12 March 2002
(biblical quotes are NASB unless otherwise noted):

Many people believe animals are solely here for the pleasure of people. Biblical passages taken out of context support their belief. One such passage is

1 Timothy 6:17:

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

People believe the end of this verse means that "anything goes" with animals, when the verse is actually pertaining to the love of money.

Other reasons people could think animals are of little value come from:

Genesis 9:2-3: And the fear of you and the terror of you shall be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

Acts 10:9-13: And on the next day, as they were on their way, and approaching the city, Peter went upon the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry, and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he beheld the sky opened up, and a certain object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, "Arise, Peter, kill and eat!"


2 Peter 2:12: But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed.

We also find biblical passages offsetting such a mindset, demonstrating no justification for mistreatment of animals. The passages quoted above are making a point in specific situations. In Genesis 1, God created sea creatures, birds, and animals and "saw that it was good".

Genesis 1: 20,21 Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens." And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:24, 25: Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind"; and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

God established His relationship with "all living creatures of every kind" by saving them from the great flood as described in Genesis 6:18-21:

"But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind shall come to you to keep them alive. And as for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them."

Animals have more importance than food because God did not need an ark to save eight people! As the rain ended and flooding began to recede, God established the same everlasting covenant with animals that he did with humans. His rainbow symbolizes to God that He will never again destroy all creation by flood. This is told to us in Genesis 9:12-14:

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; "I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, {15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh."

In Romans 8:18-25, Paul informs us that all creation is frustrated due to the sins of humans. It is patiently waiting "in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." (NIV) Likewise, Colossians 1:19, 20 assures us that Jesus redeems creation through His blood, shed on the cross:

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say whether things on earth or things in heaven.

The end of the passage of Colossians 1:23 informs us that all creation is aware of the Gospel; that is, the good news concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ: …This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creaure under heaven…(NIV)

From Scripture we can see that people and animals not only share creation, but salvation through Jesus!

Most importantly is what Jesus says in Matthew 13:44 in His parable of the Hidden Treasures: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. This parable is explained in the NASB Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible as follows:

…treasures found in the field are the people in the world in whom He establishes His kingdom. In order to possess them, He gave His own life. He hides this treasure, God’s redeemed saints, in the world until He redeems or purchases the whole world when He will come again to liberate not only the believer within the world but the world itself." (1280) (emphasis mine)

Children of God, people…in whom He establishes His kingdom, saints, and believers are all those who have accepted God’s gift of forgiveness from sin and a place in heaven through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Does your pet have a better relationship with God than you do? Would you like your own? It is simple. In your own words, just say a sincere prayer admitting sin, thanking God for sending Jesus to assure forgiveness, accepting that forgiveness, and asking Him into your heart. With that, the heavens will be rejoicing (Luke 15:7: I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance), your name will be written in the book of life (Revelation 3:5: "He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."), and you will be a child of God (John 1:12: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name).

To understand this, read the Book of John and seek a Christ-centered, biblically based church in your area.

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