What Are Relationships Like in Heaven?
In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
This week, we are looking at the top 10 questions people have about heaven and what the Bible says. The seventh question is this: “Will there be animals in heaven–specifically, will my pet be in heaven?” Isaiah 11 is a description of the Millennium, when Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years. The Bible says there will be animals during the Millennium. “The wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together” (v. 6). Furthermore, the Bible also says at the second coming of Christ, horses will come out of heaven (Revelation 19:11-14). But after Revelation 21 and 22, when the present earth is destroyed and replaced by the new heaven and earth, you find no mention of animals. There is no mention of animals or pets in the new Jerusalem.
The Word of God teaches there is a difference between a human and animal: a man’s soul is eternal, but a pet’s is not. In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon makes that point clear: “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust” (vv. 19-20). Solomon is saying: Animals and beasts are alike in this way–they die. Then he goes on to say, “Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?” (v. 21). Here is the difference: the breath, or the spirit, of a man ascends to heaven, but an animal’s does not. If there are animals in the new heaven and new earth, then they will likely be new animals God has created, probably not our resurrected pets.
Question number eight: “Will there be marriage in heaven? If I am married on earth, will I be married to the same person in heaven?” This is a question the Bible answers very clearly. A group of the Sadducees decided to play their own version of “Ask the Rabbi” to try to stump Jesus. The question, in essence, was this: “Jesus, suppose a woman is married seven different times to seven different men, and she dies. In the next life, whose wife will she be?” Jesus told them, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). Notice Jesus did not say: When we die, we become angels. That is one of the great misunderstandings among Christians. We do not become angels. Jesus is simply saying that in our resurrected bodies we are like angels in this aspect: we will not marry. That doesn’t mean you will not know your mate. You will have a relationship with your mate as you do with other friends, but it will be a different kind of relationship than a marriage.
Now if the thought that you are not going to be married, or that Fido isn’t going to be with you, in heaven causes you a lot of angst, remember this: heaven is going to be a place of complete joy. God knows exactly what you need to be happy, and nothing will be lacking in heaven.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Truth About Heaven” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.