by Stan Hudson who served as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor for 38 years and is currently the Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference
Will God save our pets? Will we see again our beloved furry family members in the earth made new? Great questions, but with no clear affirmative or negative “thus saiths” we will need to do a little harmless speculation….
As you may have guessed already, I am leaning towards a “yes” answer. And here’s why: I base it on several character traits of God. First of all, God understands sentimental value. The lost coin parable of Luke 15:8-10 illustrates this. It was a parable for the women present, imagining the loss of a silver drachma. An archaic coin term, it was part of the woman’s bridal dowry, probably her mother’s and grandmother’s as well. The value wasn’t in the silver. A husband would offer a replacement, but it would not be the same. God understands that sentimental value trumps intrinsic value.
Secondly, God loves animals. The ark, a symbol of Christ’s salvation, contained animals as well as Noah and his family. God told Jonah of his care for the animals of Nineveh. Most of all, Matthew 10:29 reveals the amazing love of God for His sparrows, in that not one of them falls to the ground “without your Father.” The word “will” has been added; it was not in the original Greek. Quite literally Jesus was saying that “not one sparrow falls alone; the Father is present and feels the loss of that sparrow.” This is a clear refutation of theistic evolution which holds that God’s plan to create life and new species called for millions of sparrows to fall.
Finally, God is into restoring originals. Think of how easy it would be for God to copy more cooperative versions of us to replace us! Yet, He knows it’s not the same. Ellen G. White tells us that God salvaged the original Garden of Eden to present to Adam in the new earth. He understands how Adam would feel in getting back the original vines he dressed…so why not the original animals, too?
Since copies of the originals wouldn’t be the same, which are the best candidates to return to a restored earth with us? How about these: the original creation week animals, the ones on the ark, Elijah’s ravens, the talking donkey, the colt that Jesus rode on…and maybe our companions of youthful days as well as the ones who comforted us in our later years? I wouldn’t be surprised.