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If animals don't have eternal souls, then it seems they would not be present in heaven/hell. Is heaven devoid of animals?

Growing up I frequently saw art depicting the lion and the lamb together, in a friendly manner rather than predator and prey.

In what context are we to witness this? And what purpose does the lion's teeth and claws serve once it becomes a straw connoisseur?

Isaiah 65:25: The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

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Lion and the lamb are a methaphors, for enemies being friends. It doesn't mean that lamb and lion will literally enter heaven. –  user unknown Aug 31 '11 at 16:27
The wolf and lamb together are not in heaven, but on the new earth, after Christ comes again. –  Steve Jun 16 '13 at 18:46

3 Answers 3

There are a few theories about this, and I will try to explain the general categories.

  1. Animals do not have immortal souls (they do not have the image of God given to man when he was first created) and thus cease to exist when they die. There is nothing that can befall them after death such as condemnation or eternal salvation.
  2. Animals are not immortal, but are saved or preserved through the actions and memories of human beings, as some hold the rest of creation will be. In this view it is possible that 'nothing will be forgotten' and in the next life these most-loved creatures may be re-created with the 'new heavens and new earth'.
  3. Animals do have immortal souls, although this view seems to be unclear and is perhaps a confusion that arises from anthropomorphization of animals in fiction to serve as metaphors for humans ('All Dogs go to Heaven'.) This view essentially humanizes animals, and treats all killing as murder, even of animals. Whether this extends to creatures that do not possess possibly humanizable characteristics such as faces, arms, etc, is also unclear.

As for the second part, I have heard a few theories:

  1. Lion and lamb are metaphors for something, examples could be 'courage' and 'meekness' as qualities, or fierce warriors and gentle pacifists.
  2. As in the original creation, the fangs and strength of the lion existed for some other purpose than to kill lambs or other creatures. In the new creation the lion would have no need to use his strength or armaments to hunt for food or violently defend his territory.
  3. The 'lion' laying down with the 'lamb' is a symbol for Christ ('the Lamb of God' and 'the Lion of Judah').
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In the Bible God prohibited the killing of man ("You shall not murder," Exodus 20:13) but he placed no such restriction on the killing of animals. Man is made in God’s image, so man must not kill one of his own kind. Animals, it would seem, are different from man. If they do have a "soul" that survives death, it is different from man’s. It does not need redemption.

Christ died to save the souls of human beings, not animals.

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Does this mean that Fido won't be around with us in the afterlife? –  Cavere Mendacia Aug 31 '11 at 16:38
You could of course believe in Fido being around in your afterlive and ignore the scripture.. –  Sven Aug 31 '11 at 16:41
This says nothing about the recreation of all things, which if there is a 'new heaven and new earth' there would certainly be. If the original creation contained animals, it is not unreasonable to assume the new would as well. –  user304 Aug 31 '11 at 16:49
Fido could belong to someone else in the afterlife :) –  tunmise fashipe May 19 '13 at 12:59

There is nothing to prove whether animals go to heaven or not but we must still have faith in God we will learn if animals go to heaven when we reach it, but it does talk about meeting your family in heaven and I guess a pet dog could be considered family

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Welcome to the site! I'd invite you to read the FAQ, as well as these posts: meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/692/… –  David Mar 12 '13 at 3:36

protected by Caleb Mar 12 '13 at 6:45

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