Had this debate online with my friend Ms L last night. Yeah you guess right, we talked on whether there will be animals and especially dogs in Heaven.
Well, my always belief ever since I became a Christian is that `good animals' are found in heaven, but the creepy crawlies, those blood suckers and disease spreaders - think rats, mosquitos etc..are probaly recreated or banished for good. I know, `Good' and `bad' again are subjective. And I won't waste time and breath to argue whether a toad or a lizard will be in heaven.
But dogs.. hmmm.. could I have been influenced by cartoon like `All Dogs Go to Heaven?'... but i really think that if God has created these animals in the first place, and take pain to preserve them through the Flood in the safe abode of Noah's Ark, then why wouldn't He allow animals in heaven?
When I questioned Ms L why she thinks there won't be animal in heaven, she said `beacuse animals don't have souls'. Hey, but wait! I immediate correct her and I take any challenges on this. Animals DO have souls. Look at your dogs or cats, do they feel happy or sad? are they emotional? Thats why they are animals and not plants.. They feel pain! They feel joy and even anxiety..! I am talking about mammals here..like goat, horses, dogs, lions etc...
BUT, animals DON'T have a spirit like human beings. In Genesis, we read that we are made in the image of God, and God Himself breathed life into us, gave us part of His spirit. And if we are Christians, God's Holy Spirit fill us. And THAT spirit, of course, was not given to dogs or any animals. Like Ms L rightly pointed out, they can't tell the right from wrong - no moral values like humans (well, most humans)
However, my point is, God being God, I still believe He is fair and just, and remember He is also a creative God. So I can just foresee a new heaven and earth.. (actually we're touching on theological subject to the non-Christians reading this, I hope you just bear with me) which is a perfect copy of the original world that God has created.
It also depends on what you mean by heaven. As Christians, we know heaven is not some silly cloud fill places where people are dressed in white robes and angels playing harps.. It is a place where God's people go to after they die physicially. But when I mention heaven, to me it is the new heaven and earth that is eternal, that prevails after Christ has come to judge and rule the earth. That we will live there in our new immortal, incorruptible body forever and ever...
To all my Christian friends, is it true that God would not let animal be part of the new heaven and earth? If there is this new Jeruselem (as opposed to the fallen old one), then the new earth itself is even bigger and more vast, and of course more beautiful and totally perfect. New Jerusalem is the new capital city (as you can put it that way) of the new Heaven and Earth. In Revelation, we read that this new landscape is still very much a mystery and the mysterious revealed to us include that there will be no night, and there is no sea.
Perculiar? But we take His word for it and we know the place will be indeed beautiful. However, I don't remember reading in the Bible there will be no animals in heaven. Remember analogies like when the lamb will lie next to the lion? It paints a beautiful picture of the harmony we live in in a sinless new heaven and earth.
Anway, as Ms L also rightly pointed out, we can argue till the cow goes home and I added that let us see only on that day. So, what I want to say is.. it is not an important issue. We know that because God is fair and just and He himself will plan and see the plan goes forth. We as His imperfect created beings are given special blessings to be told what we need to know.
(so why you bring this topic out? you ask and chastise.. hmm maybe just to boost my own ego.. haha since i can present my side of the point but Ms L and her supporters can always comment )
At this moment, I still believe what I have shared and Ms L having sticks to her conclusion after doing some researches herself, being an animal lover herself. I have a feeling more people may tend to be of her view.. or some just don't know. As I say it doesn't matter. Whether we believe this or another, God's mind has been made up and not changed.
Well, I just think that life in Heaven will be so much more beautiful with a Jojo or Jelly.... Really, can you imagine a big beautiful world with just humans (immortal ones) and no animals?
I think God can do better than that.. ;)
p.s. having said all that, I know it is my `wish-belief'...and will not complain whatever beholds me in heaven on that day.. coz its already too great to be there!