I live in the mountains in the country. I have 2 cats left (having had 3 or 4 17-year old cats die in the past few years); after having had up to 13 at one time (13 cats... now that would be an unfortunate number if I were superstitious, which I am not; but they were not all black; half of them were calicoes; and I did not have 13 open folding ladders either... whew...!) because immoral locals who have pets that have babies, once they grow tired of them, drive them into the country and abandon them; and they then have litters of their own before I have time or funds to have them all fixed! Now, of the 2 that I have left, which are 18 or 20 years old, one of them I believe contracted feline leukemia (which can be contracted merely from sharing the same food or water bowl) from a vagrant cat that comes and steals food. A few weeks ago she was fat and strong and healthy... now she is a bag of bones; presumably, the liver shutting down, unable to digest food, and throwing up anything that she eats. While only outdoor cats, they have been there for nearly a third of my entire life (as were the others who lived to that age). They have always been there, as a faithful friend, even waiting at the door for me, hunkered down on the door mat, looking up, waiting for me. They have followed me around whenever I walked around the property or worked in the gardens. They would watch and even “inspect” once I was done. In addition to their comical antics and unique personalities and individual habits, sleeping in a particular spot, scratching a certain log, it was always fulfilling to look out the window and see one sleeping in a particular cat pavilion that I made for them (or in a bird feeder) or jumping or walking along a path I made, or on stones, or firewood sized logs I would position in the landscaping for me (and them). Indeed. I shall miss them. It will be like a part of me will have died.
One well-meaning person on my email list wrote to me:
It is so sad when pets we love die, but know that they do go to heaven. Here’s a true story about that.....
A very credible, high ranking military officer was having surgery when he died on the operating table. He said he found himself in heaven and it was so incredibly beautiful. There were green rolling meadows filled with flowers and each blade of grass emanated light like a green emerald. Then he heard dogs barking in the distance and as the sound came closer, a pack of dogs came over the rise in the meadow. They were so happy, running, barking and coming toward him. Suddenly he realized there was every dog he ever had since he’d been a little boy. His dogs were as happy to see him as he was to see them! Then God said, “I love you so much that whatever you love on earth, I bring to heaven for you. But it’s not your time, so you have to go back, and your dogs will be waiting for you.” He woke back up on the operating table and the doctors were so happy they brought him back to life. Whatever you love, Robert, including your cats will be in heaven for you!!!!
I have had numerous people, over the years, write similar sentiments.
Well, I thank you for your kindness and sympthies, and understand that I do not mean to offend you; however...
I am sorry but this is unbiblical humanism. There would be no need for God to “wipe away all tears” if we had in Heaven everything that we wanted. Heaven, Eternity, will not be about us or our individual, subjective (even sinful) “happiness”... it will be about God—even as this life is supposed to be. That is what the universe revolves around and what Eternity will be about: God. Holiness. Worshipping God in His Greatness, Majesty, Power, Holiness, Immutability, and Perfection. Eternity will not be about our individual subjective emotional experiences from our mostly sinful life on earth. Christ alone is enough to make one happy; being saved from Hell, seeing the Omnipotent God Who created the universe and all the history of time with just a word; seeing Him in His Power and Majesty. One does not understand the Bible, theology, doctrine, reality, if he does not understand that by comparison this life of a mere 70 years or so is but a dream (and mostly a bad one). One does not understand God and true doctrine if he does not realize at least faintly, the implication of “It is in Him that we live and move and have our being”; that He is “All in all” and “by Him all things consist”.
Could a dog or a cat (or a cupcake or a pizza) take greater importance in a “Christian’s” heart in Heaven than Jesus, than God Himself will? Furthermore, I myself (with my current fallen mind, clouded and influenced by emotions, selfish, focusing on the wrong things at times) would be far-more “unhappy” in Heaven knowing that billions of Adamites, my very ancestors, every family member from Adam is in Hell suffering (unless, of course, a person chooses to invent other false doctrine and reject the doctrine of Judgment and Hell—and that will magically overrule God and change reality for Eternity). What sinful kind of irrational, selfish, humanistic soul would it take to care more about missing a pet on earth than the millions of his own relatives who rejected Christ who are suffering Eternal Punishment?
I indeed grow very fond of my pets, especially those who have been there, faithful to greet me each time I open the door for 20 years... or when I look out the window and see them sleeping in a cat pavilion that I made for them (or a birdfeeder that they turned into a cat motel)... sleeping in each of their favorite spots, faithful as swiss clockwork. I have taught them behaviours using both classical and operant conditioning. Some that I have had (including the one that is not dying) were nonstop chatterboxes that make a meow or some funny little noise with each step.
