Do animals go to heaven?

Straight Talk

The Question

Do animals go to heaven? I’ve heard that they do but I’ve also heard that they don’t have souls so when they die, nothing happens to them. Is there anywhere in the Bible that says one way or the other?

Melanie City Unknown

The Answer
Part 1: Animals and Afterlife

Animals and Afterlife (Part 1)

Look around you at the created universe – the earth, grass, flowers, rocks, colors, etc. Anything you see on earth will most probably be in heaven too. Our current physical universe is a foreshadowing of the same kind of things we will see and live with in eternity. So, if we have animals here on earth, there will certainly be animals in heaven.

There are many Biblical allusions to animals in heaven. One instance that gives us a peek is the story of how Elijah left the earth. Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who did not taste death – he was translated directly to heaven via chariot. The chariot was led by horses.

“Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11) The horses came down and went back up into heaven.

So, I would say that we will see a huge variety of animals in heaven but that is usually not what someone is really asking when they wonder if animals go to heaven. They are usually wondering about their own animals such as pet dogs and cats. Do they live on earth here with us and then go on to heaven? Will we see them again? I believe that is your real question.

Animals have no ability to be “saved” and no need of it either because they have not sinned. Jesus died only for the sins of man. If animals go to heaven it is not on the basis of an eternal reward. Their consciousness and experience would be entirely different than ours. But that does not mean they won’t be there. In fact, my personal opinion is that they will be there.

For this question, the Bible is silent and therefore we can make reasoned opinions. We’ll find out who’s right or wrong when we get there. Being an animal lover, and having gone through the death of several beloved pets, I would like to see them again. If they provided so much delight on earth, think how much fun it will be in heaven!