Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Will Our Pets Go To Heaven?

What do you think about what would happen to our pets if we were raptured out?

This unique and helpful message was brought by Dr. Vic Young on June 12, 2022. He and his son, Dr. Matt Young are my pastors at Fountain of Life Bible Church, Johnson City, TN

Pastor Ron E. Thompson

What do you think about what would happen to our pets if we were raptured out? The answer is easy but let us discuss this matter. The Bible talks about what is communicable about God and what is incommunicable. – the things we know by Scripture. We may not have a Scripture that says like the movie: All Dogs Go to Heaven. But there are passages that are implied about our puppies and fuzzy little babies when the rapture occurs, or they reach the end of their lives.

For example, what do you think about someone who would leave their dogs all chained up and let them starve to death? They ought to be put in jail. Or what about somebody who loves and plays with a horse but then stops feeding it, runs away, and leaves it to starve to death, ribs showing, with the snow blowing everywhere. Would God allow something like that to happen? No! Luke 11:13 KJV tells us: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” So, if you are appalled at somebody allowing an animal to suffer, what do you think the answer would be to what happens to our pets when we go into the rapture? Do you think they will be left to starve to death? Would God do that? No, because God is good. God is merciful.

We know that Matthew 6:26 tells us about how God takes care of the fowls of the air and goes on to say that we are much more important than they. God provides for the little birds. I love to watch the migration of the birds and how God takes care of the animals. God puts it in them to know when to go, where to go, the change of seasons, etc. How about the Canadian geese and their mating and migration? They mate for life. Linda and I once saw and heard their mating call in our own back yard.

The Lord gives examples of animals to get across the teaching He wants us to know. How about some animals we call newts. A newt has no sensation of itself, no sense of its own consciousness. To kill a newt is no problem because it has no consciousness. The fly is that way, no conscious understanding. But the higher animals, such as the horse…so many times we know that Jesus is going to be riding on a white stallion when He comes back. And all the angels and those who have gone on to be with the Lord will be riding on white stallions. So, we know there will be animals in Heaven.

Proverbs 12:10 KJV says: “A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” It is known that serial killers, when they are young, love to injure animals. Proverbs 27:23 KJV “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks and look well to thy herds.”  Does God care how you treat animals? In Genesis, God told Adam to name the animals and take care of them. In Jonah chapter 4, we see that Jonah went to Nineveh and was upset because God restored them, and they repented. God said because they repented, He would not destroy them. Jonah was ticked off big time! He wanted God to destroy Nineveh, but God said, “There are thousands of people there, Jonah, and cattle!” To ruthlessly kill animals for no reason was a violation of the ideology of the knowing of God.

Romans 8:21-23 KJV: “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” I John 4:8 tells us that God is love.

Now just as we cannot even begin to come up to the mind of God according to Isaiah 55:8, or attain to the knowledge of God, we can understand that which is communicable. We do understand intelligence, knowing, consciousness, but not on a level of God. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1). God’s ways are past finding out (Romans 11:33). God is infinite, He is a spirit and truth. But there is that which is incommunicable. For example, we cannot comprehend fully eternity, only God can. We cannot comprehend infinity, only God can. We cannot comprehend absolute knowing because our knowing is limited, but God can. We cannot understand outside of the realm of the time, space, continuum, lateral thinking – A, B, C, D, day one, day 500,000. God is removed from that. We cannot comprehend that. Those are things about God that are incommunicable.

Remember, animals were not sacrificed before the Fall. The first animals that were killed God killed because of man’s sin. He clothed man, but that was not God’s intent. It is the way He created them. He wanted the animals to have a name and be able to communicate. Remember, Dr. Dolittle could communicate with the animals. Is that not wild! God says there is going to be a time when the lion will lie down with the lamb. You see, when we sin, and fell, our sin, our fall, infected the earth and infected the animals. The animals were changed to become ferocious so that the lion could not lie down with the lamb because of what we did. They were not created for that purpose. They got that way because of one man’s sin. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). It is our fault.

Take, for example, dogs and horses; they are higher animals, in a sense. I believe, as do others including C.S. Lewis, that those animals, remember, God is love. We are saved because of love; we are redeemed because of love. Amen! As God loved us and saved us because of His love for us, those animals that become a part of us that we love, and who demonstrate a consciousness to love us are redeemed because of us. Just as when we are in Heaven, because of the redemption, they are redeemed that showed love and a higher consciousness are in Heaven. They will be with us because of our redemption, and because they are a part of us. Take, for example, a preacher’s wife was diagnosed with cancer. He was on his knees, praying to God, tears running down his face, and his dog, sitting beside him, put his paw in his hand, and licked his cheeks, and let out a deep groan. He loved his master just as we love our Master.

I remember my dad had some dogs. He loved them so much he bought a herd of sheep for his dogs! Dad was in the kitchen one night and he got choked really bad. And the dog threw her body against the storm door and was trying to get to him. That is the consciousness of life! The consciousness of the value of life, the consciousness of love. And that same amount of consciousness puts value in the fact of life and death and afterlife and consciousness. Therefore, because of our love for those animals, those who have been cruel to animals will have to give account. Those who love animals and those animals that demonstrate that same consciousness will be taken into Heaven because they are part of us and sharing that love. As God brings us home because of His love, they will come with us because of our love for them and their love for us. That is a high consciousness. Just as we, because of sin, have brought the curse upon the earth and its creatures, Romans 8:21-23 says that the whole earth will be redeemed, and the creatures shall be redeemed when the new heavens and the new earth come down.

