In the Bible we have learned that God put animals on the earth to be cared for by people. In Genesis first chapter the story of creation and God's plan for us is explained. Let's look at the Old Testament, Genesis Chapter One starting with verse 20:
Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."21So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.22And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."23So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.24Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so.25And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."27So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.28Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."29And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.30Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.31Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
As we can see, from the moment we were created we were given a job, to care for and be responsible for the animals of this earth. This does not mean the animals are equal to us as an animal activist might believe; it does mean that we are responsible for the WELFARE of animals and their care as we have dominion over them.
I don't know about you, but for me dominion means what it means, Control or the exercise ofcontrol; sovereignty, and does not include a word such as "abuse", but rather means care and responsibility. What an awesome job God gave us, intrusting us and providing us with not only a means to pleasure, companionship, but also supplying the need of food.
This brings me to my main goal in answering a question many have asked? Will animals be in Heaven? Yes.
Since animals were part of God's perfect original design for Earth and mankind, as we clearly read above, it stands to reason that Heaven would not be Heaven without animals. Also, in the New Testament, Romans 8:19-23 says:
19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Here we are told that animals along with all creation, long for the deliverance that will be theirs at the time of the redemption of our bodies, at the resurrection. They await and long for it, because they will be part of it! As the entire creation, including animals, plants, and nature itself, fell on humanity's coat-tails, so shall the entire creation rise on our coat-tails, as beneficiaries of Christ's redemptive work.
Also, Isaiah 11, 60, and 65 chapters depict animals on the New Earth. The fact that the animals were rescued in the Ark is a picture of how God intends to rescue not only people, but the animals as well.
I know this continues to bea "Christian controversy" but I choose to believe that My GOD has a Plan for all His creatures both great and small.
(I write this for myself and my belief in God's Plan for our lives, Peggy Rice)
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