The day that Buddy dies will be an awful day for me and my family as, the longer he lives with us, the more personality he exhibits as he increasingly relaxes around us. He is the most vocal dog we’ve ever had and is quite clear when he wants something. Naturally, I love the ecstatic joy of greeting Buddy gives me when I return home, even from a short trip.
This wasn’t what I originally planned to write about tonight, but close friends lost their dog unexpectedly last Friday. Poppy, an adopted dog, was older than they had been told by the dog pound and had to be put to sleep for liver cancer. I grieve for them as I understand how much they cared for Poppy. She was a very friendly and loving dog.
Although I will greatly miss Buddy one day, if I don’t precede him in death, I truly believe that he will go to Heaven and join my greatly missed grandmother Vera and beloved Buster (my other Silky terrier pal).
What I can never understand are Christians who delight in telling others that animals absolutely do not go to Heaven. Firstly, I don’t understand why they get pleasure out of discouraging grieving people instead of being silent and keeping it to themselves. But, secondly, why they believe so emphatically that God doesn’t care about animals or love them. So many Christians seem to believe that you can care about people or animals, but not both.
Odd, as God created all animal life and called it “good” (Genesis 1:20-25).
When God flooded the earth, He saved not just Noah and his family, but also “every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you…” (Genesis 6:19). God filled the earth, not just once, but twice with animals. He also made his rainbow covenant promise not to destroy the earth again with a flood not only with humanity, but also with animals too (Genesis 9:11-16).
The prophet Isaiah pictures animals in harmony with humankind and each other in the Millenniel Kingdom. In fact, animals are a key feature of this thousand year reign of Jesus after Armageddon.
“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 fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together. And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra…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
When Jesus is pictured in Heaven he sits on “a white horse” (Revelation 19:11). He also enters Jerusalem upon a donkey’s colt on His final journey toward the Crucifixion (John 12:15).
Authors Gary Kurz and Niki Behrikis Shanahan have ministries from a Biblical perspective comforting people who have lost their pets. I consulted their books in 2009 when my best pal Buster died. They point out that when Jesus went into the wilderness to fast for forty days before his temptation by Satan, “He was with the wild beasts…” This was mentioned only in the book of Mark, but this apostle liked to point out how powerful Jesus was, so he might naturally be thinking about the company the Lord kept while he shunned human companionship.
Just a few examples, but clearly our Lord and Savior has no aversion to animals.
There are quite a few new books on pets and Heaven listed online with far more detail than what I’ve covered above, but the below verse is one I treasure. It shows animals in Heaven praising God:
“And EVERY created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”–Apostle John, vision of Heaven, Revelation 5:13 (Emphasis on EVERY is mine.)
If this verse only applied to humans, it would say “every man and woman” or “humanity”, not “every created thing.”
I can just picture oinks and meows and chirps and quacks and heehaws and roars and…a myriad creatures singing in perfect harmony with their diverse voices, just like a symphony with brass horns and violins and drums and harps, creating one lovely melody in praise of God.
And the barks of dogs, of course.
Love from Dawn and Buddy
PS. I miss you Buster. You were my soulmate dog. I’ll see you again one day. For now, you’re keeping Grandma and her beloved pets company, along with my other past pals (Louie and Penny and Peaches and Rambo and Gumby and Pokie and Spunky and Skippy and Squeaky and…)
God loves animals–and He loves you and wants a relationship with you. He wants to be Your Heavenly Father, advising you on the best way to live. But as long as you insist on deciding what is right and wrong for yourself, you cannot fellowship with Him. He wants to be your Lord. Are you ready to give your life and commit to Him so that you can stand in Heaven one day, listening to the symphony of animals praising God, “blameless with great joy” (Jude 1:24)? If so, please pray the following:
Lord Father, I acknowledge that I’ve offended You by my sin. I want to change. I confess that Jesus is the Lord, God in the flesh, who died for the punishment of my sin in my place and was resurrected to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sin and enter into my life. Be my Lord and Great Shepherd. I want to follow You. Make me a new creation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Help me to understand how much You love me and care about me. Be my life, my Helper, and my strength. In the mighty name of Jesus, the name above all names. Amen.
If you said this prayer, congratulations for entering God’s kingdom. Please find a Bible believing church and an accurate translation of the Bible so that you can grow in an understanding of your salvation and who God is, not what the mainstream media or Hollywood says He is. See you upstairs.