Are Animals Resurrected?
Hello J___, and thanks for the question.
Your question is:
I would like to know the truth on this subject. I believe the animals will be saved because the scriptures say all things or are the scriptures referring to mankind? Thank you for your time.
When asking a question such as this, we must consider what salvation is and who can obtain salvation. At the core of this question is whether or not animals will be saved and can receive salvation. When pondering such a thought, we need to let the scriptures answer us instead of our hearts and emotions doing the answering.
I personally have two cats and two dogs, and I have always grown up with domesticated animals throughout my life. When I look back over that period of time, I can vividly remember my favorite pets and those which were not so much so. As easy as it is to do, as humans we tend to place human emotions on animals as if they somehow have those emotions in and of themselves. What is probably more true, if we are able to step back and look unbiasedly at the situation, is that we oftentimes associate certain behaviors with whatever emotion we have at the time, and suddenly our pet has the ability to express itself in a human way. What is strikingly amazing is that indeed our animals do seem to somewhat perceive our mood changes. What isn't so amazing about that is that they do the same in their own wild packs when they are "in the bush". As mentioned earlier, when looking at such an important topic and doctrine as salvation, we must consider what salvation is and to whom salvation is given. Please join me as we, Lord willing, delve into His mind on this topic.
Luk 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
Luk 1:68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us (his people) in the house of his servant David;
In the above verses, we see the first time that the word translated as "salvation" is used in the new testament. Notice in verse 68 that the Lord God of Israel has redeemed his people, and verse 69 goes on to clarify what that redemption is. It is a "horn of salvation for us". Let us continue with some examples.
Luk 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Having knowledge of salvation is equal to and only available via the remissions of sins. No animal yet born and to be born has EVER sinned. They cannot, so salvation is not something that they need. "Beasts of the field" simply are not being created in the image of God; therefore, they cannot partake of the benefits of what will eventually result in all of humanity being the image of God.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Act 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
There are a few hundred verses that speak about salvation, and I cannot come close to covering the topic of salvation in this brief email. However, I can infallibly show what and for whom salvation is intended. In the verses regarding salvation, there is not one that states that animals or "beasts" will be saved. In the above verses, you can briefly see that there are certain things that must take place for salvation to happen. "Belief...confession...repentance...redemption...etc." are all things which encompass what a man is capable of but NO animal is capable of.
I do understand fully the want and need for us, as humans, to have our animal friends be with us after we die. Often times, they are there for us when we have some of our most difficult trials and tribulations in life. However, they are simply something the Lord has placed in our life to give us comfort and encouragment. What we see in our animals is just that, something that we need to see in order to get us through. Wanting our animals to be saved is something that simply is not equatable in the scriptures. Most people want their animals to be "in heaven" with them when they die. After all, why wouldn't they want their friends to benefit from their "paradise" seeing as those animal friends help us so much when we aren't "in paradise?" Well, knowing "What And Where Heaven Is..." helps us grasp and understand that our animals and pets can and ARE with us while we are in heaven. It is simply a matter of knowing we are in heaven now or we are not. Lord willing, we are.
I hope I have been some help on this topic. There are many more examples that could be used, but I hope the Lord has used me to help you see what salvation is and to whom salvation is meant for.
Your brother in the Christ,
[Ed: Author may be reached at swcrook (AT) gmail (DOT) com.]