Genesis 1:24–26 “And God said, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so.”
At first, our dog’s name was Taffy. But, we felt awkward calling her name throughout the neighborhood the first time she ran away. So, we changed her name to Daisy. We soon grew callous to calling that name throughout the neighborhoods.
Yes, she brought her share of frustrations. However, we loved her. We bought her when I was three, and she died when I was in college.
What a hole she left in our family.
Okay, I’m going to creep out onto a theological limb that might break underneath me.
Many people ask if their beloved pets will be in Heaven one day. And they want an answer. However, I cannot give them one.
None of us have been there yet, so we cannot say from experience. The Bible is silent on the subject. I cannot fill in what has not been revealed.
However, we do know several things. First, God created everything. God created humanity as different from animals and set us over creation to care for it.
Second, we sinned and decided that our truth was better than God’s, sending all creation into a death spiral. What was designed as peaceful coexistence became mutually assured destruction.
Third, God loved us and sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
Fourth, this redemption was not just for humanity but all of creation. Paul, in Romans 8, relates that all creation is groaning for the return of Jesus Christ when he will usher in eternity.
Fifth, through our faith in Jesus Christ, eternity will not be in Heaven but on a remade earth. What God started in the Garden of Eden, He will finish forever.
So, no, there will not be animals in Heaven. But, there will be animals in eternity as we live the life that God created us to live among his perfected Creation.
Will Daisy be there? I do not know. The Bible does not say. However, I know that eternity will be perfect and that there will be no disappointment or tears. I am willing to trust God with the rest.
1 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”
Whenever the house is silent, I start wondering what is happening. Three children under the age of six are never quiet unless they are doing something terrible.
Well, one day, I heard nothing. Silence. I started to stand up to assess whatever damage was being done. Then, I heard giggles.
My two oldest, ages five and three, were toddling down the hallway wearing my wife’s and my boots. Every step was a struggle. They swayed, they tripped, they fell. But they were so excited to wear our boots.
Children love imitating their parents. They enjoy wearing their shoes and their clothes. They enjoy pretending to be parents to their toys or their younger siblings.
As the child grows, this imitation grows as well. Instead of imitating out of enjoyment, a child imitates without thinking. They will naturally imitate our words and our habits. Unfortunately, they seem to pick up the bad things we do much easier than the good things we do.
Jesus told his disciples, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3).
Jesus’ statement refers to our humility, faith, and simplicity. But, it also refers to how we view Him. As children, we should love to imitate Jesus. We should love to pretend to be Him and treat those around us with love and respect. We should love to show humility and self-sacrifice because He did. We should love to speak in ways that reflect Him, instead of our depravity.
As we try to imitate him, we will be like a little kid toddling down the hallway: swaying, tripping, and falling. We do not easily wear His shoes. But, when we fall, Jesus helps us get up and encourages us to keep trying.
Hopefully, as we grow in spiritual maturity, we will imitate Jesus without thinking because we have spent so much time trying to imitate Him. We will naturally imitate Him in our words and our habits. Thankfully, because Jesus was perfect, we will not pick up any bad habits from Him.
One day, after spending our lives trying to imitate Jesus, we can turn to someone younger and urge them to join us in imitating Jesus. We can give them strength and encouragement. That, too, is imitating Jesus.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