Do Dogs Go to Heaven?

From Issue: Discovery 6/1/2010

Dear Reader,

Several years ago there was a movie titled “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” That title brings to mind a very interesting question. Do animals really go to heaven? When God created humans, He made them different from all the animals. He created them “in His image” (Genesis 1:26-27) and He gives each human a soul that will live forever in either heaven or hell. God did not create any of the animals in His image, nor do animals have immortal souls. Even though we may love our dog, cat, hamster, guinea pig, or pet cockroach (yes, people in other countries have very expensive pet cockroaches), those animals do not go to heaven or hell when they die. Animals are like plants, or bacteria, they simply die and that is how their lives end. When we think about that, it makes perfect sense. We know that God does not send dogs to hell for stealing bones from other dogs. He does not send lions to hell for eating gazelles. Nor do animals earn heaven by being obedient to their masters or helping blind people get around. God does not reward oxygen for allowing you to breath and live. And water does not go to heaven because it helps humans stay alive. Even so, animals do not go to heaven or hell when they die; they simply cease to exist. But don’t worry about missing your animal in heaven; God has designed eternal life to be so wonderful for humans, they will not miss the pets that they had on Earth.


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