Pets & The Rapture: Animals In Heaven?

Proverbs 12:10 (KJV) “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

We are frequently asked whether we believe there are animals in Heaven. And one of the most difficult questions for animal lovers is whether our animals will be left behind at the Rapture.

There is no black and white answer either way. There is NO place in Scripture that says we cannot have our pets with us in Heaven, even though the more “mature” among us seem to scoff at the idea. Well, they can scoff all they want but they have no Biblical basis for being dogmatic in their opinion.

So, let’s just lay it out in the open. Here is our opinion on the matter, in light of what Scripture DOES tell us.

Pets In Heaven?

Seby and Asa: Buddies
Sebby and Asa (deceased 2016) using the power of those big puppy eyes to beg for BACON.

Psalm 50:10-11 (KJV) “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”

First, there is no reason to believe we won’t have our pets with us when we go to Heaven. The Bible doesn’t say we will take our pets with us, but it doesn’t say we will NOT.

Will there be animals in Heaven? Some will say, “NO.” But wait. Then where do the MILLIONS of HORSES come from when we ride back to earth behind Jesus at His 2nd Coming???

“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:14)

Those are NOT Angels riding those horses because they have never NOT been clean. The reference is to the once-unclean saints now being presented CLEAN by the blood of the lamb (Revelation 1:5). And we all have our own white HORSE, something like the Lone Ranger’s “Silver”!

If there are horses, why not other animals? There are “creatures” in Heaven (PLURAL): stork-like creatures (Zechariah 5:9), living creatures (Revelation 5:13), beasts (Revelation 5:11).  And this clearly appears to be a SAMPLE, not a complete list of the animals, beasts and creatures in Heaven.

Is It Not Possible With God?

Moriah with Charlie’s puppy-girl, Roxy.

If the Lord allows us and we want our pets, what in the WORLD could keep us from having our pets? Nothing. Is there some reason God would be UNABLE to give us our pets in Heaven? You say, “Yes,” and I’ll say, “BLASPHEMY.”

There is NOTHING too difficult for our God!

Some might say, “Well, I think we will not even worry about our pets.” Maybe, but that makes it sound like we’ll be zombie-like or emotionless or soul-less type creatures in Heaven, but God is in Heaven and He loves and cares for animals (Exodus 21:33-34, Exodus 34:26, Numbers 3:13, etc.) and He’s packed Heaven with millions of horses and unknown numbers of other “creatures”.  And we will be LIKE HIM (1 John 3:2).

So, we don’t know for CERTAIN but we can rest assured that God will do what is right and good (Genesis 18:25) and at this point in time, I believe that would include allowing His children to have their PETS with them in Heaven with all the other animals in Heaven.

And ain’t no one, YET, ever proven my belief in this matter wrong!

Case In Point…
My concerns with this actually began before I had pets. I was pastoring in Cincinnati 25 years ago and this poor lady lost her dog. And she said she was grieving and asked for prayer. Then she said that she looked forward to seeing her little dog in Heaven.

At that point, some old codger quipped about “we won’t need pets in Heaven and the Bible never says anything about our pets in Heaven, so we’d better get used to that.”

I said a few things to console the poor lady but had to admit that I hadn’t put much thought into it. Then and over the years since, I’ve become more convinced that it is LIKELY that we will have our pets with us in Heaven. And I am sure that there is nothing in God’s Book that says otherwise!

Answering An Objection
Since posting this article, originally, we have been asked about  Ecclesiastes 3:21 (KJV) which says, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? ”

In the first place, many commentators believe this verse is emphasizing the reality of, “Who knoweth?”  Because of the full context of the passage (read the whole secetion from verse 16 through the end of the chapter in verse 22) and construct of the sentence, Solomon seemed to be throwing the matter into question and not making an emphatic statement about which way the spirit of man and spirit of animals go.  And Dispensationalist should NOT be going to Ecclesiastes as a LONE source for doctrine.

The fact is, at the time that Solomon was writing, ALL spirits of men went DOWN into Paradise (Abraham’s bosom) OR Hell.  Read Luke 16:19-31 for an account of how this works and consider, in answer to Solomon’s question in Ecclesiastes 3:21, the New Testament revelation that the spirits of men went DOWN before they went UP.

Again, the sound doctrinal truth of the matter is that when Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes 3:21, ALL spirits went DOWN.  It was only AFTER the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that believers went UP.  This change took place whenever Jesus died and went into the lower parts of the earth to PREACH (not suffer) to those in Hell and RELEASE those in Paradise:

1 Peter 3:19 (KJV) “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; ”

Ephesians 4:8-10 (KJV) “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

For a more complete study on this, we suggest you follow along with this study in Ephesians 4:7-10 titled, “Jesus In The Lower Parts Of The Earth” by clicking here for Part One and here for Part Two.

