by Caren and Victor Brodt
As we approach the subject of heaven we recognize the truth of what Jesus taught and that people around him rightly took him at his word. He is who he says he is; those who lived when he lived would know this best; many were serious enough to lay their lives down because these teachings are forever true. We are of exactly the same perspective. For details consider the following: http://www.nae.net/about-us/statement-of-faith
It is hoped that personally and on this page we would share only the very Best; that is the mind of Christ which brings peace and joy even through life’s darkest trials. Personally we have figuratively gone to Hell and back on many occasions; but now we know a deep peace and assurance that we want to share going through all life’s challenges. God is our Rock. He has pronounced His work in us as “good as finished” and our lives are at rest because of this truth. As Paul said before the royal council, “but for these chains I wish you were as I am”.
Now about God’s creation and creatures we know that some who define themselves as Christians will insist that there are no animals in heaven. Respectfully we must strongly differ; others not having a Christian foundation insist that they “feel” there must be animals in heaven. Ultimately feelings can badly misguide us through life and even lead us into grave danger. The most loving thing we can do is point out the real truth as taught by God’s words to us.
Those who fail to recognize the depth of God’s love and care diminish his infinite and perfect character by ignoring the words of Jesus who told us that even when the sparrow falls, God knows. This passage in context is speaking of God’s great care and concern for us even to the hairs on our head. Most likely Jesus chose this small entirely common creature that flock together in uncountable masses for good reasons; they are indistinguishable to us, yet each is known by God. They are cared for, watched over and deeply valued. Should you ever feel alone forgotten, or unloved? God does not forget even the sparrow. You, we; are all precious to him. His love is perfect and infinite.
The Bible in an overview is a story about men and women turning their backs on God; abusing the freedom God gave them. The rebellion brought death, disease and pain of all sorts. You know too well about that. The Bible is a promise of how God himself will solve what we cannot. A mysterious answer is incomprehensible but promised; we will come back to the Garden (Genesis 2:8-25) that Adam and Eve had spoiled. God himself will set it right, this plan includes the promised One (Messiah, Jesus). Mankind can hardly comprehend this. God becomes man and lays down his very life blood in order to quell the rebellion and steer us back to the Garden. The prophets of old in many places and points of history speak of the promise that is precisely fulfilled in Jesus. They also speak of creation and its dramatic shift back to the original status. The lion, the wolf and the lamb will lie down together in peace. No harm will come to those in God’s domain.
The final chapters that we are headed for are recorded as though it has already occurred. Out of heaven comes Jesus with all of his saints * (see below) following him riding on horses (animals coming from out of heaven). One can assume the writer if simply making up a story; could have chosen to have them arrive on the backs of angels. Something like saints with wings would be easier to accept. A modern man might have called for chariots but no such things are mentioned; the real scene included animals from heaven. Then, an even more fantastic thing occurs; all is set right as forever planned. All of heaven comes down to dwell on earth; not some ethereal cloud but to our very home. God chooses to dwell with us as he once had in the Garden. There the mountains are laid low. The change is so great that the sun is no longer needed because of God’s light. A great golden city of international expanse will dwarf all of mankind’s efforts by incomprehensible extremes. From this city pour out streams of living water (water and life) from God himself. There by the water are the trees, the Tree of Life. That is the same tree mentioned in the Garden of Eden, the trees which now are given for the healing of the nations.
In this garden of earth, you and I will all meet. There will be no language barriers, no fear and no death; no tears or pain. There the lion as a playful kitten; there the forever friends will dwell. Life will finally begin.
Please oh please, meet us there.**
* Saints: In the Bible, the word “saints” refers to holy people — holy, however, not primarily in the moral sense, but in the sense of being specially marked out as God’s people. The Bible calls those who seek to follow Christ in word and deed; saints. For a more in depth definition: http://news.americanbible.org/article/please-tell-me-the-definition-of-a-saint
Does my Pet have a Soul?
By Victor Brodt, M.Div.
In the Genesis creation account there is an interesting set of occurrences; new creatures are described with the Hebrew word nephesh. Nephesh in the creation accounts, depending upon the translation are often times worded simply “creatures” or “living creatures”, but the exact same word is more often used to describe humans. In the case of men and women the translation usually comes down to “soul” and the passions that are intertwined with the soul. This Hebrew word is used 754 times in the Old Testament and does not otherwise change in meaning. The controversy comes when animals are described as souls. Some Bible translations (for example Wycliffe, Darby, and others) struggle a bit with the wording and use an awkward but more precise translation calling the animals “soulish creatures” or “living souls” used 7 times in the first 2 chapters of Genesis, each which specifically describe animals; nephesh means human soul everywhere else. The concept of soul is used for God’s creatures through the first chapters and the same word is applied to mankind later in Genesis, then by other writers throughout the Bible. Some may argue that it simply means life, or breathing beings but the fact is; the word is used as a very specific theological term when used in other places within Genesis. The Greek word psyche (Septuagint and New Testament) used for soul is also handled in the same manner for animal as well as mankind. It is a huge error to falsely say that the Bible tells us that animals do not have souls!
