Dear Pastor Gallups, “Will there be pets in heaven? Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 seems to indicate this.” S.L. - Pace
I hope there are pets in heaven. I sure do love animals and I have had and still have animals that I would love to spend eternity with. The Bible makes clear that animals have always been a part of creation, primarily for man’s use and enjoyment. In my opinion, there will be animals in both the millennial reign of Jesus on earth and in the “new heaven and new earth” (Rev. 21) that the Lord has prepared for those who love him.
As to whether our specific pets will be there or not, I do not believe the Bible addresses this. But, I will leave all those details up to my loving Lord.
Now, as for the passage you referred to in Ecclesiastes, (3:18-22) let me put it in context for you and the readers. It does not address pets in heaven or even the existence of animals in heaven. Rather, you are reading the bitter, accusing words of a man (Solomon) who has rejected the Lord at a very important time in his life. He has lost perspective and is frantically looking for answers to life. Most of his search leads him to what he can see, feel and experience rather than the truth of God’s Word and way. Sound familiar?
In this passage he draws the mistaken conclusion that life is pretty meaningless and that humans are not much different than animals. They both come from dust and they both return to dust.
But of course, we know the “rest of the story”. Jesus came to show us that there is life after death and that death is not the end of life, especially for those who belong to the Lord. He came to show us and promise us that there is meaning, purpose, worth and dignity to all of life when life is lived in a Biblical perspective. He came to show us that we are infinitely more valuable than mere animals.
Solomon asks the question in verse 22, “for who can bring him (man) to see what will happen after him?” (NIV). Well, Solomon, the Lord Jesus can and DID, that’s who!