While listening to your iPod and sipping a Cinnamon Dolce Latté from Starbucks, have you ever wondered if your pet will be in heaven? I’m pretty sure cats will not be there because they make me sneeze. Just kidding! But seriously, will our pets be in heaven? What about sex and marriage? Will those things be in heaven? And what about my loved ones who don’t believe in Jesus? This essay tackles these three common but tough questions about heaven.
1. How can God be good if some of my loved ones are not in heaven?
Here’s the deal: due to Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden of Eden, every human being that has ever been born is infected with a horrible spiritual condition. We are fallen from God’s favor and sinful by nature. This causes us to hijack God’s desires for our lives. Instead of loving God completely and perfectly and loving others as we love ourselves, we live our lives motivated by selﬁshness. We worship created things instead of God. The Bible calls this sin, and we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Thus hell is the destiny we all deserve because of our oﬀenses against God.
But God is a missionary-God who comes to rescue us in the person of Jesus because he is rich in mercy and loves us, even though we are trapped in sin! Jesus has done everything in his power to make sure that your loved ones can be in heaven to enjoy him and continue their relationship with you as well. He lived a perfect life for them. He died a brutal death, satisfying God’s righteous anger against their sins. And then to the applause of heaven and disappointment of hell, he rose from the dead—smashing the powers of darkness. God is good. He desires your loved ones to embrace Jesus so they too can experience his goodness for eternity (2 Peter 3:9).
2. Will there be sex in heaven?
Jesus said in heaven we will be like angels. We won’t marry or be given in marriage (Matthew 22:30). Men and women will not engage in sexual relations, but they will enjoy the distinctions between masculinity and femininity at a much deeper level since the sin that complicates relationships will be banished. We will love one another as God loves us. Just in case you think people will be missing out by not having sexual relations in heaven, remember, we will be totally enthralled by our perfect relationship with God and with others.
3. Are there animals in heaven?
Animals were in the garden of Eden, and the new heaven and earth are Eden restored. Great thinkers like C.S. Lewis and Peter Kreeft are not only convinced animals will be heaven, but that our own pets will be resurrected as well. But remember, the Bible does not speak directly to this issue, and our ultimate joy in heaven is seeing and experiencing God, not long-gone Fido. The vision of God in his full greatness will totally satisfy us, whether or not animals are present.
This post is an excerpt from the Apologetics Study Bible for Students by Holman Bible Publishers. It is used with permission. You can purchase this resource in its entirety here.