Today, the whole planet is gripped by a global fear of death. Bad news fills every day from death counts climbing up, and financial markets tumbling down. One thing that helps everything is knowing what has gone wrong with the world, and what God’s plan is to make is all right forever in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Sadly, however, this great rescue plan awaiting God’s children and creation is not much taught in detail, leaving people with a lot of questions about the Life after this life. In general, those questions are asking if Eternal life will be as much fun and enjoyable as our everyday life. In the next few weeks, we will answer a lot of the most common questions, starting with, “Will animals be in the Kingdom of Heaven?” The answer is yes for at least 3 reasons.
- God created animals with all their uniqueness and diversity. Furthermore, Jesus Christ honors animals with titles for Himself like the Lamb of God, and Lion of Judah.
- In describing the New Heaven and New Earth brought together as the realms reunite under the Kingship of God, not only will divine and human beings be together, animals will join us. Isaiah 11:6-8 says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.” Today, parents of young children live with reasonable fears for their child’s safety, but in the Kingdom even toddlers will have dominion and everything from lions to cobras will be like stuffed animals for them to play with.
- Animals will praise God in Heaven. Psalm 148:10-13 says, “Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.” Revelation 5:13 adds, “I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
There is a difference between a human being that has a soul and is made in God’s image, and an animal. An animal is not a human, but they are also not a plant. They are living beings that can communicate (e.g. whales, dolphins, and our German shepherd Kaya) and relate. Therefore, God not only included them in His original design plan, but he will include them in His redesign plan. What will this be like? Probably a lot like a fun kids’ movie where an animal can talk, sing, dance and is friends with humans working together with them. Yes, the Lion King, Garfield, Dr. Doolittle, Babe, Jungle Book, Paddington, Scooby Doo, Stuart Little, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yogi Bear, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Antz, Bambi, Nemo, Dory, A Bug’s Life, Charlotte’s Web, Chicken Little, Curious George, Ice Age, Mickey Mouse, Kung Fu Panda, Marmaduke, Dumbo, and of course Narnia and All Dogs Go to Heaven might actually be God’s funny way of getting our imagination ready for Heaven.
When animals are all tame in Heaven, which one(s) are you most interested to get to understand more about?