However, our individual fantasy does not dictate reality here in this life, or in heaven. That would be Hinduism in which his gods and nirvana and reality is as each individual subjectively imagines it to be (whether his mind is a runaway train of subjective emotionalism, or controlled by demons)—and thus in their minds there are tens of billions of gods; imagination of a billion people—the sky (and beyond) is the limit. But that is not what establishes Christianity, which is Doctrine derived and defined; not established by emotions or subjective experience. The facts declared by God in His Word alone establish truth, reality, morality, doctrine. It is not about us but about God. Once give a new body and a new spirit you will have different desires... not the same desires we may have had in this life. Would you consider an adult to be mature and mentally and emotionally established if he still clung to his “blankie” and his favorite stuffed animal, his toys, the baby food that was his “favorite”, the mindless little games he played, and superstitions? Why, then, do you think that it would be healthy, mature, normal, well adjusted—godly for a human in Heaven with a perfect mind and body to daydream over, miss, wish to return to the pathetic, damaged, sin-permeated, sad, painful old life here below which was mostly delusion?
For the same reason we continue to sin here in this life... “how can ye who [are supposed to be] dead to sin live any longer therein?”; because we still have a sinful old nature and a damage human nature, in which we are easily tempted to crawl back into the graveclothes of the old creature whom Christ crucified and is supposed to be dead and buried. We are deluded into covering over our shining, white, spotless wedding garment of Righteousness in Christ, and becoming graverobbers of our own grave and putting on those stinking, foul, dirty, rags of death. Our minds, if truly regenerated, have been renewed—but even as gravity still pulls on us, even as magnets repel or attract, even as elements and molecules follow a hierarchy of laws of bonding, so also sin affects us; even as being around a smoking fire for even a few seconds will cause you to have the stench upon you even though you thought that you avoided it by staying upwind and not staying in its presence for more than a moment. So it is with sin. It is like radiation that permeates. Even more amazing then will it be forced upon your mind when you realize that God delivered the 3 godly Hebrew young men in the firey furnace, the ropes that bound them having been burned off—and yet the smell of smoke was not upon them! That is how we are supposed to live in the presence of sin. Most often we fail. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. The problem is our human nature damaged from conception—in its very DNA, in our very spirit essence—by the contamination and corruption, the mutating destruction of sin, and its effects upon our mind and our emotions. Most humans (evidence of their sin-damaged minds) reject any notion that does not glorify man. They reject any notion that presents man’s true sinful nature and state. They want to think only complementary thoughts about man; and thus they invent humanistic delusion, even passing it off as Christian doctrine; but it is blasphemy. Only when we receive our glorified bodies and bask in the Glory of God’s Presence will all of that change.
Thank God that our life, thinking, experiences, reality in Heaven will not be dictated upon our fallen, sinful, damaged mind and emotions with which we are currently crippled.
So, unless a “Christian” has in Heaven what he wants, what he himself deems is necessary to make him “happy”, then God is not loving or fair? What if he wants to eat all the wrong foods and eat like a pig and never get fat? or have unlimited sex? I guess that’s why Muslims invented their “reward” of 70 virgins each... the only problem is, they will not be virgins after the foul beasts have defiled them. When the humanists (a ephemism for Satanists) in Christ’s day attempted to entrap him with their false scenario, by saying that a married woman had her husband die, and she remarried, that husband died, etc., for a total of 7 husbands, to which husband will she be married in the Kingdom of God. Christ replied that it would be “NONE”. For in Heaven, there is neither marrying or giving in marriage—and marriage on earth ends with death. “A woman is under the law of her husband for as long as HE liveth.” Sinful man’s unlimited fantasy does not alter the Decrees of God.
So, I won’t be happy unless every single soul from Adam is in Heaven and not suffering in Hell... so then, that means that God has to save everyone even though in His Immutable Sovereignty Holiness, Wrath, Justice, and Rigtheousness He determined otherwise from before the foundation of the world?* That sort of means my will would be stronger than God and His Will.
[* See my annotated edition of Arthur Pink’s, The Attributes of God, 199pp., pb., 17.50 + P&H.]
