Animals in Heaven

 

Since animals do not have immortal souls, we might think the answer to the question, “Do animals go to heaven?” is no. Several facts, however, make one hesitant to be satisfied with a simple “no.” Our eternal home is a new earth (Isaiah 65:17ff, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Isaiah 65:25 speaks of it as a place in which the wolf and the lamb live together peacefully.

This may be figurative language, but one other passage suggests animals might be in our eternal home. Romans 8:21 says that “the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage.” In this present, sin-cursed world, we inflict suffering on animals, and they inflict suffering on us. At Christ’s coming, when this world is freed from the effects of sin, animals, too, will be freed from suffering.

 

That text also says the creation will be “brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” That might mean there may be plants and animals in the new earth as there were in the first earth. If there are animals on the new earth, they will be good creatures of God as the animals of the first earth were.

 

In short, the answer is a cautious “maybe.”

© 2014 Redeemer Lutheran Church, School and Child Care, Englewood FL

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