Praying for an Unbeliever
Recently I published about if we know if our pets which have died will be in heaven. The answer is the Bible doesn't say, but personally I believe they will be. [Pets in Heaven? dated March 9, 2019]
An anonymous atheist (from another country and hence the "u" in neighbor) replied to this article: “If you're able to imagine your atheist neighbour burning in hell for eternity, courtesy of the god of love, then your dog certainly will.” He is right in that if we believe our pets will be in heaven; that leads us to believe they will be judged on some criteria and that some pets will go to hell. (I admitted in my article that the concept of our pets in heaven is problematic in that what about someone's dog that mulls someone.) It seems the only two options would be to believe that our pets go to heaven or hell; or that they are just dead and God later creates new animals. Or could a third option be that God allows all pets into heaven? I don't know the answer. I hope my Riley is in heaven, but I will admit I don't know.
What I wanted you to note was the atheist's use of the word “imagine.” It reflects his belief that there is no heaven or hell and that when he dies he is just dead.
Another guy put: “Simple answer, dogs go to heaven, no judgement whatsoever. Cats go to hell, no judgement at all, other animals are judged based on some arbitrary criterion like humans are.” He was joking about cats. I think. Haha. But I want you to notice ‘based on some arbitrary criterion like humans are.'
Are humans judged on some “arbitrary criterion?” No! The Bible is very specific how humans will be judged. We have a choice. We can accept the gift of living or death.
These two comments made me think how much TIME and THOUGHT is given to whether our pets are in heaven - something we don’t really know the answer to; and how little TIME and THOUGHT is given to the unbelievers we know. Are we concerned they will be in heaven? Do we love other people as much as we do our pets? We know what will happen to unbelievers and yet we seem to walk around largely unconcerned about them.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Our Lord commands us to love our neighbor. As what? As ourselves.
George Muller prayed for the unbelievers he encountered. He began in 1844 by writing down the names of five men on a prayer list. He prayed for them daily. Persistent prayer. He added to the list. It sometimes took years before he was able to cross a name off the list and write the date. When he died they found his diary and two of the original five names were still on the list, but the rest of the people on the list had come to saving faith! Muller had been praying for these two men for over fifty years. Every day. And what happened to them? After Muller passed away, they did come to know their Savior!
We don't know what will happen to our pets when they die. We want to believe they will be in heaven. I hope so. But we do know what will happen to the people around us who do not know Jesus.
Where are our priorities on what occupies our thoughts, prayers and our concerns?
It is important that we are concerned more about humans than our pets.
Have you prayed for an unbeliever today?