The Bible gives no specific answer on animals in heaven, neither confirming nor denying, but Scripture does give us some clues in reference that allow us to speculate about what we may expect in the new heaven and Earth.
Before we look at the Bible verses suggesting that animals may live with us in heaven, it is helpful to first review God’s creation of living creatures.
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, the Scriptures begin by telling the story of the creation of the universe and everything in it by God.
The following three verses tell of God creating living creatures:
“And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.’
– Genesis 1:20
“And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so.”
– Genesis 1:24
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'”
– Genesis 1:26
In numerous verses throughout the Bible, a new heaven and new Earth are spoken of. Here are two examples…
“For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.”
– Isaiah 65:17
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”
– Revelation 21:1
The prophet Isaiah also spoke about a future time that seems to indicate a peaceful era, most likely after the second coming of Jesus Christ, when animals will no longer kill one another for food and may no longer be a threat to humankind. Isaiah could be speaking of life upon the new earth and new heaven or of the New Jerusalem.
“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. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
– Isaiah 11:6-9
Isaiah may also be speaking of the future where all of God’s creation, mankind and animals, live in a time of peace and harmony, with no sin. The violence among the beasts may be eradicated.
In the 65th chapter of Isaiah, the prophet speaks of judgment and salvation concerning the new heavens and Earth. He reiterates what was spoken in chapter 11 concerning animals:
“The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the LORD.”
– Isaiah 65:25
Essentially, the message here is that all animals will become harmless.
As a side note, there is an inference here that the prophet is not only referring to serpents as a reptile, but also of Satan and his demons.
Human being hold a special love for all kinds of animals, especially those we keep as pets. We grieve when we lose our animals or pets, and many of us react just as emotionally as we do when we suffer the loss of a human being.
For most of us, we can’t imagine being in heaven without being reunited with our human family and our pets.
However, the Bible doesn’t speak specifically to these issues. But there seems to be some indication of horses in heaven in the following verses.
In the book of Revelation, we hear of the so-called “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”For example:
“And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.”
– Revelation 6:2
Horses are also mentioned in the story of Elijah being taken up to heaven.
“And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
– 2 Kings 2:11
Still, the Bible is unclear whether the horses are simply used by the horsemen who come down from heaven to do battle on the Earth. Just as angels manifest in human form from time to time when appearing on the Earth, is hypothetically possible that the horses described in Revelation may be manifested only for the purpose of doing battle upon the Earth. We can’t be sure if they exist in heaven, which is a spiritual realm, not a physical one.
In the story of Elijah above, we have no indication that the horse and chariot remained with him once he was in heaven.
In conclusion, whether or not we will be accompanied by animals in heaven remains a mystery and the biblical evidence is inconclusive, but by no means negates the idea. However, the above verses do give us hope that a peaceful coexistence with animals in heaven could be a possibility.