At any rate, we are not even arguing for animals entering the presence of the Lord in the same way believers do according to 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (KJV) which says:

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Animals are not “saved” or “lost”, so when they die they cease to exist.  And they will not go to Heaven immediately when they die.  But our point is that IN the regeneration after the Millennium, the Bible says that the whole CREATION will be redeemed:

Romans 8:21-22 (KJV) “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”

Revelation 21:1 (KJV) “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

This new, redeemed creation will include animals.  Would that not include our pets?  If you say, “No.”  We ask, “Why not?”

There is no answer to that question.

Animals do not go to Hell because that place was created for Satan and his devils (Matthew 25:41) and only those whose names are not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will go THERE (Revelation 20:15).

And if the saved are bodily regenerated (glorified) a little more than 1,007 years BEFORE that final, complete regeneration of Creation, then is there any basis for saying that we could not have our pets with us either during the Marriage Supper or, at least, during the 1,000 year Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ?

You may CHOOSE to believe that there are no pets in Heaven, but that is not based on Scripture as it does not make such a statement.  And you may say the same thing aboutthose of us who CHOOSE to blieve that we WILL have our pets in Heaven.  And we freely admit that we cannot make a dogmatic, Biblical statement.

But as you are seeing in this article, we have reason to believe that we WILL have our pets with us in Heaven.  And you have no reason or Biblical basis to dogmatically claim that we are wrong.  If there WERE such Scrptures telling us clearly that our PETS will not be among the animals that WILL be there with us in the new creation, then we would drop the matter.  But such Scripture simply do not exist.

In the meantime, we think about what we ARE told about our future in His glory and presence, and we can only be excited and expectant!  And that includes the possibility of seeing our pets there:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV) “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

–Pastor Greg Miller

Pastor Greg (to the right with a coffee cup) next to a bear.

We would also like to add these comments from fellow Bible teacher, Mike Kahler.

There is plenty of mention of animals during the Millennial reign of Jesus, also. These folks who don’t think there will be animals in heaven must think the animals will be destroyed before we enter into the New Jerusalem. I see Scripture like Isaiah 65:25,

“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”

How about Isaiah 11:6-9,

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

I believe if there are going to be animals around when we’re under the 1000 year reign of King Jesus, why would it end when we’re in eternity with the LORD in the New Jerusalem.

I read the description of the New Jerusalem and see all the precious stones that are the foundations of the city, the 12 pearls that make up the 12 gates, the streets of gold, the crystal clear river that flows from the throne of God, the 12 trees bearing 12 fruits and their leaves, angels, and man, and yet we’re supposed to believe there won’t be any animals! I just don’t get the line of thinking that there will not be animals in heaven. God saved them from the flood and He will save them from the destruction of this old earth and old heaven.

I believe they will be with us in the new earth and new heaven along with everything else God created!

— Brother Mike Kahler

Brother Mike Kahler laughing like Sebby (pictured at the top).

Will we see our pets in Heaven? 

I can’t say, absolutely.  But what a JOY it is to think of that possibility.  And below are photos of some of the family pets the we may see when we get there!

Ninja left Jenny, Charlie & Matt in 2006.
Brother Jonathan Watson’s buddy-fish, “Killer the Pleco” (deceased 2018).
Vladimir lives with the Albaughs in Columbus.
This is Oakley. His humans are the Shingler family.
Odie belongs to Gloria but Steve & Moriah help take care of him.
Dee Marie’s little Bibi (Chihuahua, deceased 2008).
Pepper Shingler, King Over The Kittens, left us in 2018.
A more recent photo of Sebby being held by him mommy, Jenny.
Jon Hartman’s Princess.
Nala Grace’s family is Mark and Jenn Vass.
Mark and Jenn lost Scrapper in 2009. Great memories.
Molly is Sheila Vasicek’s little rescue fur baby.
Jeffie is Larry Franklin’s pup.
Larry Franklin’s old buddies, Binni and Cooper.
Tigger is the Farizo family kitty.
Leroy, the Shuping family’s brave watch dog, is all WET.
Nacoma is safe in the arms of Jordan Shuping.
Little Bella beind held by her adoptive momma Charmane Shuping.
Snoopy lives in the Netherlands with his human, Paul Van Batum.
Bo also lives in the Netherlands with his human Paul Van Batum.
Chumly claimed this BOX, his home inside his home with his human Aaron Zents.
Angel lives in Taiwan with her human Elizabeth Lim.
Jerry blessed the Bardwell’s in Ukraine until his passing in 2017.
Ellie is in the Ukraine with her human Laurel Bardwell and family.
Lady is the second of three puppies living in the Ukrain with the Bardwell family.
Tempy is lady’s daughter, living in the Ukraine with the Bardwell family.
Chinese Takeout is an outdoor pet with the Bardwells in Ukraine and is dearly loved.
Sarah Von Rodo is the first and only pet hamster to live with the Bardwell family in Ukraine.
Baby Chicks being guarded by Lady in Ukraine with the Bardwell family.
Teddy lives in New York with sister Faith and family.
Bella lives with her maw Kernessa in Tennessee.
Thumper is the name we gave to brother Wade’s bunny in Tennessee.
Peyton poses with Emma and pappaw Byron Smith in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Buster, Blackey, Smokey & Socks live with Charann in Texas.