Theology and Bible Doctrine is not established by what someone dreams at night or by what he dreams on the operating table under anesthesia which he misperceived as “reality”—whether he dies or not. The mind thinks in warp speed and a person is an unconscious state is unmoored from time and place and has no concept of reality or time. One who has played many sports (or one who truly thinks, whenever he has watched sports) can understand the mind thinking so fast it seems as if time slows down all around you, in which the body reacts (as a result of repeated training of the brain and body’s muscles to work together under those conditions) almost by learned instinct, though it is actually super-high-speed thinking: such as returning a 130-mph (190 fps) serve in tennis from a distance of only 78 feet (which takes .46 seconds to reach you once the person has served the ball); or hitting a baseball pitched at 100 mph which takes less than half a second (375-400 milliseconds) to travel over home plate from the pitcher’s mound 60 feet, 6 inches away, or fielding the line-drive ball travelling at possibly 20% faster than the ball was pitched over a distance of 70 feet hit to third base; or downhill speed slalom skiers travelling at 70 mph); or possibly someone who has been thrust into a moment of importance, a life-or-death situation, a possibly life-changing threshold (such as an accident, a near accident, a dangerous situation that fell in his lap) in which the afterburners of adrenaline kick in, will realize this.
Most dreams that seem to last hours... last only a few seconds. That is because the mind thinks FAST while asleep; even as the speed of anything travelling in a vacuum is greatly increased because of the total absence of friction resulting in drag). Dreams are during the REM (rapid eye movement) state of sleep; not during d-alpha, which is the deep sleep of the body’s healing and truly resting... but the dreams are so vivid during those few seconds, that even hours after the dreams ended, after which there is no dreaming for hours, the person wakes up and remembers the dream as if it just happened—as if it had been happening for hours. What someone says happened to him when he was dead on the operating table, or whatever someone invents for a good story or his own feel-goodism or want-to-believeism (and that is not beyond the realm of possibility, whether on a conscious or subconscious level), does not establish truth, reality, or Bible Doctrine. There is not one verse in the entire Bible that even suggests that whatever a person needs to make him happy in Heaven God will give him. It is humanism. It is an insult to God. Shirley McClain and other New Age witches, atheists, those who believe in pagan “religions” also claim to have had wonderful after death “experiences” of warm fuzzies, being bathed in light, feelings of peace—and demons and seducing deceiving spirits could have been the ones inventing that false scenario: strong delusion sent by God for them to believe a lie. Such “experiences” give unbalanced, godless people “false hope”. It shall be their undoing. Feelings and experience do not dictate reality. Reality is what God decreed. Those who reject Christ shall have the Wrath of God ever abiding upon them; not peace, warmth, light, warm fuzzies, or their childhood pet or favorite stuffed teddy bear.
It should be humbling to anyone to contemplate missing a pet, an animal with no soul* (Ecclesiastes 3:21)—in light of the fact that nearly any moment across the globe throughout all of Christendom, women and children are being raped and people are being assaulted and murdered by savages. Truly we are self-centered, selfish creatures and we need to think less of ourselves and more of God and more of our own kinsmen, the current ravages of sin, and eternity. However, sad, even “tragic” experience and evil do not invalidate God or the Will, the Word of God. Despite corrupt, rampant inflation (which is actually caused by corrupt politicians who violate the Constitution and print a worthless, illegal currency on paper backed by NOTHING; and despite the immoral, illegal action of Congress in raising the minimum wage (to justify raising their own salaries), the wages of sin remain the same: Death! Morality never changes. Judgment never changes. God never changes. That is our hope. The only sane solution is to conform to all that God commanded, not engage in sterile fantasy.
[* Indeed, everything that respirates oxygen has life and “breath”—but only Adamkind was given “the Breath of Life”—the Breath of God Himself, giving a living soul: a spirit that survives the death of the body and which has familial relation.]
“Christians” should be more concerned with whether or not THEY THEMSELVES will be in Heaven. Christ Himself declared to MANY who thought that they were good Christians—even “doing wonderful works in Thy Name”... to whom He shall declare, “I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity [“lawlessness”]”. True Christianity, salvation, is not merely a “good feeling”... or an “idea” or “inspirational thought”. Doctrine is what establishes reality and truth. Christianity is doctrine; clear, double-witnessed, textually inferred, documented, unchanging, harmonious facts in the Word of God. If a person has truly been regenerated by God and is truly redeemed / saved by Christ’s atoning work on the cross, he will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit, he will desire what God desires (which entails knowing unchanging God’s Word—not interpreted by world-friendly humanistic modern notions) and live as God commanded, adopting God’s Will as his own; loving what God loves, hating what God hates; being honorable sons who will inherit of their father. True life results in signs of true life; walking in the Father’s Footsteps; even as Christ did: setting the example for us.
