WHAT’S SO WRONG WITH THAT?
Now, just what is so wrong with the idea that our pets, and other animals, are with God somewhere, wherever that may be? Why does it have to be that they must be in “heaven” in order for everything to be all right with them?And why can’t we get it into our heads (and our hearts) that to be with God, no matter where that is, is what it’s all about anyway? Why does it have to be so necessary for us to believe that they’re somehow, in bodily form, frolicking about lush greeen meadows “up in Heaven,” for us to finally have some peace about our having lost them here on earth?
Is it that “Heaven” is something greater or more desirable than God? Is it better to be in Heaven than it is to be with God? Is Heaven such a wonderful place that God is only a second banana and that the place itself is more wonderful and exciting than the one who created the place? Only God is eternal, you know. Only God Himself has been around forever, from everlasting. Heaven is just a place where God currently has His throne, but it is a place—and a created place—nonetheless. It is God who is the main attraction. It is God who is the center of all there is and the reason for living. In fact, He’s the reason we’re living in the first place, no matter what we do live for!
Why are so many disappointed to learn that, yes, our pets are with God Almighty, their Creator and their very life, but they may not actually be “up in Heaven”? Don’t they understand that being “with” God, or His’ being “with” them, is Heaven? What would Heaven be without God? And yet God is so much more than Heaven.
Now, for the sake of argument, let me say that it just may be true anyway. It just may be that they actually are “up in Heaven” with God Almighty and frolicking about His Holy Throne and up and down the Streets of Gold. And I hope they are! However, this is something that we really have no way of knowing. No scriptures in the Bible affirm such a thing, so again we have no way of knowing. And yet, it may still be true anyway for, as many will point out (and I right along with them) there are no scriptures that inform us that they’re not there, either!
That being said, however, we cannot escape the fact that we have no affirmation. And if you find the Biblical passage or verse that directly says they are “up in Heaven,” please contact me and let me know where it is! And while you’re at it, tell the whole world where it is. We all would love to know this for sure and to have it confirmed by the very Word of God would be an answer to prayer. But until then, I’ll have no way of knowing they’re “up in Heaven,” for now, while still believing they’re with Him, anyway. But that’s more than enough for He’s eternal and Heaven is not.
And, of course, this is where my main question re-enters the discussion. What’s so bad about they’re being with God no matter where that is, that we must continually set the idea aside? Everyone wants to know that their pets are in Heaven with their Creator the very moment they’ve departed our tearful embrace, but the fact is that no one who’s still living here actually knows that as a fact. Yet, we do have reason to believe they’re with Him anyway, and a big part of our knowing this is that God is omnipresent—that He is everywhere! That is something we actually do know! His Word does tell us that! So wherever they are—He’s with them!
And let me add something else about this here. As to the way that He is with them, wherever they are, it’s nothing like the way He’s with us in this life. We must remember that, in this life, we all live in a fallen creation. In this life and in this world, the realm we all live in before we die, we are in a cursed place; we are in a place that has been penalized for the sins of man, and God has had to “separate” Himself from us. In this life, there is both a sense in which God is with us (for He’s everywhere) and also a very real sense in which He’s not. And this is because He’s had to withdraw Himself from us as punishment (so to speak) for our rebellion in the Garden of Eden and ever since. We are currently suffering penalty and we are under a curse, and a significant part of this punishment includes His not being as close to us “relationally” as He was before the “fall.” But, for those of us who are His, and for all those souls that have never sinned against Him (animals and pets), there’s no longer any need to be “separated” from us in the next life. When we die and go to be with Him, it is really “with” Him and He is really “with” us, too. It’s all out in the open and face to face with God. So, when we say He’s with our pets after they die, no matter where they are, we’re saying it’s an unimaginable state of paradise and glory, love and life that they enjoy with Him—nothing at all like what we know in this life.
So wherever the souls of our pets are, God is with them. And what’s so wrong with that? Why must we put that off to the side as though it was something unworthy of our heart’s desires and affections? Isn’t He good enough? Isn’t being with Him good enough, even if it’s not “up in Heaven”? Can’t we be grateful from the bottom of our hearts knowing this is the case? They don’t have to be “up in Heaven,” in order to be with God. And don’t forget we’re talking about our great and loving God here. We’re talking about our Creator, our very life and existence and the provider of all that we (and they) will ever, ever need.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind people believing pets, and even all the other animals in the world that have ever existed, are “up in Heaven.” I really don’t. It’s OK to “believe” it; it really is. But, to say we “know” they are, well, that’s another story.
Why don’t we settle for knowing what we do know? God is with them wherever they are and, knowing that, we’re able to rest in Him and to be eternally grateful that He is good to them. And He knows them and He loves them. And He’s providing for them, and everything’s all right.
And one day, when all is said and done, and God has purged creation of all that is corrupt and unholy, setting up His glorious, eternal Kingdom on the “restored” earth--then we will all be together. Now, what’s so wrong with that?
Note: More discussion on the topics of Articles such as this can be found in the book, "Will I See Him Again? (A Look at Pets in Heaven)," by Tom Waldron. The book is available from Amazon.com (see home page of Mybutchie.com for link). Also, please feel free to e-mail me with any comments or whatever you may have at: