Will we see our pets again in heaven?

Q. Will I see my pet dog in heaven? I miss her every day. She has passed on due to a hit and run accident 4 years ago. At first when it happened, I was very upset with God. I couldn’t understand why he allowed this to happen. I entrusted my dog’s safety to him. But over the years, I saw how God used her death for good purposes and slowly, I heal. I kept wishing and hoping that I would see her again but I fear so much that it wouldn’t happen.

I haven’t found a specific, direct answer to your question in the Bible, but my personal belief is that yes, we will see our beloved pets again in heaven.

I base this answer not so much on a particular biblical teaching as on the overall biblical message, that God’s salvation is intended to renew the entire creation. It is not limited to the regeneration of human souls and the eventual resurrection of human bodies. God wants to restore the creation to its original harmony and beauty, and originally humans lived with animals peacefully and cooperatively.

So I don’t see why heaven wouldn’t bring back this arrangement, and I don’t see why individual animals who lived on earth wouldn’t get in on it, just as individual humans who lived on earth will. Certainly the biblical prophets’ visions of God’s renewed creation include animals, and they are living once again in harmony with one another and with humans. As Isaiah says, for example:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.

So while, as I said, I can’t cite a specific biblical passage that answers your question directly, I think you have every reason to hope confidently that you will see your friend again.

William Strutt, “Peace,” 1896

 

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is a writer and biblical scholar who is also an ordained minister. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He has an A.B. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

2 thoughts on “Will we see our pets again in heaven?”

  1. I stumbled on your blog this morning in search on answers about sacrifice in the Old Testament. I then noticed your latest blog entry. I am a believer in the afterlife. I am also a practicing veterinarian. I have, on countless occasions had the chance to offer words of comfort at the passing of a beloved pet. I honestly believe that our pets will be with us in heaven. Thanks for your thoughtful response to this person’s question. ~ ron

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