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Animals in Heaven - A look at Revelation 4:6-9
Comments by Heidi Huse - 14 Mar 2004
I'm so disappointed to see that this discussion thread isn't several tens of contributions in length. I'm disappointed that the last entry was 2002. I'm disappointed that Christianity as a system, is not only not a system of animal advocacy, but that Christians in high places are often thoughtless perpetrators of gross animal exploitation and cruelty. And on top of it, the common belief is that animals won't be/don't belong in heaven, or will be there in some abstract sense--it's never about concrete, living animals, at least not in any sermons I've ever heard in the 20+ years I spent actively involved in evangelical Christianity before I couldn't take the hate anymore and had to leave.
I can't imagine that my beloved animals that pass on before me will not be there to greet me when I meet my Lord, if I physically die before he initiates His New Heaven and Earth. I can't imagine that when they pass on, God doesn't call them home to himself. I can't imagine heaven truly being a heaven without ALL those who I have loved in my life there with me for all eternity, including my animals and all animals who've suffered at the hands of humans.
I've sort of come to realize that the reason Jesus didn't come to die for the sins of animals is that they're not the ones who sinned; they are victims of human fallenness as much as we are; they have never needed a savior because they never lost their recognition of who God is in all His glory...we're the only ones who have done that and who were unable to save ourselves or creation from our sin.
I live in the U.S. Southern "Bible Belt" but frankly I am overwhelmed by the lack of love and compassion I see around me, toward animals and humans alike. I long for the day when it's Christians at the forefront of animal advocacy, and the verses in the Bible about animals in heaven and God's love for his animal creation are central verses of exhortation regarding how we should live, as well as verses for hope. What I don't understand is why God continues to allow us to be so un-Christlike, so unmerciful, so unloving, so filled with hate. I don't understand how He lets evil continue. I realize that saying "Maranatha, come Lord Jesus" could be a very dangerous thing, and yet this world just seems to be getting more and more hopeless and dark, not closer to godliness; sometimes I find it hard to believe that light DOES overcome darkness, that darkness can never overcome true Light--there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of evidence of that in our world, and I don't understand where God is or where His people are. Even Christianity seems lightless, loveless, merciless far too much of the time. And if God's people aren't lightbearers, then what? It's so hard not to let despair win.
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