Q: Will there be animals in heaven?
A: Romans 8 says the whole creation groans with a longing for the redemption that will be experienced with the resurrection of God's children (verses 18-21). What else in the creation suffers besides people? Animals. The passage shows that redemption is not limited to people, but that the whole earth will be made new. This may suggest that animals, which lived, suffered and died on this old earth, will be restored to life in God's earthly kingdom that is to come. They suffered because of our sin, so their bodies will be freed when we receive our new bodies.
Q: Will we have bodies in heaven, or will we be ghosts, floating in the clouds?
A: Many children are put at ease about heaven when you explain that we will not be ghosts. No child wants to become a ghost. The Bible says, "We know that when he appears we will be like him, because we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). Jesus in His resurrected body proclaimed that He was not a ghost but that He had actual "flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39).
Christ's resurrection body was suited for life on earth. As Jesus was raised to come back to live on earth, we, too, will be eventually raised to come back to live on the new earth (Revelation 21:1-3). Teach your child the doctrines of the Resurrection and our eventual transition to life on the new earth, and he will be excited about life after death!
Q: Will we still be ourselves, or will we become angels?
A: Angels and human beings are entirely different creatures (Hebrews 2:5-9). Angels will always be angels and people will always be people. Relocation to heaven includes becoming better humans (Romans 8:23), not nonhumans.
You will be you in heaven, and I will be me. Think about the resurrected Jesus, who did not become someone else. He remained who He was before His resurrection. When John was fishing with some of the other disciples, he saw Jesus on the seashore and said, "It is the Lord!" (John 21:7). So you will still recognize friends and family, and they will recognize you, too.
Q: Won't heaven be boring?
A: Everything good, enjoyable, refreshing, and exciting comes from God. God is creative, fascinating and anything but boring. Heaven is going to be full of surprises and adventures as we learn more about God and explore His new universe, the restored earth that He has prepared for us. The new earth will have plenty to keep us busy!
Q: Will we eat and drink?
A: Think about the food you most enjoy. Maybe your idea of heaven is eating that food for thousands of years. After His resurrection, Jesus asked His disciples for some food and ate a piece of fish in front of them (Luke 24:41-43). He proved that resurrected people can and do eat real food. Other Bible verses say that we will eat at feasts with Jesus in an earthly kingdom.
Q: Will we laugh in heaven?
A: Jesus promised we will. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. . . . Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven" (Luke 6:21,23). The Bible promises God will wipe away all of our tears (Revelation 21:4). Heaven will be full of joy. Do you think God ever laughs? In the Bible, God is said to enjoy, love, laugh, take delight and rejoice.
We were made in God's image, so we have feelings and express them just as God does. We are sometimes sad now, but in heaven there will not be anything to be sad about. We will all be happy. We will play because God put into us a love for play.
Only God knows for sure what He plans to do. But we know God loves to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:9-11). Since animals bring joy to people, God may very well include animals in eternity.
Randy Alcorn is an author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God's Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. Portions of this article are adapted from
Heaven for Kids. Copyright © 2004 by Randy Alcorn. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
This article appeared in Thriving Family's August/September 2013 digital edition. Copyright © 2013 by Randy Alcorn. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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