This is an opinion piece, allot of very rigid Bible doctrines can be found on this subject, but few envelop the totality of the Lord and his creation as a whole. As a minister with over 30 years of experience, and an understanding of the mercy shown of the Lord, I do not believe the righteous (as opposed to the wicked) suffer the result of the fall, as does the vast majority of humanity. That is to say, the needs of the righteous will be met, if not on earth, surely in heaven. In short, the suffering will be over!
Knowing your Bible gives you the basics for righteous living in life, but this is only a starting point for those who love and follow Jesus. So, the Bible is not emphatic about all subject matters, but is often used as a compass to lead us in the right direction, when used in contexts.
My wife and I just lost our old and faithful Cockier Spaniel, she helped me when I was recovering from my heart attack, and for years was a loving and obedient dog. This is primarily why I am writing this today, and to share with others my very personal knowledge of my Lord.
Below are some Bible verses I have pasted which show the creation order concerning animals and man. “Man” was created in God’s image, being tripartite in nature, yet his rebellion in the Garden of Eden separated him from a Holy God, because of his – (her) rebellion and independence.
Unlike “man” the animals did not rebel against the Lord God, yet were caught up in the downfall of creation, and they too suffer because of sin in the world, ultimately bringing death and destruction.
I cannot state emphatically that the souls of animals go to heaven, and some believe since they have no spirits (as does man) they will not exist with us in eternity; but it is my opinion that to believe such a doctrine leans towards legalism, and does not include the rest of the creation.
The whole of creation seems to be promised redemption; provided it has not rebelled against the Lord’s natural order to include an animal killing a human being, as in: Exodus 21:28–35 ESV
28 “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
It is my belief if an animal kills a man, woman, or child even in defense, it is a violation of God’s order without redemption, and will join lost humanity (those not redeemed) with Satan and his angles in the lake of fire for all eternity.
Yet Conversely: other scripture appears to point to “good animals” (those who have not violated God’s creation order of authority) will also be redeemed as a part of the new heavens and earth.
Isaiah 11:6 (KJV)
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
These other verses also show the totality of the Lord’s understanding especially towards his people…
Genesis 1:28 ESV
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Psalm 147:9 ESV
9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
Psalm 104:21 ESV
21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
Proverbs 12:10 ESV
10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Luke 12:6 ESV
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? 2 And not one of them is forgotten before God.
Romans 8:22-24 (ESV)
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
It appears to me that most verses in the scriptures are speaking about the animals and man, being redeemed to the original creation order, and I’m quite convinced this shall include the pets of the righteous. This is a part of our great hope in Christ, when death has no more sting, what a glorious day that shall be!