What Does Billy Graham
Say About Pets?
Mr. Graham, you probably get this question a lot, but do you think we will be reunited with our pets in Heaven?   Our dog died recently after almost 15 years, and I just can't imagine being happy in Heaven unless he is with us.   - Mrs. S.J.

Dear Mrs. S. J., God will provide us with everything we need to be happy in Heaven -- and if animals are necessary to make us completely happy there, then you can be confident He will arrange for them to be with us.

Some Bible scholars have pointed out that the Bible suggests that there may be animals in Heaven -- but without the aggressiveness and dangers that are part of their lives now.  The prophet Isaiah saw God's coming Kingdom as a place of absolute peace, where even animals that had once been enemies will be friends.   He wrote:  "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."  (Isaiah 11:6)

Over the years, my wife and I have had many pets, and I understand your grief; we are always sad when they die.   I sometimes wonder, however, if God isn't using them to remind us of our own deaths.   Life is brief, and it can end in an instant.   The Bible says there is "a time to be born, and a time to die."  (Ecclesiastes 3:2)

THat is why we must never take life for granted, but see every minute as a gift from God to be used for His glory.  And if we aren't sure of our eternal destiny, now is the time to be sure by making our commitment to Christ.   --  Billy Graham

Mr. Graham, have you ever met anyone who loved their pets more than they loved their immediate family?   I have an aunt who seems to be like this, and I wonder what you'd say to her if you could.    -- Mrs. B.B.

Dear Mrs. B.B., I grew up on a farm with animals, and over the years my wife and I have had numerous pets what we almost considered part of the family.   And some of them acted as if they considered us part of their family!

But when animals become more valuable to us than our families or other people, then something has gone wrong.   I can understand how it happens, of couse; after all, pets (unlike people) never criticize us or argue with us or try to make us behave differently.   They accept us the way we are and respond to our affection, and their needs are usually quite simple.   People are seldom that way!

If I could talk to your aunt, I wouldn't necessarily urge her to love her pet less, but to love her family more.  Yes, her pets need her -- but so does her family.   God gave her family to her (and gave her to them), and she has a responsibility to love them and care for them.  The Bible says of the good mother, "her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also."  (Proverbs 31:28)

Let your aunt know you love her -- and then pray for her, and (as God gives you opportunity) gently urge her to realize what she is doing.  But more than that, urge her to think about the greatest relationship of all -- the relationship we each can have with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  God loves us, and when we come to Christ we become His children forever.   -- Billy Graham

To the Billy Graham Web Site
To Samaritan's Purse
Back to Valerie's Page