Losing a dog is never an easy situation to deal with. And in a bid to gain some form of comfort, several dog owners often ask whether their pooches will be in heaven after death.
So, do dogs go to heaven? The Bible, which is the basis of the Christian faith, is vague about dogs, and animals in general, going to heaven after death; Hence, it is difficult to state with certainty whether or not dogs will go to heaven when they die.
While the general school of thought is that our precious pooches will be granted automatic entrance into heaven upon death, the lack of sufficient scriptural backbone to support this notion makes this unlikely.
However, that isn’t to say that it’s a certainty that our pooches simply stop existing after death, and in this article, we’ll take a look at arguments commonly cited by those in support and against the idea of dogs making it to heaven.
Do Dogs Go To Heaven?
It is difficult to state with certainty whether or not dogs go to heaven after death, mainly due to the absence of a scriptural ruling.
The debate on where the dogs go after death has yet to be concluded for centuries. And there’s a clear demarcation between those who believe that our furry friends simply cease to exist after death and those who are of the opinion that there’s a place between the pearly gates of heaven for our canine buddies.
Consequently, we’ll be examining arguments from both points of view to arrive at a decision as to whether or not our pooches can go to heaven.
Is It Possible For Dogs To Go To Heaven?
The basis behind the belief that dogs go to heaven upon death is the Christian theory that God will create a new heaven and earth to replace the existing ones.
The creation of a new heaven and earth is cited several times within the Bible and can be found in the following passages:
- Acts 3:19 to 21 – ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.
- 2 Peter 3:10 to 13 – ‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything were done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.’
- Revelation 21:1 – ‘Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,“ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.’
Several renowned biblical scholars such as C.S Lewis, Rev. Billy Graham, and Martin Luther are of the opinion that the creation and restoration of a new heaven and earth described in the Bible passages extend to our dead furry friends. And as a result, we can expect to see our dead pooches in the newly restored heaven.
Also, the late Pope Paul VI is reported to have comforted a boy that lost his canine buddy by saying that “one day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”
Although not outrightly supported, this stance is further reinforced by comments from Pope John Paul II stating that animals are the “fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect” and that they are as “near to God” as men are.
Why Can’t Dogs Go To Heaven?
For those who claim that dogs can’t go to heaven, their major argument is that our canine buddies, unlike humans, don’t have a soul; hence, they can’t exist after death.
According to Christian belief, one of the distinguishing features between humans and animals is the presence of the spirit of God in the former. And it is this spirit of God that gets separated from the human body and proceeds into the afterlife upon death (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
No verse in the Bible states that animals possess this spirit of God, therefore strengthening the argument that dogs can’t make it into heaven.
Also, since dogs, and animals in general, are incapable of reasoning and making moral decisions, they aren’t included in the salvation plan created by God for humans (Matthew 1:21), and as such, they are exempt from judgment and subsequently won’t make it into either heaven or hell.
The Bible makes it explicitly clear that there’s only one way to get into heaven, and this is by confessing Jesus Christ as one’s lord and personal savior (Romans 10:9; John 3:16; John 14:6). And since our beloved pooches don’t have the luxury of making this resolution, heaven is off-limits for them.
So, Will I Get To See My Dog In Heaven?
It’s difficult to state with certainty whether or not dogs will make up the population of heaven. The lack of a direct biblical passage addressing this issue doesn’t help matters. As a result, an answer to the question of whether or not we’ll get to see our pooches in heaven comes down to personal interpretation.
Traditional Christian belief is that there is no room for dogs in heaven. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and upon closer examination of the scriptures, there is indeed a chance that we’ll be reunited with our furry friends in God’s kingdom.
What Does The Bible Say About Dogs Going To Heaven?
The Bible doesn’t state whether or not dogs and pets, in general, will be in heaven after death.
While the Bible is unequivocally clear about the destination of humans after death, either being heaven or hell, the holy book’s silence regarding whether or not the canine soul can make it to heaven is deafening.
There is nowhere in the scriptures where it’s stated whether or not dogs will be in heaven. But, while the fate of our canine buddies remains unclear, certain passages in the Bible allude to the presence of animals in heaven!
Revelations 19:11-14 has mentioned the presence of an army of white horses in heaven, and Isaiah 11:6-9 suggests that predatory animals and prey will coexist peacefully in God’s perfect kingdom.
And while the above Bible passages don’t make mention of pooches being in heaven, we should remember that God equally cares as much for his animal creation; Hence, we should strive to create heaven-on-earth for our canine buddies.