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 Do Animals go to Heaven?

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Statesman63
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PostSubject: Do Animals go to Heaven?   Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:07 pm

I just answered this question on a different site and would like to share it here:



I’m really sorry about your loss. You have my condolences. I know that dogs are part of the family. Unfortunately the bible nowhere mentions that animals’ souls are eternal. I have to say that this does not completely rule out the possibility, but the bible actually without saying it, leans toward the notion that animals do not go to heaven.

Consider when Jesus says of man, “You are worth more than many sparrows” (Mat 10:31). Or the time where the Jesus cast the demons out of the man, and the demons begged Jesus to not send them to the Abyss. They negotiated with Jesus and Jesus agreed to cast them into the pigs, which then ran off the cliff and committed suicide. There is the serpent that God cursed and made it lose its legs and eat the dust of the ground. And all of the unclean animals not worthy of even eating or sacrificing. And even the clean animals man was commanded to sacrifice certain clean animals as an atonement for man’s sins.

Consider even Genesis 9:5-6, “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” That is saying that if an animal kills a human, the animal must be killed by man because it killed God’s special creation created in His own image.

Ecp1mps (what does that stand for?) is right. Mankind is special in respect to animals.

To take this one step further…look at Job 32:8, “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.” Let’s analyze this verse for just a moment. We know that animals do not have the understanding of the Almighty as humans do. This verse says that it is the spirit in man that gives us this knowledge of a divine Creator. So we can rule out from this verse that animals have spirits. Animals have souls, not spirits. Spirits give us understanding. Souls just give life. Humans have both souls and spirits. We have the soul that gives us life (just like animals), but we have an extra thing called a spirit that gives us an awareness of God. And of course, as you know, Christians have one more thing: the Holy Spirit. Zechariah 12:1, reads, “…The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares:…”

My last point I can make here is that although I conclude from all of this that animals that die no longer exist to be able to go to heaven, the bible is clear that there will be animals in the Millennium Kingdom. It says that the Dead Sea will team with life during that time, and that the lion and lamb will lie down together. It says that the baby will play with a snake and will not be harmed. These animals during this period will all be tamed. We will be able to walk up to a polar bear and pet it and not be afraid, and ride on the backs of great white sharks. The mere notion that the Dead Sea will come alive, I take from that that God will bring back many extinct species at that time as well. You know that the Millennium Rule of Jesus will take place just after the 7 year tribulation period, and will last for 1,000 years. After that, God is going to make a new Heaven (sky) and a new Earth (what we call Heaven). The bible says nothing as to whether or not animals will be on this new Earth, but from all signs of this current earth, teaming with life, and the Millennium time period where God will bring back more animals, strongly suggest that God loves animals so much that they will be with us for an eternity on the coming New Earth. Unfortunately, I don’t think the animals that die in this age will be on the New Earth. I wish I had better news for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Do Animals go to Heaven?   Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:04 am

This conversation took a really interesting and unexpected turn. I did not realize I was talking to someone who asked me if animals go to heaven, but was so strongly hoping I'd answer yes. I learned a lot from our discussion and I hope that we mutually benefitted. Here I'll give the transcript:

Asker's response:

its been a long rough day... i had to watch my pup watch me take her last breath... it happend so fast.. i was in a angry frustrated shock at 1st... i couldnt believe it... called my mom.. it still didnt quite hit me.. then i had to call my uncle and tell him to come over cuz Lexi died.. and thats when it really sunk in....

all day i cant stop the repeating of my baby taking her last breath right before me in my head.. thats something ill never be able to forget...... its reallllllly crushing.....

she was more than a dog.. she was a part of this family.. for 12 years. she was a family member... dogs didnt get the name "mans best friend" for no reason.. God gave dogs that title for a reason.. and because of that, since they are considered family, Heaven wouldnt be the same without our dogs...

i looked up a few searches and came across this and it really makes me feel better...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d3NPhg5OIA
_________________________________________________________________________

Asker's next post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vwp5Yot6eI&feature=related

something my mother found that yall might find interesting about what the Bible has to say about animals. brings up valid points.
___________________________________________________________________________

My post:

That is a lovely video. At this time it is a difficult thing for me to say what I should say concerning the material presented in the video. I always try to be as tactful as I can but this one is hard for me to use the correct words. This is a difficult time for you. You just lost your pet that you consider a family member. You WANT to believe that you will see him again in heaven someday. And you are reaching out to find sources that will confirm what you want to hear and believe. As far as our religion is concerned, it does not matter at all if you do believe this thing. It does no harm to the Christian doctrine or to your faith. And I'm almost tempted to say by all means believe it so that you can feel consoled. As tempted as I am to say this because I am truly concerned that you really are consoled, but as one who feels that I have been entrusted with some gift to teach the Gospel, I realize that my conscience cannot allow me to mix even some truth into the pure truth of the Gospel. I was just studying today Genesis, and seeing how that is Satan's main tactic: giving a partial truth to trick Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. He mixed truth with a lie in order to get Eve to turn from God, making it look good and appealing.

