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Do animals go to heaven?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by atpollard View Post
    Just a reminder of the question actually being asked.

    Can animals recieve Salvation?
    The answer to that is that animals don't need salvation because they aren't capable of sinning. Animals can do things that would be considered sins if done by a human, but animals have no concept of right and wrong so they aren't held accountable of what they do.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
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    • #17
      Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
      Please note, I'm not asking the standard "will I see my pet in heaven?" question, as Heaven is about a relationship with God not earthly relationships.

      Can an animal have that relationship or be saved in its own right? I've heard multiple answers across different faiths so I am curious what the views are here. Everything from the basic statement that St. Francis preached to the animals because they could be saved, to saying that animals could be saved if they had been accepted as part of a family that were saved (I think that was based on children and animals being by default below the age of choice), to a church group saying no but preaching a very complicated reincarnation theory for animal spirits which I couldn't find a Biblical basis for.

      For myself I follow the Church of England's official line. The Lambeth Conference 1998 stated that while makind was the steward of and had mastery over animals: "(iii) the redemptive purpose of God in Jesus Christ extends to the whole of creation."

      Which belief do you follow?
      The following is a direct quote of God pertinent to your question. "And for Your life blood 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." Gen. 9:5
      Last edited by Theodore A. Jones; 04-15-2017, 08:08 PM. Reason: spelling
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      • #18
        I can't figure out why animals will go to heaven. Man was redeemed by Christ and that's why when we as humans repent from our evil ways we are sure of making heaven. Animals were not redeemed, in fact man was to dominate over animals and other creatures on Earth. To think that animals can go to heaven is a fundamental error I think.
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        • #19
          Originally posted by tony View Post
          Animals were not redeemed
          Animals don't need to be redeemed because they are incapable of sinning.
          Clyde Herrin's Blog
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          • #20
            Originally posted by theophilus View Post
            Animals don't need to be redeemed because they are incapable of sinning.
            You are perfectly correct, it is man that sin, animals can't be said to have sinned.
            I am worried over a topic like this.
            Comment>

            • #21
              There is an interesting passage in Romans 8.

              For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
              Paul's point is that the whole of creation suffers to be released from the bondage of sin. It is not only human beings but all of creation that need to be freed. Paul example of creation being subjected to futility and groaning to be set free from its bondage of corruption speaks to the need of the whole universe being redeemed from sin, not just human beings but everything.
              Comment>

              • #22
                Hi Brother, I know this is going to sound a little inane to you (or perhaps a lot :eek:), but just to make sure that I'm clear about this, you're saying that the whole of creation needs to be freed from something that is totally our fault, that we caused, that our first parents originally "subjected" it to .. not that the rest of creation had anything to do with it, yes? (trees and beasts not being very capable of sinning and all ;))

                Thanks!

                --David


                "Man in his pomp will not endure, he
                is like the beasts that perish"

                Psalm 49:12



                Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                Comment>

                • #23
                  Originally posted by David Lee View Post
                  Hi Brother, I know this is going to sound a little inane to you (or perhaps a lot :eek:), but just to make sure that I'm clear about this, you're saying that the whole of creation needs to be freed from something that is totally our fault, that we caused, that our first parents originally "subjected" it to .. not that the rest of creation had anything to do with it, yes? (trees and beasts not being very capable of sinning and all ;))

                  Thanks!

                  --David

                  "Man in his pomp will not endure, he
                  is like the beasts that perish"

                  Psalm 49:12




                  Yes sir I am. David it is not inane at all.
                  Comment>

                  • #24
                    OK, great :) .. (and thanks for your kind response to my question ;)).

                    I'd like to ask you another question then, though this one is about a different topic all together. It concerns the verse from the Psalms that I posited above, as well it's surrounding text. I'll post it here:

                    Psalm 49
                    10 For he sees that even wise men die;
                    The stupid and the senseless alike perish
                    And leave their wealth to others.
                    11 Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
                    And their dwelling places to all generations;
                    They have called their lands after their own names.
                    12 But man in his pomp will not endure;
                    He is like the beasts that perish
                    .

