A colleague sent me a note the other day, more of a joke than anything, about a business that promises to take care of your pet after the Rapture.
But it’s no joke. It’s a real for-profit enterprise.
The company, Eternal Earth Bound Pets, USA, was started by a consortium of atheists. From their website:
“Q: Is this a joke? A: No. This is a serious offer to our Christian friends who believe in the Second Coming and honestly care about the future of their pets after the Rapture occurs.”
They charge $110 per house and promise to place your animal with those left behind. They claim it’s “The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World.”
But what if cats and dogs aren’t left behind…what if our pets go to Heaven?
It’s a question with no clear biblical answer, but I suspect a lot of people have their own opinion.
I’m not so sure; my wife, Jean, thinks they do. She isn’t alone.
A man once asked Dr. Billy Graham whether his dog would go to heaven. The great evangelist answered:
“God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
Hank Hanegraff, otherwise known as “The Bible Answerman”, considered the question through the prism of the Scriptures:
“First, the Garden of Eden was populated by animals, thus there is a precedent for believing that Eden restored will also be populated by animals. Furthermore, the Scriptures –from first to last– suggest that animals have souls. Both Moses in Genesis and John in Revelation communicate that the Creator endowed animals with souls (see Gen. 1:20, 24; Rev. 8:9) Throughout the history of the church, the classic understanding of living things has included the doctrine that animals, as well as humans, have souls.”
C.S. Lewis had an opinion, too.
“It seems to me possible,” he once wrote, “that certain animals may have immortality, not in themselves, but in the immortality of their masters.”
Popular author Randy Alcorn reflected on the topic in his owns writings on heaven. Mr. Alcorn believes that Romans 8:18-22 may speak to this topic when it says “all creation” suffers because of human sin and longs for deliverance that will come with our resurrection. It may well be that “all creation” includes animals. At the time when God’s people are raised from the dead, creation will experience what it longs for. It will be “set free from bondage to decay” (Rom 8:21).
He concludes that if animals on this Earth will experience life without suffering on the new Earth, it seems possible that some of those animals could well be our pets.
The book of Isaiah (11:6-9) offers a stirring image of what Heaven will be like, and it does suggest there will be animals, all living in beautiful and peaceful coexistence.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
Martin Luther, the great reformer of the Christian faith, seemed to think our dogs would be with us in heaven. “Be thou comforted, little dog,” he once said. “Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail.”
But what do you think?
Do dogs and cats go to heaven?