Omega, my beloved Doberman, gets me.
Truly there are moments when our eyes meet, and I see intelligence, emotion and genuine two-way communication between us. On the rare occasion when I am at home but my dog is not, the space seems empty.
Not once have I experienced anything even remotely similar to that with a bug.
Pets and Pests?
People have asked me many times if our pets will be in Heaven. Never has anyone shown the same concern by inquiring about the eternal destination of the arch nemesis of campers everywhere: the mosquito. If even one of those blood suckers makes it inside the pearly gates, then would Heaven really be Heaven?
Here is the thing, though: God created those creeping and buzzing things and called them good (Genesis 1:24). And even more radically, the creeping things are called to praise the Lord, right alongside humans and other animals (Psalm 148:10-13). In Revelation 5, John sees a future event in which every creature, even those under the earth, join in the worship of Jesus.
I can hear the objections now: “If the Bible says there will be no more pain in Heaven, then there is no way those pesky, biting bugs will be there.”
Not so fast! God created the creeping things in Genesis 1. At the point of creation, they were good. The fall of mankind did not happen until Genesis 3. Following the fall, we saw distinct physical changes in the perfect world Adam and Eve had previously known. The most obvious example was the serpent lost its legs, and God forced it to slither on its belly from that point forward. Thorns and thistles began growing out of the ground, whereas previously they did not.
What if there were adaptations in the insect world as well? What if, before the fall, mosquitoes received their nourishment without needing to bite? What if bees hadn’t needed a stinger when all things lived in harmony. And, seriously, I just cannot imagine that when God created locusts, their initial purpose was to serve as one of the destructive plagues in Egypt.
For my animal-loving friends, this is where we must be careful and stick closely to what the Bible says rather than allowing our emotions to dictate our theological stance on a matter.
It is easy to envision forever as frolicking through green fields with a cherished pony from our childhood. Why? Because ponies are cute, and we can connect with them. But the idea that the creepy crawlers of Earth might still exist in Heaven is not so pleasant a prospect. We assume pets get in, while bugs stay out.
We simply must understand that, even involving subjects where emotions run high, we cannot be dogmatic in areas where Scripture is silent.
Do I want pets to be in Heaven? Of course I do! I hope — no, I pray — my dignified doberman is guarding the perimeter of my heavenly home when I get there. And you know what? It would be just like my extravagant God to allow it.
But that doesn’t mean I can assume He’ll keep out the mosquitoes.