                    13 This is the way of those who are foolish,
                    And of those after them who approve their words.

                    Selah.

                    14 As sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
                    Death shall be their shepherd;
                    And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
                    And their form shall be for Sheol to consume
                    So that they have no habitation.
                    15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
                    For He will receive me.
                    I know this is about the fate of the rich who are reprobate, who will be consumed/lost in Hell and are not Heaven-bound. But, in regards to this thread, how much of the above passage can be understood to be speaking about our critters fate, because considering all that this passage has to say, there doesn't seem to be much hope that we will see our pets in Glory.

                    Or am I reading WAY to much into this?

                    Thanks!

                    Yours and His,
                    David
                    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                    Comment>

                    • #25
                      Here too is a small excerpt for Calvin's Institutes where he says similar things to the Psalmist, and seems to have a similar opinion of our critters:

                      This is from a section where he is discussing our need to get our focus off of our present life, and meditate on our future life with God instead .. Institutes 3/9/1.

                      1. The vanity of this life
                      Whatever kind of tribulation presses upon us, we must ever look to this end: to accustom ourselves to contempt for the present life and to be aroused thereby to meditate upon the future life. For since God knows best how much we are inclined by nature to a brutish love of this world, he uses the fittest means to draw us back and to shake off our sluggishness, lest we cleave too tenaciously to that love. There is not one of us, indeed, who does not wish to seem throughout his life to aspire and strive after heavenly immortality. For it is a shame for us to be no better than brute beasts, whose condition would be no whit inferior to our own if there were not left to us hope of eternity after death.

                      --David
                      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                      Comment>

                      • #26
                        Originally posted by David Lee View Post
                        OK, great :) .. (and thanks for your kind response to my question ;)).

                        I'd like to ask you another question then, though this one is about a different topic all together. It concerns the verse from the Psalms that I posited above, as well it's surrounding text. I'll post it here:

                        I know this is about the fate of the rich who are reprobate, who will be consumed/lost in Hell and are not Heaven-bound. But, in regards to this thread, how much of the above passage can be understood to be speaking about our critters fate, because considering all that this passage has to say, there doesn't seem to be much hope that we will see our pets in Glory.

                        Or am I reading WAY to much into this?

                        Thanks!

                        Yours and His,
                        David
                        The word "sheol" can refer to the grave (and by extension death itself - see NIV "They are like sheep and are destined to die"). In the case of verse 14 the idea of grave (or even death) is the best option because the second line clarifies the first (i.e. "death shall be their shepherd"). Thus the idea is that wealth is of no avail. We are end up in the grave.

                        Line four is a continuation of the same idea. I prefer the ESV in this case (i.e. "Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.') The Hebrew verb for "consumed" is בָּלָה. It means "to wear out." That fits with context of sheol being the grave.

                        Thus the underworld (i.e. the realm of the dead) is unlikely given the context. Does that help? Does that make any sense?

                        As far the pet thing goes, I hope my quote from Rom. 8 did not give the wrong idea. My only point was that the whole of creation is in need of redemption because of sin.
                        Comment>

                        • #27
                          Originally posted by David Lee View Post
                          Here too is a small excerpt for Calvin's Institutes where he says similar things to the Psalmist, and seems to have a similar opinion of our critters:

                          This is from a section where he is discussing our need to get our focus off of our present life, and meditate on our future life with God instead .. Institutes 3/9/1.


                          --David
                          In this case I would point you to Calvin's commentary on this Psalm verse 12.