Since both the Old and New Testaments describe animals coming from or residing in heaven, for example (2 Kings 2:11) Elijah’s horse drawn chariot of fire from and back into heaven. In (Revelation 19:11-14) the triumphal return of Jesus, a myriad of horseback riders come from out of heaven to earth to set up the kingdom on earth; it is logical to conclude that animals have a place in heaven and some essence of them are certainly housed in the heavenly realm. Go as far as to through out any consideration of animals having souls, still there they are in the heavenly descriptions. To exclude animals from the heavenly realms would require overlooking the biblical text. To be fair this can easily be done because of assumptions strongly embedded in our society that believe death is the ultimate end… but that is not what God shows us. The Bible declares that death is only the beginning of life; eternal life for all creation.
It needs to be noted that some theologians or commentators do not accept the concept of animals in heaven, declaring mankind is special and unique. This stance is unfortunate and needlessly painful. Many of us who make the point about creatures in heaven wholeheartedly agree about the uniqueness of man (men and women need to make their own choices to enter into God’s presence; mankind needs salvation). Mankind must choose, yet it should be recognized that there is inclusion for all creation in the biblical scenario. There is no need to resort to the concept: “life dies with the body”; this idea as applied to men’s and women’s souls is deemed heresy. That teaching would be at odds with the overall teaching of the Bible that tells us there will be a resurrection of the body; even the all-consuming sea will instantly give up its dead at God’s command (Revelation 20:12-13). To assume that God will not do the same for various forms of life is quite limited in thinking, especially when His Word indicates otherwise with God inspired biblical glimpses into the heavenly realms.
** How to know that you will be in heaven with your pets
We have established that your pets have gone before you to heaven. We believe that they will have eternal life, will you?…
Below you will find some ways to know for sure if you have made Jesus the Lord of your life. If you have not made the decision to choose eternal life in heaven with your pets; this little guide should help you to begin that process. If you think you have made the decision to follow Christ and have invited Him into your heart to save you from death and to live in eternity with him and your pets but are not absolutely sure you will be there; read through the following material and pray that God will give you complete assurance that He is able to save you and keep you with Him and your pets for eternity.
To become a follower of Jesus there is nothing you need to do or be other than to allow Him to take charge of your life. I, Caren, am a Jewish Christian. I was raised in a Jewish home. When I first heard the talk about Jesus taking charge of a person’s life I was confused. I had the impression that this meant that I would no longer be me; that I would become an automaton. It seemed to me that becoming a Christian meant that I would be controlled by people like joining a cult. Nothing could be further from the truth; as I learned later. Submitting to Christ meant freedom for me; not the captivity I had imagined. What could be more relaxing than resting in the One who created the universe and every hair on my head? Until you have experienced the peace that comes with knowing your Savior personally and intimately you cannot know just how freeing it can be.
- God loves you and has a plan for your life.
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” — a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
But here is the problem:
- Man is sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin=Missing the target. We try to hit the bull’s eye but we miss, that is what sin is; missing the mark.
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
The good news?
- God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so we could live with Him in eternity.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But it did not end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
“Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Jesus is the only way to God.
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
- Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?
We cannot earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is recognize that you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that is called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:
“Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Your Name. Amen.”
Did you pray this prayer? Now it is time to pick up a Bible and read a little bit daily. We suggest beginning with the book of John, the fourth book of the New Testament. There are many ways we can read the Bible these days, you can even get an app on your phone which will read the Bible to you, this link goes to an app we like called Daily Bible for Android or YouVersion for iOS (free at this writing):
The important thing is: get in a daily habit of reading some of the Bible. Start with a chapter from Genesis (the first book in the Old Testament) and one from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. To understand God you must know what He says. The Bible is more than just a book. It is the literal Words of God. They can speak directly to your situation once you have invited Jesus to become the leader and forgiver of your life. God will begin to speak to you in a “still small voice” through His Holy Spirit which comes alive in you when you invite Jesus into your heart. Ask God to show you that He is there. He will not disappoint you if you truly seek Him with your whole heart, and are open to what He has to say to you through his written Word. Always check anything you think God is telling you against His Word.
The Daily Bible app takes you through segments of the Old and New Testaments readings take about five minutes per day. The translation used on PfP is usually NIV (New International Version) or ESV (English Standard Version), but most translations will be God’s Words spoken out in the form of the sixty-six books that comprise the Bible. We believe that any good translation* contains the inerrant (no human mistakes) words God spoke to various prophets. The Bible is the oldest and most accurate ancient manuscript that exists today.
Here are some Scriptures which talk about salvation (or how to be saved):
Comments are closed.