All Dogs Go to Heaven... Right?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by MovieProducer, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. MovieProducer

    MovieProducer
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    I ran into an old Church of Christ guy the other day, bummed out because he'd lost his blue healer dog, dead from a rattlesnake bite, and bitter because he'd never see his faithful companion again. I told him I wasn't so sure. I quoted Romans 8:21:
    So I said there was at least some scriptural support for the idea that his dog would go to heaven.

    He's not much for listening to a Baptist, but I did see a glint of hope in his eyes.

    Was I right?:praying:
     
  2. David Michael Harris

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    I always understood that verse is referring to humans. Myself I don't believe that animals etc have a soul or a spirit. My thought would be they live their existence and that's it. Also that do not have to fear the wrath of God as humans do as they were not made in His image. My thoughts on that anyway.
     
  3. MovieProducer

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    Except that the verse refers to "the creature also" on the one hand, and to "the children of God" on the other, obviously making a distinction between them. So "the creature also" shall be delivered from the bondage of death (corruption). Not just the children of God (us), but the creature also.
     
  4. Allan

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    I will say no. For a number of reasons. One, the translation is an inaccurate one or at least not a word understood in our generation as they did back in mid 1600's. Another is context and another is the consistancy of scripture on the subject.

    In the passage where 'ktisis' is redered as 'creature' in the KJV is actually speaking in a general sense to/of 'creation itself. The surrounding passages from vs 19-22 establish this generality of creation waiting or antisipating an event. However this passage can in no way be used to say any pet or other animal will be in heaven nor that they will be raised from the dead like believers will. But only and specifically states that, in general, creation (and all that makes it up) are 'awaiting' or better - they are antisipating its being freed from corruption once we (believers) come into our own (the glorious Kingdom) and all things are made new.
     
    #4 Allan, Dec 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2009
  5. MovieProducer

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    But the "creation" is the total of all the "creatures." He's talking about things that can have an "expectation," that can "wait," that can "travail" and "hope." These are characteristics of animate things (like animals), not of inanimate things (like rocks, trees, and fields). And the animate things he's talking about are not *us,* for he refers to us separately as "the children of God."

    He's not talking about us, and he's not talking about rocks, trees, or fields, so he must be talking about exactly what he said -- creatures. It's not hard to understand.

    It might be hard to accept, but it's not hard to understand.
     
  6. Allan

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    No true. Scripture speaks in various places about inanimate objects being personified (trees clapping their hands, rocks crying out, and creation antisipates..etc.). Sorry but the fact is the apostle 'is' talking about all things in creation, both animate and inanimate. He doesn't negate one or the other but includes it all since all creation is held in sins corrupted sway as described variously throughout scripture.

    One shouldn't accept it because it isn't saying any such thing. (not meaning to be rude, but I can't think of any other way to say - I appologize)
    This passage says 'nothing' about animals of any type going to heaven, but that it is 'waiting' or 'antisipating' for itself to be freed. Nothing about going into heaven because this is not IN heaven and it absolutely say nothing here about the dead coming back to life so those risen animals can be there, when (in the future) this happens.
     
    #6 Allan, Dec 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2009
  7. sag38

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    I do know that there are animals in heaven (specifically horses). Rev 19:11-14
     
  8. blackbird

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    These animals mentioned here are NOT part of earthly resurrection to come---but are animals in the kingdom of Heavenly domain that already exists in an eternal state
     
  9. Johnv

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    The question is whether our pets will be in heaven when they die, like us. The simple answer to that is "no". Only humans have immortal souls, and Heaven is for those souls which are saved. Animals don't sin. They make choices based on instinct and rote, not by what is right or wrong. Since animas don't sin, they aren't capable of being lost or saved.

    Now, does that mean we won't see "images" of our pets in heaven? Scripture talks about visions of animals, so it's certainly possible that images or representations of loved pets will be in heaven. But our actual pets themselves will have been long dead.

    That said, I will be too preoccupied with being in God's presence to be concerned with my pets, my loved ones, or anything else of an earthly nature.
     
  10. sag38

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    blackbird, I didn't say that these animals were from here. I realize that they are from an eternal state. But, it does give me a little hope that I'll see some of my pets again some day. But, if not I thank God for the time I did have with them.
     
