Crossing the Rainbow Bridge…

Last week, our family once again went through the loss of one of our own – Andrew’s dog, Trinity. In my opinion, Trinity could have possibly been the best dog that our family has ever had. She was a border collie and Andrew adopted her almost 14 years ago. She was kind, loving, friendly and she followed him EVERYWHERE!

Trinity was one of those rare dogs that had every trait that you would want in “mankind’s best friend.” Like so many other pets our family has had, she was loved by all of us. She was truly a family dog. And she has been by Andrew’s side through many ups and downs of his life – ever dedicated to him, first and foremost – love without judgment.

Of course, we all realized that she was aging, as we all are, along with all the other pets in the family. She had slowed down a step, but never lost her wonderful disposition. Earlier this year, we had a scare when she suffered an event that dealt with her balance. I, for one, was afraid that she had suffered a stroke. However, that wasn’t the case and she eventually recovered from what was referred to as a vestibular event – a balance issue associated with aging dogs.

However, in the last month, it became evident to Andrew, after trying several changes to her diet and assistance with mobility issues, that Trinity was tired – it was her time to say “goodbye.” And so, without going into great detail, Janet and I joined Andrew at the vet to say our last farewell. And then she crossed the rainbow bridge…

One of the questions that I get asked from time to time is whether or not our pets will join us in heaven. The Bible is silent on any definitive answer to this question but I am sure that most of us would like to believe that our pets will be waiting for us upon our arrival.

The theological community is deeply divided on this issue. Those who believe that our animals will not be with us seem to hinge their argument on the premise that animals don’t have souls – they are physical beings only, not created in God’s image as we are. As such,  the argument is that they don’t have a way to be redeemed. Without salvation, there is no life in heaven. Of course, there are other arguments as well, but that is the main talking point about animals not being in heaven.

However, others believe we will be joined in heaven by our furry friends. Luke tells us, in Luke 3:6, “And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” That seems to include animals… It has also been researched that even Pope John Paul II, in 1990, said “the animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.” This would also seem to indicate a life in heaven for our pets.

We also have those who believe that heaven would be incomplete with these “members” of our families and that God will relent and allow our pets into heaven. After all, man was given dominion over the animals in Genesis. But the strongest point seems to be that there is biblical evidence that there will be at least some animals in heaven.

John, the author of Revelation, tells us that there will be horses in heaven for sure. In Revelation, we have the trumpet judgments and riders on horses coming to earth – we also have Jesus Himself on a horse in tonight’s verse. John tells us, in Revelation 19:11-14, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”

So it seems pretty apparent that horses exist in heaven. And if horses are there, it would make complete sense that other animals are there as well, including our family pets. My encouragement this evening is that we serve a kind and loving God – perhaps our pets are also in heaven by virtue of God’s grace. My prayer is that we will appreciate the pets that we have had in our lives and realize that God gave us dominion to take care of his creatures.

To Sassy, Bobby, Ellie, Abby, Nibbles, KC, CB, Ernie, Beau, Sadie and Lexie, as well as Trinity and all the other pets that our children have had, we do pray that we will be reunited with you again. You all have added joy and companionship to our lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…


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