                          Having exposed the vain and delusory nature of the fancies entertained by the ungodly, he next shows that however fondly they may cherish them, they must experience the same fate with the beasts of the field. It is true that there is a great difference, so far as the soul is concerned, between man and the brute creation; but the Psalmist speaks of things as they appear in this world, and in this respect he was warranted to say of the ungodly that they die as the beasts. His subject does not lead him to speak of the world to come. He is reasoning with the children of this world, who have no respect to another, and no idea of a farther happiness than that which they enjoy here. He accordingly ridicules their folly in conceiving of themselves as privileged with exemption from the ordinary lot of humanity, and warns them that death will soon be near to humble their presumptuous thoughts, and put them on a level with the meanest of the lower creatures. This I prefer to the more ingenious interpretation which some would put upon the words, that they reduced themselves to the level of beasts by not recognising the true dignity of their nature, which consists in the possession of a never-dying soul. The Psalmist’s great aim is to show the vanity of the boasting of the wicked, from the nearness of death, which must join them in one common fate with the beasts of the field. The last word in the verse gives the reason why the ungodly may be compared to the beasts.
                          Comment>

                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Origen View Post
                            There is an interesting passage in Romans 8.

                            Paul's point is that the whole of creation suffers to be released from the bondage of sin. It is not only human beings but all of creation that need to be freed. Paul example of creation being subjected to futility and groaning to be set free from its bondage of corruption speaks to the need of the whole universe being redeemed from sin, not just human beings but everything.
                            I think it would be perfectly reasonable to interpret this passage to mean all of mankind, i.e. Jews and Gentiles, not animals, plants, and rocks. Alternatively, as mankind has dominion over creation, the redemption of mankind may be sufficient to release creation from its "groaning" - under the yoke of man's corrupted rule.

                            While I don't see a problem loving pets as part of God's creation, I think it is problematic to give them more importance than they deserve and can be a distraction from holiness. God gave us dominion over animals; He did not raise them up to be our equals. That being said, it is perfectly within God's power to bring animals into heaven (God can do whatever He wants). My point is that perhaps God wants the pet owner to let go of his or her anxiety over losing the pet and focus on following Christ.
                            Comment>

                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Isidore View Post
                              I think it would be perfectly reasonable to interpret this passage to mean all of mankind, i.e. Jews and Gentiles, not animals, plants, and rocks. Alternatively, as mankind has dominion over creation, the redemption of mankind may be sufficient to release creation from its "groaning" - under the yoke of man's corrupted rule.
                              Hey Isidore. I cannot agree with you for a number of reasons but will only address two.

                              For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
                              (1) Paul refers to the whole of creation.

                              (2) Paul makes a distinction between "the creation" and "mankind, i.e. Jews and Gentiles." In verse 23 Paul states that not only does the whole of creation groan "but we ourselves" groan thus making a distinction between the two.

                              Originally posted by Isidore View Post
                              While I don't see a problem loving pets as part of God's creation, I think it is problematic to give them more importance than they deserve and can be a distraction from holiness. God gave us dominion over animals; He did not raise them up to be our equals. That being said, it is perfectly within God's power to bring animals into heaven (God can do whatever He wants). My point is that perhaps God wants the pet owner to let go of his or her anxiety over losing the pet and focus on following Christ.
                              I fear my reference to Rom. 8 might have been misunderstood. My only point was that the whole of creation is in need of redemption because of sin.
                              Last edited by Origen; 04-22-2017, 08:33 AM.
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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Origen View Post
                                Hey Isidore. I cannot agree with you for a number of reasons but will only address two.

                                (1) Paul refers to the whole of creation.

                                (2) Paul makes a distinction between "the creation" and "mankind, i.e. Jews and Gentiles." In verse 23 Paul states that not only does the whole of creation groan "but we ourselves" groan thus making a distinction between the two.

                                I fear my reference to Rom. 8 might have been misunderstood. My only point was that the whole of creation is in need of redemption because of sin.
                                #1 is exactly what I was disputing. It could be read similarly to the phrase, "the whole world," meaning "all men," not literally the planet Earth. The distinction he makes, I think, is between Christians (who have the firstfruits of the spirit) and non-believers.

                                I think it is fallacious to conclude that if something suffers, it therefore needs redemption. Innocent people suffer all the time at no fault of their own. This line of thinking is tantamount to the "prosperity gospel," which should be strongly rejected. It is also wrong to say that something which suffers can be "redeemed" at all. It is not suffering which defines what can or cannot be redeemed. It is ultimately God himself who chose explicitly to offer mankind His redemption.
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