  11. tinytim

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    OH GREAT!!!! I am allergic to horses!! :laugh: :BangHead: :tonofbricks:
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Well once you arrive go look for Benny Hinn.:laugh:
     
  13. Johnv

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    I dont' think that would be a horse, it would be the back end of one.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    There are some things we can't even imagine what they will be like. Our estate in heaven is somewhat beyond our imagination. We know we will be there, but will we all be in white robes? Will we walk about as we do here on earth? Will we sit in a heavenly cafe, enjoy a coffee and talk with our neighbours?

    We have pictures painted in scripture, such as the lion and lamb laying down together in peace; a brilliant picture of the peacefulness of heaven, but is it an indicator that animals will be present?

    This globe we presently inhabit is shrinking to the point where we barely have enough space for us now. Imagine the habitation of heaven covering so manyu generations of people and animals and plant life and...........Heaven's dimension expands far beyond the capacity of our minds.

    No wonder Jehovah's Witnesses once limited heaven to 144,000! I think I will leave the actual occupants of heaven as a mystery beyond my comprehension, and just rejoice that I will see Jesus when I arrive there.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. rbell

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    I think we all know where cats are headed for eternity...
     
  16. Andy T.

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    The New Earth will be a physical place. We will have physical [resurrected] bodies. We will live in dwelling places. We will do physical type things like eating. I fully expect the New Earth to be populated with God's creation, including animals. And it would not surprise me in the least if He populates it with some of the same animals we became attached to here in the old life.
     
  17. preachinjesus

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    We would do well to point out that this isn't the point of the passage. Here is the context of Romans 8:18-22

    18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.
    Romans 8:18-22 (HCSB)

    I'm not so certain that we will see our pets in Heaven. Only humanity has been created with everlasting qualities. (There is something to be said about the difference between eternal and everlasting...but that is for another time) It seems clear that the rest of the created order exists without soul or possessing the image of God.

    While it is nice to tell people that they'll see their dogs in Heaven it isn't exactly accurate. Of course until the establishment of the New Jerusalem we also should give pause to the belief that Heaven is a corporeal place that we can understand in our limited human terms. The imagery associated with Heaven speaks colorfully of vegetation, though it keeps some other anthropomorphisms in place.

    Mrs. PJ and I love our little dog, but we don't expect to see her after this life. That is just reality.
     
  18. Andy T.

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    Or inaccurate. Who knows?

    Look, I'm not saying that I will be disappointed if God does not have some of our pets in heaven, but sometimes we Baptists are so "spiritual" when it comes to heaven that we tend to downplay such earthy things like a family dog. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us (as I'm sure we all do), and I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised that their spiritualized vision of heaven is amiss.
     
  19. MovieProducer

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    LOL, you didn't come across as rude. One thing I keep in mind is that when we write these things we try to be clear about what we're saying, and yet there's no body language to convey our tone. We could have the same discussion in person and say the exact same things and have a perfectly cordial discussion. That's my intent here too.

    I concede that I don't yet have a completely coherent explanation yet, and I'm not even certain that I'm right about this. All I can say at this point is that it's not cut and dry in my mind.

    It wasn't even cut and dry in Solomon's mind. He asked if anyone knew of a spirit of man that went upward, or of a spirit of a beast that went downward to the earth. Eccl. 3:21. I don't. I've never seen a spirit after it died, man or beast. All he was sure of was that they both suffered the same fate of returning to dust (3:19) and whatever spirit there was would return unto God who gave it (12:7).

    The fact that inanimate objects have been personified in some passages does not force the conclusion that Paul is doing so in Romans 8. In this passage he does not specifically mention any inanimate objects, and whether "creation" includes inanimate objects in this passage is the very question at issue.

    In this passage he specifically mentions "the creature" but not trees or rocks. And what makes me think "the whole creation" refers to the totality of all the creatures is that in verse 23 he says "And not only they, but ourselves also..." Who's "they?" Why, that must refer to whatever he had just previously identified as being distinct from ourselves -- the creature. He didn't mention rocks and trees previously, but he *did* just mention "the creature."

