What Happens To Our Pets When They Die?

Our black lab, Bruce, with his sumo penguin

I once saw a picture of a moronic preacher who, about a decade ago, decided to jump into the lion’s den at his local zoo and preach the gospel to the wild beasts. His reason for this was because he felt the need to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lions “in order that they might be saved.” Not smart. But it does beg the question, “What happens to animals when they die?” and “What happens to our pets when they die? Do they go to heaven?” Disney made a movie stating that all dogs go to Heaven, but no mention of cats, ferrets, mice, hamsters, etc., which resurfaces the original question.

Here’s my thought on this: Revelation talks of horses coming from heaven. There’s also much symbolism with the forms of animals. So if horses, eagles, bears and lions, then why not other animals also?

The question that often arises though is that if we (humans) are saved by accepting Jesus Christ into our lives, and that we humans must accept Jesus Christ in order to be saved, then how are animals saved? “For God so loved the (Kosmos: world, creation, everything that exists, etc.) that He gave His one and only Son, so that whomever should believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” But animals can’t repent of their sins, pray, and ask forgiveness, can they? So how are they saved? Can they be saved?

One argument that I often hear is about the fact that God breathed life into Adam, but we don;t read of Him doing that with the animals. This continues on to saying that animals don’t have souls, and therefore will not go to heaven when they die. I’m guessing this also compares to the arguments that animals only live by instincts, not by choice. I have to disagree with this theory, though. If you’ve ever volunteered with an animal shelter (dog/cat, etc.), or have ever owned such an animal, then you would have noticed that their behavior is not always simply by instinct. For example, they recognize their owners’ voices and smells. If I call our beagle up to the bed, you can see that he’s deciding on preference, not instinct. When he holds in his pee until we can take him outside, it’s not because of instinct but because he’s mature in his training. When he obeys or disobeys, it’s not due to instincts but preference. When he steps in my path and I almost trip over him, the expression in his face/eyes are confusion. You get the idea of what I’m saying.

In a conversation with somebody about this once, the next question that came up was, “by what basis are they judged?” And another person’s thought on that was, “What if the decision of an animal’s destination depends on how they treat humans?” But then, what of the stories in the Old Testament when God sent wild bears and lions to maul people to their deaths?

Interesting thoughts.

So what do you think? Do you think animals/pets go to Heaven when they die? If so, then is it all or just some, and if not all, then on basis do you think they’re judged?

1 Comment

  1. As for that pastor who put himself in the lion’s den, “Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test’” (Matthew 4:7). I do believe there will be no sea creatures in the future, per the sneak preview in Revelation 21:1–“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more”. And in order to see this main attraction called the new heaven and the new earth, put your trust in Jesus as Savior, if you haven’t already, in order to be ready (John 3:16).

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