of the negative issues of life that we often try to avoid with children. Loss. Heartache. Disappoint. Appreciating what you have while it’s there. And accepting what we don’t like at times. We shouldn’t miss those opportunities to interject real truths. Jesus cares about what you care about. Jesus cares about your pain. Jesus will comfort you through anything in life. Even the loss of a furry friend. He is that loving and compassionate of a God.

Another question often asked is “why should I not pray for my pets?” I say encourage your child to pray for them. Jesus told the disciples that he cared about the birds and provided for the animals of the earth. He also said, “are not five sparrows sold for two farthings. Yet, I care for them all.” In Biblical times, people would sell sparrows at the price of two sparrows for one farthing. If you wanted a deal, they would give you five sparrows for two farthings. However, the fifth (or extra) sparrow was often a sick or rejected bird. Not really that great of a deal. But Jesus was making it clear. I care about them all. Even the sick and rejected.

So pray for them. When I was a child, my lab was having a severe seizure. I thought she was going to die. I cried and knelt down beside her, rubbing my hands through her fur. I asked God to heal her. Within seconds, she stopped having the seizure and licked my hand. I am convinced that God honored the faith of a child, even in praying for a pet. Always remember, if it means something to you, regardless of how trivial, God loves you so much that it does mean something to Him.

Until next time, God bless,

Jonathan R Walton

Bible Study:  Genesis 1:26, Genesis 9:3, Isaiah 65: 25, Hosea 2:18, Luke 12:6, Matthew 19:26, Revelation 19:14

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2 Replies to “All Dogs Go To Heaven?”

  1. I do believe that animals go to Heaven. In Revelation 19:11-14 it states that Jesus returns to the earth with His army of saints on white horses
    So if there are horses in Heaven, why wouldn’t our furbabies be there too? I do believe animals have souls. I’ve been told my whole life that they don’t. But i do believe so. They have feelings, they can love, hate, they do basically what we do in different ways. So why would they not have souls? Even thought the the Bible does not give a definitive answer on the question of whether we will see our pets in heaven, it does say, “… with God, all things are possible.”

    1. You give great perspective Zella 😀 I look at my pups and my kitties and they each have such different personalities. One thing they all have in common is that they love us. They are such loyal and amazing creatures.

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