Like many things that are routinely preached, declared, or written, they may seem to make sense—as long as you do not actually think about them; as long as you really don’t understand logic, common sense, reality, or Bible doctrine. Most people don’t think; they simply wallow in their inordinate emotions. If you think about most warm-fuzzy things that are said (and don’t get me wrong... I LOVE warm fuzzy things...! and I have so rarely gotten to enjoy any throughout this sad life) they are blasphemous. Warm fuzzies are a placebo, most of the time. Most “Christians” do very little true study, and they do not do so because God is not in their heart or mind. They don’t have the desire. Their family, their treasure, their heart is the world. If most “Christians” chewed and ate physically to the same degree that they ate and meditated spiritually they would be anorexic and quite near to renal failure. They want a nice 30-second inspirational thought and like the scent of lavender flowers they imagine that is all they need to get them through the day. But they learn nothing. It does nothing to inform them of what God expects, nor does it change their life. In the same regard they should eat half of a sugar-free chocolate covered cherry and think that is all they need for the whole day... day after day; year after year. They don’t want meat. They can’t even handle milk.
All of our troubles in life are the result of violation of:
“5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3)
Faith—TRUTH—cometh by the facts in the Word of God. Anything less is humanism and a violation of what God commanded and ordained; the only reality that will be in our favor. As Paul, so are we to eat, drink, breathe, and live “according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” and “keep the faith”; not merely any faith—THE Faith, THE Doctrine: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them”; and “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed”. As Jude wrote: “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” or quite possibly meaning, “the faith that was delivered once and for all”—for the true faith, doctrine, the Word of God does not change. Modernists and humanists continually change it, pervert it, water it down.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
“23Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. 24He that loveth Me not keepeth not My Sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s which sent Me.” (John 14)
“If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed.” (John 8:31)
“...the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life...” (John 6:63)
“If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:9)
“2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die ... 3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” (Revelation 3)
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)
“...whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23)
“Faith” is not derived merely from anything that we dream up or prefer to believe. True faith in God and His Word do not originate in us. They originate in God. Faith is part of the “fruit package” of the Spirit administered by the Holy Spirit at the time of regeneration whereby we believe unto salvation. Faith is put in us to recognize and believe and hold to Truth—the facts God reveals in His Word.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
This does not refer to the physiological fuction of the organ of the ear, auditory mechanism, nor the vibrations of sound waves that strike it. It is referring the the facts in the Word of God imparted unto the mind; the ear being the main method in those days by which people were taught.
False doctrine is sin; it is a rejection of what God commanded in lieu of what sinful man prefers. It is antichrist. God is Truth. There is no other truth; it is counterfeit.
“For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.” (Proverbs 4:2)
“9Whom shall He teach Knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand Doctrine? .... 24They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured [rebelled] shall learn doctrine.” (Isaiah 28)
“But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for [the Doctrine that I received instead teaching in its place] doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:19)
“And they were astonished at His Doctrine: for His Word was with Power.” (Luke 4:32)
“My Doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me.” (John 7:16)
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” (Romans 6:17)
“...charge some that they teach no other doctrine.” (I Timothy 3)
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them.” (I Timothy 4:6)
“3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Christ Jesus, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (I Timothy 6)
“16All Scripture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3)
“3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy 4)
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9)
“1But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.... 7In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” (Titus 2)
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” (Hebrews 13:9)
“9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the Doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” (II John 1)
Remember, Christ’s Doctrine, Christ’s Commands were not His own... they were those of the Father which He taught and kept perfectly to set the example for us.
“Love” does not replaced God’s Law or Doctrine. Obeying what God commanded continuing in what is right is the only true demonstration of true love. If you love Me keep My Commandments. A child of God, or your child, or you being your father’s child do not demonstrate “love” by not doing what you were told and instead choosing to do something else as the way that “you identify” with showing love. Love is not a gushy feeling (though true love can be accompanied by gushy feelings); it is obedience—and obedience is self-sacrifice: doing what you were told, what you know is right, instead of doing what you want to do instead. Love does not replace the Law or Doctrine. Love is the true fulfillment of the Law, and the motivation to obey. If you love God and your kinsmen you will not violate what God commanded and sin against them or defile yourself.
Do you realize where you end and God begins...? —trick question. God does not begin or end anywhere. He is all in all; owns all; and it is in Him that we live and move and have our being and by Him all things consist.
Your feelings. Your ideas. Your dreams. Your “visions” do not establish reality or Bible doctrine or Christianity. It is superstition. It is antichrist, if it forms your belief system, pushing the Word of God out of the position that only it should occupy.
“23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. 24God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.” (John 4)
That Truth is what He reveals in His Word—not any person’s subjective feelings, opinions, fantasies, or even dreams or visions. If those dreams and visions are not in harmony with what God has already revealed in Scripture, they are lying signs and wonders and seducing doctrines of demons—no matter “how good they feel”. THAT is exactly why they feel good—because “bait” is not supposed to be offensive, but enticing.
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the Truth...?” (Galatians 3:1)