    He's talking about things that have the breath of life and then die, things that are in the bondage of corruption and will be delivered into the glorious liberty of the children of God. This wouldn't be trees and rocks -- their condition is not different now than it was before the fall. Even before the fall trees and fruit and plants were destroyed and eaten. Rocks were rocks then, and they are so now. And after the manifestation of the sons of God, rocks will still be as they are now, and trees and fruits and plants will be eaten. There's nothing for them to look forward to -- the bondage of corruption is no different for them than the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    But the creature, now that's a different story. "The creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope." verse 20. After the fall, creatures die. Before the fall, they didn't. For them, the manifestation of the sons of God is something to look forward to, for then "the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

    So I don't see how Paul can be talking about rocks, trees, and hills when he says "the whole creation."

    But here's the thing. Suppose in verse 22 he did actually mean that the entire creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Suppose that included literally every thing in the creation. I can see that possibly he meant that every created thing, animate or not, including angels and other heavenly creatures, stars, rocks, seas, and electrons, that these were all groaning and travailing, in some sense, under the burden of the fall. Even if we granted this for the sake of the argument, it still wouldn't prove that "the creature" in the previous verse referred to all of these created things. Surely the fallen angels will not be released from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Surely the faithful angels are not now *in* the bondage of corruption.

    Someone also said that "the creature" really should have been translated "the creation" because the same Greek word ktisis is used in both places. That is an interesting point, and one I have considered for several years. It's true that the same Greek word is variously translated "the creature" and "the creation" in this passage. But this actually helps me prove my point: the translators saw a distinction, a difference, between "the creature" and "the creation."

    Follow me now: When I say "my little girl is sweet," I mean something different than when I say "the cake is sweet," even though I'm using the same word. In English I use the same word, but you know the difference based on context.

    Here's another example: In French I might say "j'aime ce gateau," and "j'aime ma femme." The first means "I like this cake," and the other means "I love my wife." They use the same word to say "like" and "love," but I know the difference based on the context, and so when I translate it into English I use different words in order to avoid confounding the intended difference in meaning. In English I *could* say "I love this cake," but then I wouldn't have said it that way in French. What I mean there is that I really really like cake a whole lot, and so in French I would have said "j'adore ce gateau." I would also point out that when I said "I love my wife," I didn't actually transliterate the word wife, because in French the word was "woman." But in English, to say "I love my woman" doesn't mean precisely what I meant in French. So in order to accurately translate the meaning of the French into English, I had to use a different word. See how this works?

    What this all means is that you can't prove that "the creature" and "the creation" are synonymous simply by pointing out that the Greek word ktisis was used in both verses. If anything, it actually strengthens my case that their meaning is different -- certainly it is *some* evidence that the translators thought so. It tends to show that in the one case it refers to an animal, and in the other case it refers to the sum total of all animals, or at least those that have the breath of life.

    I agree that we, as distinct from the beasts, were made in God's image, but that doesn't logically force the conclusion that the beasts have no spirit. God made another kind of spirit -- angels Heb. 1:7. Possibly others?

    The fact that animals have a spirit (if they do) does not force the conclusion that they need salvation. Not all angels sinned, and they are spirits. "Sin is not imputed when there is no law," Rom. 5:13. If animals were not given a law, they wouldn't sin, and so wouldn't need salvation.

    My point here is that if I concluded that animals have a spirit, and if they were going to be resurrected ("delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty"), I wouldn't be logically forced to conclude that they also were made in God's image as we were, nor that they had sinned and needed salvation.

    Therefore, asserting without more that we, and not beasts, were made in God's image; or that we, and not beasts, need salvation; does not prove that they have no spirit. Q.E.D.

    I understand that not everyone will reach the same conclusion I do. I'm just sharing my reasoning.
     
  20. Marcia

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    I agree with you. When I wonder about this - because I miss my German Shepherd so much and she was such a part of my life -- I like to think of Is. 11 and the picture of animals there.

    There were animals in the Garden and I think there will be animals in the new heaven-new earth. There may or may not be animals in heaven right now, but I think when the earth is renewed, we will see animals, and maybe even beloved pets. After all, God did created these creatures and speaks of animals in many places with seeming affection and tenderness, as in Job 39:
    And parts of Ps. 104:
     

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