Now back to the rapture. I believe those animals of the higher consciousness, that we love, and they love us, who have a consciousness, who have a capacity for love and caring, will be taken with us. Those animals that do not – you know as well as I do – there are good puppies and bad puppies! For example, I used to race bicycles a long time ago when I was about five hundred pounds thinner. When I hear a dog barking, coming after me, I do not worry about it, but if all I hear is a dog’s toenails hitting the pavement and no barking, I know he wants some gluteus maximus! He does not want me to know he is coming, and he is going to chomp down on the bicycle man! That is a bad puppy. I do not care if he gets there or not! But those animals that are innocent of a higher consciousness, God, because of His nature, will not leave them to starve and to feel pain because God knows. God monitors the pain and suffering of animals. So, I believe the Lord will allow them to quietly go to sleep. Because just as you would be angered when somebody has mistreated a dog, or a horse, or a kitty cat, those who have that higher consciousness, when mistreated, angers the heart of God.

God’s Word tells us in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning…” Time did not exist before the beginning. It started when God said, “we’re going to start a person called Cain.” That is when time started, in the beginning. Before that, God was always. We do not understand that. We are programmed to know when something started. Theologians call it infralapsarians and supralapsarians. It talks about before in the beginning. But there was a time when there was no beginning. You say, “well, when was it?”  We do not know. We cannot comprehend. But when we look at what Scripture tells us, when we look at the world itself and that which is Scripturally taught, we have metaphors and similes that we see in creation. We can know the nature of God! Amen! And we can know that God is good, isn’t He? Amen!

What is good about God? Anything that God does and wants is good. That which is the antithesis of that is bad. And we know that God is good in His will as He provides for the birds and provides instinct in animals to take care of themselves. We can tell by creation that god owns and loves His creation. In fact, when God created, He looked upon What is good about God? Anything that God does and wants is good. That which is the antithesis of that is bad. And we know that God is good in His will as He provides for the birds and provides instinct in animals to take care of themselves. We can tell by creation that god owns and loves His creation. In fact, when God created, He looked upon all He created and said, “this is good.” It got messed up because of you and me. So, we know by creation and the Word of God that God says, “you better not hurt these animals!”

Remember Balaam when was riding a dumb donkey (who had more sense than Balaam)? I have often said that if God could speak through a donkey, He can use anybody to be a preacher! But the angel of the Lord crossed the path of Balaam who was going to put a curse on Israel, and the donkey said: “No, no, no! I was created by God and know what is good and I am not going past that angel.”  And Balaam started beating that donkey, and the donkey said, “why do you beat me?” Balaam was so mad he did not realize he was talking to a donkey. God used that animal to teach Balaam of the importance of obeying God. When Jesus at the time He rode into Jerusalem, He not only picked a donkey, He picked the foal of a donkey with the significance that is he had never been ridden. He was the Lord of the animals. Even they would bow down to Him. God’s Word tells us in Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the Lord.” The birds chirping and singing, “Praise the Lord!”  And so did many of the animals.

That is just like my dog, Max. I take that dog for a walk, I feed that dog, I spend time with that dog, and rub his belly, but when Linda comes in the room, it is like I do not exist! He always gets up in Linda’s lap and Linda will be rubbing him and he goes “ummm.” That is the higher consciousness of love. God demonstrated that love. He used animals time and again because of His love for those animals. Linda and I were riding, and she was behind me. And as we came around a curve here comes this squirrel. He ran out in front of us, stopped, went toward our bikes, stopped, ran another direction, stopped, and I was trying my best to get out of his way and not hit that squirrel. And finally, he left. Linda and I laughed hilariously. That squirrel had a nervous breakdown in three seconds on that road! Linda hit a bird on her windshield once and it tore her up and she cried over that. You know, the love we have for those things that breathe and give praise to God have value. Just as I John 4:8 tells us, God is love. And He says that because of His love, those of higher consciousness that show love will be with us, I believe. You cannot find a Scripture that says that. You will see animals in Heaven. You will see God’s love, appreciation, and care for those animals and His anger at those who do not. We see all those things that are incommunicable. We can see from His creation, what is implied, because they are special to Him.

My dog, Max, is number two. Number one is also a Boston Terrier. He was having a problem urinating all over the house. First, I would get mad and tell him. “Max, I understand, just let me know.” Well, one morning, the Lord laid it on my heart, and as Linda came downstairs, I was crying, and she asked why. I said,” Max is not going to make it.” She thought I was wrong, but I said, “I know, I know.” So, I took him to the Veterinarian, a good Christian lady with her father in Bristol. He said, “it’s kidney failure, I could keep him alive for another week.” Tearfully I said “no.” So, he injected him. And Max stared me in the eye, “I understand everything.” And I told him, I said to him, “later.”  AMEN!

Pastor Ron E Thompson

Ron E. Thompson is a retired pastor/evangelist having had a ministry spanning over sixty years. He served as pastor of churches in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina. As Director of Brethren Evangelistic Ministries, he held numerous evangelistic and revival crusades in twenty-two states. He led a team that conducted evangelism seminars throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Ron is author of two books: Hurricane Evangelism and Sermons in Song. He is also a musician, having studied piano under noted composer-conductor, Hubert Tillery. Music has served him well as an avocation in his life and ministry. He currently is a pianist at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, TN. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College and his Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He did graduate studies at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He attended the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in1994. Ron’s home is in Limestone, Tennessee. He is the father of two daughters: Evangeline Hales, a musician at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA and violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony; Dr. Melody Archer, Retired Administrator and Principal of Tri-Cities Christian Schools, Blountville, TN.

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