“Will there be dogs in heaven?”
Set the scene in your mind. I was studying about the new heaven and new earth and as I shared this during a lunch meeting, I was met with the question above. Now, I’m on the spot. Maybe 60 or so eyes looking my way.
Respected scholars are split on the subject. Some say, “no.” Dogs don’t have souls.
Some say, “yes.” There were animals in Eden – and the tree in Eden will resurface in heaven. They have a point.
But my answer THAT moment: “Well, if there are dogs in heaven, I know one that won’t be there – MINE.”
But in seriousness, I was reminded that even though my dog is rebellious, selfish, dirty, a moocher, and even far worse than those descriptors on her most disobedient day, she still is no more disqualified for heaven than I am. In fact, upon further reflection, I realized my own stubbornness and rebellion, selfishness, etc., are uglier than than the dogs. I have a head start on being intelligent, reasonable and capable of knowing better than to offend my Maker and Master. And yet, I am still disobedient. Not as bad as I once was, but still…
I don’t know if dogs are in heaven, but because we are all in the same boat, I am ever thankful for the ocean of grace.
Few of us really know what we’re looking forward to. God has something very, very special planned! Revelation 21 and 22 are amazing in the details of heaven. I’ll summarize the first five verses of Revelation 21, but you really have to read it.
God tells us what we will EXPERIENCE – and specifically we’ll watch the old earth and heaven pass away with fire and noise and every other awesome sensory comprehension and then we’ll watch as God creates a brand new earth and heaven – far more glorious than the first. Imagine the most beautiful place on earth. Now magnify the beauty by a million times. Add to that the fact that it will never spoil. That’s a start.
God tells us what we will EXPLORE. Verse 2 speaks of the New Jerusalem – the place where our mansion is being built – yep, individual mansions for the redeemed. I estimate (and others, as well) that your mansion will be huge. The holy city, after all, is 1500 miles wide, deep and tall. It can house 20 billion people and give them enough space to have 75 acres each – in all directions! Out of 100 billion estimated population of earth in the past, present and future, if we guess that 20% come to know Christ (yes, that is optimistic) these are the numbers. What’s more, as John explored, you will also explore the BRILLIANCE, the BIGNESS, the BEAUTY and the BLESSING of heaven. Get ready.
But the best part of heaven in the ability to ENJOY His Presence. I can’t wait to see Jesus. This is really what heaven is all about and He will be AMONG us (three times this is mentioned in one verse). Every pain, heartbreak and disappointment will be reversed by the healing balm of Jesus’ presence.
This is so good for our perspective. My understanding of heaven is flavoring how I feel about earth. I’m not clinging quite so tightly. I’m not expecting quite so much. The greatest things are ahead of us.
Joseph has one of the greatest lines in the Bible, “…you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Gen. 50:20)
I’ve remembered it as life hits me like a bus – or quoted it when someone else felt thrown under the same bus.
It means that evil doesn’t triumph, even though it sometimes looks that way.
It means that the worst motives on earth don’t rule, God the Ruler with the best motives does.
It means that all the wickedness, scheming and hatred has restraint, for it cannot thwart God’s purpose.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.