A little girl once asked Billy Graham if her dog would be in Heaven. The great evangelist replied by telling the child that if the presence of her beloved pet would make her happier, then yes, he would be there.
As a dog lover, I should be good with that. I mean, if Billy Graham said it, that has to carry some weight, right?
But those who know my meddlesome brain know, although I do respect the late Rev. Graham, I need something more sturdy to hang my leash on. So, despite knowing the number of pastors and teachers who cooly close the door on heavenly pets — as if it shouldn’t matter to animal lovers like me — I wanted to study this very subject.
And what I’ve found is that, despite not knowing if my pets will be in Heaven, I do know animals will be there. But not just animals. Trees, flowers and plants will be there, too!
God Is an Animal Lover
Throughout the Bible, we see the value God places on His creation, animals included. He so loves the creatures He designed that not even one sparrow falls to the ground without Him knowing about it (Matthew 10:29).
In an easily overlooked detail in the book of Jonah, when God was reprimanding Jonah over his lack of concern for the people of Nineveh, God rhetorically asked if He should not pity those 120,000 clueless people in that city along with their cattle (Jonah 4:11). Did God really want to show mercy to the Ninevites and their cows? Apparently so!
Our knowledge from the Bible about animals goes beyond this present Earth, too.
In Isaiah 11, God describes what life will be like when the Messiah physically returns and rules. Here we delight in beautiful scenes of wolves hanging out with lambs, leopards taking naps with goats, and cows and bears both grazing in the field together. Carnivores will become herbivores. Gone will be the days of predator versus prey. Curiously, we get so absorbed in the peacefulness of this scene that we look past the very presence of so many animals.
In the Garden of Eden, God’s perfect creation, animals were there. When God created the animals, He said that it was good. Would He suddenly change His mind and not include animals in His new Earth? That is highly unlikely.
There is much more to say on the subject. Rest assured, we are just getting our feet wet and will continue this train of thought in future articles. But I will end with this reminder: Jesus has a horse (Revelation 19:11). And on an appointed day in the future, the door to Heaven will open, and He will ride His white horse to victory over evil.
As if anything could be better than that, we are told the armies of Heaven wrapped in white robes (these are the followers of Jesus) accompany the King of kings on their own white horses.
I may not know if my pets will be in Heaven, but it looks like I’ll have a white horse for sure!