What Does The Bible Say About Animals Going To Heaven

Why Animals go to Heaven?

The teachings of the Bible are broad and complex, and the question of whether animals go to heaven has been long discussed, with a range of different interpretations and beliefs. Some point to passages in the Bible that suggest animals in heaven, others see the promise of an afterlife for animals as a metaphor for a higher power’s bountiful nature. It is important, however, to thoroughly understand the Bible’s teachings on the subject of animal’s fate in the afterlife, as they can have a serious impact on the way humans interact with animals.

The Bible mentions animals directly in the books of both Genesis and Revelation, but there are other passages that also indirectly refer to an animal’s spot in heaven. One example is when Isaiah 11:6-9 reads: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.”

These verses are often interpreted as an image of the entire kingdom of God — with animals and humans living in harmony. This passage could suggest animals will have a place in heaven, though it is not confirmed. In other passages, such as Psalm 36:6, animals are put on the same level as humans — “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals”. This could suggest animals are given the same salvation as humans, but again, it is not explicitly stated.

The Bible does, however, remind us to treat animals with kindness and respect. According to Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” This suggests that our treatment of animals is a marker of our spiritual character, and that perhaps our behavior towards animals could suggest that they go to heaven.

Finally, the Bible also speaks of God’s restoration of the world upon the completion of Heaven. In Acts 3:21, it states: “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” This suggests that our current world will be restored back to its original state, with animals in it.

What does this mean for us?

The conclusion of all these verses is that animals may or may not go to heaven, according to different interpretations of Scripture. But what is certain is that the Bible does encourage respect and kindness towards animals, and does include them in the glory of God’s kingdom. Ultimately, the eternal fate of animals may be something we will never know for certain, but we do know that taking care of animals is something valued in the Bible and something that should be taken seriously by the faithful.

The Role of Humanity in the Care of Animals

Humans are given special authority over animals in the Bible, and though animals may not have a confirmed spot in heaven, as humans, it is our responsibility to care for them as God’s creation. Psalm 145:9 states, “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made”. This teaches us that God cares for all of his creations, including animals, and therefore, so should we.

God has blessed humans with an ability to relate to animals, and we are charged with using this bond to treat all animals with kindness. This bond is best displayed in the metaphor of God’s “covenant” with Noah and all animals, teaching us how to be protectors of animals. The covenant also illustrates how animals were respected and freely given protection in the Bible.

The Bible suggests creating a peaceful, animal-friendly environment in our world and it mentally encourages us to be concerned with preserving the welfare of animals and address the issue of animal suffering. The biblical principle of stewardship teaches us to recognize our authority and use it responsibly when dealing with animals. We are called to use our power of dominion to improve the lives of animals, not cause them more suffering.

Christian Theology of Animal Souls

Christian theology has traditionally seen the soul as a special aspect of humans, set apart from other creatures. This is why animals were not seen as having a soul, and thus were not thought to be able to go to Heaven. However, some theologians believe recent advances in animal behavior and biology offer evidence that animals may have some kind of inner spiritual life – though it is not like human’s souls – enough to suggest that they deserve rights and, perhaps even, an eternity in Heaven.

For instance, work by biologists and animal behaviorists have suggested that animals have ethical systems and are conscious of their own behavior and of other animal’s behavior. They have emotions, can demonstrate loyalty and compassion, show love and attachment to their species as well as to humans, and practice social rules and rituals. All of which could be seen as evidence that animals have a spiritual life.

Such beliefs can be seen as a catalyst for a shift in the Christian beliefs around animals, suggesting that animals can in fact, have a place in Heaven according to God’s design for creation. Interestingly, the apostle Paul in particular, may have been one of the first thinkers to suggest this, when he explains that God “is the one who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 17:24) – suggesting that animals would be included in this.

A Biblical Mandate for Animals

While there is an ongoing debate about whether or not animals can gain entry to Heaven, there is no doubt that the Bible encourages us to treat them with kindness – a commandment which very much reflects our current understanding of animal rights. Ultimately, Christianity teaches us that animals have been given to us to enjoy and to be stewards of.

God’s charge to humanity that “rules over every living thing” (Gen. 1:28) has been interpreted as a charge to respect the dignity of every creature. This includes respecting the right of animals to exist, and to live free of distress or pain. Ultimately, it is up to us to take proper care of animals and be sure to treat them with kindness and respect – this is a responsibility that we have been given as humans by God Himself.


Though the Bible may not give us a definite answer to the question of whether animals can go to heaven, it is clear that the Bible encourages us to treat animals with kindness and respect. It also supports the idea that humans have been given a special authority over animals in order to care for them and be sure to use that dominon responsibly. Whether or not animals can gain access to Heaven, the Bible emphasizes that respect for animals is a moral and Biblical imperative.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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