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Cats In Heaven?
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Photo: Trisha Shears
My cat died recently, and I want to know if she’ll be in heaven. I’ve heard "No, she won’t be there," and I’ve heard "Yes, she will be there." I’m confused. Do you know the answer?

Pastor Steve Answers:

Anyone who’s been close to a pet wants to be assured that their pet will be with them in heaven. But the Bible doesn’t give a clear yes or no on the topic. So that’s probably why you’ve heard both answers.

As you mature you’ll discover that there are plenty of other topics the Bible doesn’t come right out and say yes or no about. So for those looking to the Bible as an answer book, this can be disappointing. But the Bible isn’t intended to be a dictionary or encyclopedia.

It seems to me that the Bible was written as a communication tool for God to be in contact with humans and for humans to understand God better. Perhaps we can find out enough about God to come up with an idea of whether or not our pets will be in heaven.

Since God is love (1 John 4:8), and since heaven is a wonderful place God is preparing for His people (John 14:1-3), surely God would include a special pet as part of heaven. After all, God created all the animals in the first place, actually forming them out of the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:19), just as He did Adam (Genesis 2:7).

Because God commanded Adam and Eve to be masters over the rest of the creation (Genesis 1:28), many people make a clear separation between humans and other parts of God’s creation.

And although the rest of creation suffered from Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and suffered a similar fate during the Flood, God spared a portion of the animals in the ark, enough to keep those species alive. In that sense God did "save" the animals, at least during the Flood.

When Jesus came to save humanity, He demonstrated even more tenderness and compassion than most people expected (Matthew 5:38-48). He included women and children, who were often excluded by others (Luke 7:36—8:3; Mark 10:13-16).

But I’m not aware of any examples in the Gospels that describe Jesus healing an animal or resurrecting a pet or farm animal. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen. I’m just saying that if it did happen, it wasn’t recorded in the Bible.

Jesus did say that people were more important than animals (see Matthew 12:11, 12), which doesn’t mean that animals don’t count. It’s just that humans are more important.

Will your pet be in heaven? I don’t know. But I do know that all of creation is looking forward to the end of this earth. Perhaps if we look forward to it as well, that hope will sustain us while we wait to see Jesus and all He has in store for us in heaven!

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By Steve Case. Reprinted with permission from Insight Magazine Online. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.


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