DO DOGS GO TO HEAVEN?
– M.A. LaClair
We are told in Titus 3:9 to avoid stupid controversies (RSV) and to not get involved in arguing over unanswerable questions and controversial theological ideas (The Living Bible)
First let me say that I don’t think asking whether dogs go to heaven is a stupid question, nor do I believe it is unanswerable from Scripture. The writer of Ecclesiastes asked this question thousands of years ago. His pondering of old gives us clues for our positive answer today.
I’ve heard numerous people, and some denominations, say animals don’t have a spirit and therefore cannot go to heaven. Let’s put that statement to rest once and for all.
Eccl 3:21 “Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?” RSV
This is saying that the beasts (animals) do indeed have a spirit.
Eccl 12:7 “Then shall dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” NKJV
emphasis mine. This is not saying all will live in Heaven, but all will return for judgment
Chapter eleven and chapter sixty-five of the Prophet Isaiah each describe the new heaven and the new earth: he who dies at 100 will be considered a mere youth; the wolf and the lamb will feed together and the lion will eat straw like an ox. We don’t see that in this world, so it relates to the next. Animals will be there who will neither harm nor destroy.
Revelation mentions riders on horses coming from heaven. There are horses in heaven and animals in the new world. To me, all this confirms that there are animals at peace in heaven. Don’t worry, there will be no threatening dogs, only peaceful ones, just as the lion will be.
In addition I pose two more theories:
First, there will be trees and rivers in Heaven, and many jewels form the foundations, and Heaven’s gates are made of pearls. Do non living jewels have spirits or a soul? Does water? Yet, Scripture tells us these things are in Heaven. We will see further on in this article that Scripture also tells us trees will talk and sing.
Second, most animals are more in tune with the spirit world than a lot of men. In this life a dog can sense evil intent in man. A horse can sense the spirit of fear. Not all people like cats because they think some of them are spooky.
Do animals know God? What about the serpent in the Garden? What about Balaam’s donkey who saw an angel?* Today, some animals are more obedient through instinct than mankind is through intelligence!
About the future, Scripture says:
Isa 11:6 “… the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (NIV)
Yes, there will be animals at peace in heaven.
Our dogs and other pets who have been more loyal and obedient to the voice of the Lord in the here and now, and more loving to others in this world than possibly we ourselves have been, do have a place in the more perfect world to come. Scripture reveals it.
Third, the Scripture found in the Old Testament confirms itself in the New Testament.
“For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children (those humans which have been saved by Grace). 20 For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay –the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command-will all disappear, 21 and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children ( humans saved by Grace) enjoy. 22 For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event.” TLB (emphasis mine)
With access to the Amplified Version one will find this statement reinforced as it regards the balance of creation. These statements confirm that God has a special place for all His creation, moreover He makes humans the vanguard of all that He created.
“Study to show thyself approved, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) Do dogs go to heaven? I believe the above study shows us that we will see in heaven those dogs who were faithful to us here on earth. If you are afraid of dogs here on earth, please be assured that only peaceful dogs will be there, for in Heaven, all are at peace!
I strongly recommend the book HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Todd Burpo, now an international best seller, where a child who visited Heaven in a near death experience tells of his seeing Jesus and other things in Heaven. One of the things was his Father’s Grandfather and his dog – etc….
Also *Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician at the Steere House Nursing and Rehab Centre in Providence, Rhode Island published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 about “OSCAR THE CAT.” He finally published the non-fiction book by the same name. It is about Oscar the cat who predicted which patients were going to die and when and did so with more accuracy than experienced nurses. His article may be found on line. His book may be found or ordered most anywhere.
As an aside: The Old Testament tells us the trees cry (Zech 11:2); trees will clap their hands, the rivers and hills will rejoice (Is 55:12); Joshua’s rock was a witness because it heard (Josh 24:27) (Luke 19:40); See the authors article: SCIENCE PROVES THE BIBLE: TREES TALK, CRY AND THEY SING.
New Testament Scripture does tell us that:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the wonders HE has prepared for those who love Him! “ (1 Corinthians 2:9)
* Numbers 22:21-28 Balaam’s donkey speaks
P.S. See additionally the recent post ANIMALS WILL BE JUDGED BY GOD for more assurance, that if you will be in heaven, you will see there with you, your faithful dog (cat) or your faithful horse (etc.) One may also wish to see on this site: WILL MY HORSE BE IN HEAVEN? which incorporates much of the material herein but which also includes information special to horses.
May I direct you to my article which says it is alright to trap mice in mousetraps – scripture included – ‘we are to have dominion over animals’. This article includes an explanation given to my grand-daughters when they ‘caught me’ setting a mouse trap. It includes their reactions. It contains what many have called ‘delightful learning’.
P.P.S. I’d like to refer readers to another site about dogs and animals in heaven – a lovely story in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine on-line – it is a warm story, and the comments from their readers which follow their article are most interesting.
P.P.P.S. I now recommend the author Gary Kurz and his book on animals and heaven. I’ve just reviewed his COLD NOSES AT THE PEARLY GATES. and would suggest it to you. I’m sure this book may be found on Amazon. Happy continued reading. / M.L.