I think we have to be careful in conforming the bible into what we want it to say. As a student of the bible, I learned to not start off with what I want the bible to say and let that lead my interpretation. As a student of the bible, I strongly suggest that we submit to whatever God actually says regardless of whether or not we agree with it or whether or not we like what is said. We will discover a greater profound truth when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in His understanding and not our own.

Again, this does not go that deep because you are not turning away from God by any means at all. My conscience to preserve the truth as best I can is why I have to point out why the video is not that accurate. The best argument it gave, I concede is the Hebrew word in Genesis 7:15 being "spirit" designating an animal. Yet, as I pointed out in Job, man and animals do not share the same type of spirit. Of man, we have a spirit that makes us conscious of God.

Job 34:14-15, which was the video's climatic verse, the video paraphrases it, "the flesh passes away but the spirit lives forever." This is not an accurate paraphrase. The actual verses say, "If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust." This not only refers to mankind, but also, it is just saying that God has the power to kill mankind if He wanted (thank God He doesn't!).

The Exodus statement about Moses wanting to bring all the animals back with Him from his return from Egypt is taken out of context. Moses said that he wants to bring back the clean animals so that he can use them as a sacrifice to God. Then he says to include the unclean animals because when they return to Israel, who knows what animal God will decide to have them sacrifice as well. So that example is about killing the animals for man to worship God.

1 Corinthians 15:44 concerning the body and spirit is a verse particularly concerning people.

The Psalm 36:6 reference of God "preserving" animals: that word preserve means to rescue or protect from danger, it is not a preserving of the spirit.

And lastly, it mentioned Eccl. 3:20-21, and it again paraphrased it wrong. Here is how it reads...I'll start from verse 19, "Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other." That is simply speaking of the fact that all creatures, and mankind share the inevitable fate of death. Verse 20, "All go to the same place..." Is he talking about heaven? No, for the verse continues, "all come from dust, and to dust all return." He is saying that all go to the same place, the grave. And verse 21, "Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" That there is what we would all like to know. This is just a question raised by Solomon who is trying to find the meaning of life. He doesn't give the answer, and this was not intended to be an answer. If we were to analyze it, which I don't think this verse allows for such in depth critiquing, one could conclude that they go to different places. One goes up, the other goes down. Notice it is the human that goes "up" where heaven is, and the animal that goes "down" where the grave is. But I really think this verse is too vague to extract anything from it, for it seems to be only a hypothetical question. But it certainly does not prove that the animal goes to heaven with the human as the video's paraphrase of this verse stated.
____________________________________________________________________

Asker's response:

Psalm 150:1-6 Let Everything Praise the Lord
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!a
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! (ESV)
______________________________________________________________

My response:

That's true that all creatures praise God. I even gave JLow today Psalm 148 that says that everything, animals, even mountains, lightning, hail, snow, clouds, stormy winds, hills, fruit trees and all cedars, all praise the Lord. All of God's creation praises God. That is one of the reasons He made his creation. And the video you pointed out was correct concerning Revelation where one day during the tribulation period, the fish will surface for a moment and praise God in words. That as a testament to mankind who are rejecting God during that time. But "praising God" does not mean that they go to heaven. As you see in Psalm 148 that inanimate objects also praise God.

_____________________________________________________________________

Asker's response:

but people who have had near death experiences have visited heaven and came back with a story to tell.. that their dog was up their waiting for their arrival and greeted them just as if they would when they was young and been a way for a while...

unless you dont credit near death experiences..

when there are no clear cut answers about that in the Bible.. just speculation..

___________________________________________________________________

My response:

I do credit some near death experiences. I believe that some of them have seen something and returned to tell about it. But the bible to me has to take precedence over a purported experience. If they say things that do not conflict with Scripture, I listen without making any judgments at all.

But like I said, feel free to believe that you will see your pet in heaven one day. It does nothing to our faith if we believe that and it does nothing if we don't believe that. This reminds me of what Paul says in Corinthians. He says do not bicker over frivolous things that the Scriptures do not clearly reveal (that is a pretty close paraphase there). I said that the Scriptures do not clearly reveal one way or the other. I just stated which way I see the Scriptures leaning towards. But Paul also said of things just like this topic (that is: topics that are not clear cut commands in the bible) that if one wants to believe in one thing, let him; and if a person wants to believe in something else, let him. (Just to give you my source, I am refering to where Paul was talking about foods sacrificed to idols. The bible did not give a clear cut command concerning whether or not a Christian can eat food sacrified to idols or not, and God inspired Paul said that if no such command is given then it is okay to do so, but do not tempt the person who does not feel it is right to do so just because you know your freedom in Christ. This is the same type of thing. I am not going to stand in your way of believing that animals go to heaven.



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PostSubject: Re: Do Animals go to Heaven?   Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:13 pm

Asker has the final response:

i was looking up some things on the rainbow bridge last night... it made me feel much better and i believe that.. and our belief goes a long way...

what does "dog" spell backwards? what are dogs known as? mans best friend. where do all dogs go? to heaven.. what does God preach? to love... who loves more than a dog?
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