Posted in jesus, new earth, pets, rapture

Pets and the Rapture*

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m asked more often lately about what will happen to our pets when we’re raptured. Some ask about the animals we keep, being a farm community. My county abounds with cows, bulls, buffalo, mules, goats, chickens, sheep, pigs and more. I find the question fascinating, and also encouraging. I’m personally invested in the question, too, being an inside cat owner.

The book of Genesis tells us that we are unique in God’s creation, being made in His image and likeness. Also, though we and the animals have the breath of life in us, we were made to have dominion over the animals. Jesus died on the cross for salvation of his people, not animals, who as far as I know do not have a soul, at least, not an eternal soul. It is reasonable to assume that our futures will be different, being of different flesh and having had different roles on earth.

Continue reading “Pets and the Rapture*”
Posted in glorification, new earth, new heaven, sanctification, sin

Those distressing sin-battles

Sin is a torture. There is no avoiding it. There is no getting away from it. I hate the sin in me, and I hate that the older I grow in Christ, the sadder and more disappointed about my sin I become. Why? The more I’m sanctified the more sin I see. The more sin I see the more I realize that, blessedly, Jesus is the only One who can catch me up. He will glorify me on His Day. The most I can do is run the race. Persevere. (1 Corinthians 9:24)

I love the bible. My Savior, who I really love, sent His Spirit to inspire an entire book which reveals God to us. I love that. It encourages us with words of life. In this book are common men, men and women who were living lives and worshiping or not worshiping, or in Apostle Saul/Paul’s case, killing. One day, Jesus broke the veil and converted Paul. Hallelujah!

I can’t wait until our soul and our flesh are both perfectly pure!

However, even with a direct confrontation with a glorified risen Jesus, and even with the Spirit as fully on Paul as He was, Paul still did what he didn’t want to and didn’t do what he wanted. That old flesh.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” (Romans 7:15-20)

In other words, Paul struggled. The flesh certainly has a grip on us, doesn’t it? I’m grateful again that the people who are written down in the book are regular people, saints of grace, but not saintly. At least I can relate to the passage there in Romans.

When Jesus came, and some disciples told John the Baptist that people were going over to Jesus, John replied.

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

O, Lord, please increase the Spirit in me! Please, more each day. Yes, I know that’s sanctification, but it is all right to long for the glorification, is it not? When there be no more sin in me, when I can worship Jesus properly? O happy day. I know I am not the only one to feel this way.

There is then…there is then sort of an ongoing sadness in the Christian life, isn’t there? And the longer you’re a Christian, the sadder you are over your sin. And what makes you sadder than you used to be is you keep assuming that you ought to grow out of this. There’s a place in life for fun and there’s a place in life for joy. And the Lord wants us to rejoice, all of that. But there’s always that nagging reality in the life of a true Christian, that deep-felt grief and sorrow over sin until it is repentant of. ~John MacArthur, The Only Way to Happiness is to Mourn Over Sin

There is the joy that we know we don’t have to increase by ourselves. We can’t. We have joy in knowing the Holy Spirit in us is the One who will increase us to Christ-Likeness.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

He is a glorious, wonderful Savior to save us from wallowing for an eternity in our sins. What a blessed relief that is coming, final and eternal release from the sinful flesh.

New Heavens and a New Earth

17“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. 19I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.
(Isaiah 65:17-20)

What a Creator. We brought sin into the world, but He will finally banish it. No more distressing flesh-battles…only peace- and purity.

Posted in bible, judgment, new earth, ruin porn

Why are people attracted to ruin? (A beautifully decaying world)

In the beginning, God created a perfect universe, the beautiful stars, and a habitation for His people, humans. Earth was perfect. Rivers were sparkling and drinkable. Trees and flowers were lush and abundant. And Adam and Eve were His triumph, people with whom to have fellowship with Him. I can’t imagine how beautiful it all was, but I know He is going to restore it. (Revelation 21:1; Ezekiel 47:1-12).

When Eve and then Adam sinned, God cursed the earth. (Genesis 3). Thorns sprung up. Animals turned to carnivores. Sweat and blood and labor and toil became the characteristics of man’s life.

Despite the present despoiling of the earth after all these thousands of years, it is still beautiful in many places. Like this-

Photograph by Ireena Worthy on Flickr

Photograph by Mario Neumann (scuba.hamburg on Flickr)

Photograph by Nick Lippert (via Komo News)

There are many more beautiful photographs here: Top 100 photographs of the year 2012

I’ve said over an over that this present time, and every day thereafter, draws humankind closer to the moment when there will be a final dividing line. The middle ground that the Lord has graciously allowed is disappearing day by day. After Revelation 13 when humankind is forced to choose between the beast or the Lord (Rev 13:16-17), the final destinies will be set. Every day we go forward in time is another day that widens the gap between believer and unbeliever. it all is drawing down to that.

And each day we go forward widens the gap between believers and unbelievers. Every day, more apostates are unmasked. Every day more and more false prophets and preachers infiltrate pulpits. Every day more thousands fall for satan. It widens, until the earth is a battleground of them versus Jesus. (Revelation 16:14-16).
“It’s a bizarre, post-apocalyptic landscape that captures a traumatic moment in time.”Therefore the curse is proceeding apace, also. Amid the beauty of those scenes above, and many, many more, we have scenes of ruin.

Strange Geographies: The Mojave Desert’s Airplane Graveyard

Submerged ghost town comes up for air
In this May 7, 2013 photo, birds fly over the village of Epecuen, Argentina. Epecuen village was once home to 1,500 residents before it started flooding on November 10, 1985. After heavy rains the lake Epecuen burst its banks. It only took 20 days for the town to submerge beneath almost 10 metres (30 feet) of water forcing everybody to leave. As the years passed slowly the water started to recede. Nowadays the town that was never rebuilt, and was famous for therapeutic salty waters that surrounded it, is once again becoming a tourist destination but for the ruins that have been left. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Tank graveyard on Afghanistan

Photo: Ilya Varlamov

I thought these next two photos were eerily similar. Pompeii was the Roman-era vacation seaside resort town of about 20,000 people, that was covered in ash in 79AD when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, obliterating the town in ash in just a few days. Before the curse, volcanoes didn’t erupt. After the curse, earth became our enemy. The town was submerged under ash for 1500 years, and re-emerged after it was re-discovered in 1748. Excavations have been ongoing ever since. Today, Pompeii is a huge tourist draw with 2.5 million visitors arriving each year to view the ruins.

The photo below that is of the Argentine lake resort town of Epecuen, formerly home to about 20,000 people that was suddenly submerged with water when the lake overflowed its banks in a violent rainstorm. Within days the town was obliterated.

“It’s a bizarre, post-apocalyptic landscape that captures a traumatic moment in time.”

“I came to see the end of the world!”

Why do people travel 6 hours to the town of Epecuen from Buenos Aires to view ruins? What attracts people to the post-apocalyptic visions? The NY Times examined the whys and wherefores of what it is about ruin and blight that attracts tourists. Detroit is the UN capital of ruin porn, a visual genre that not only photographers and artists explore, but tourists to also, coming to the city specifically to stare at ruined buildings. People are simply fascinated by it, as they demonstrate by driving to Epecuen over rough country roads. The NY Times article states,

“Meditation on ruin is a long and noble tradition. In Renaissance Italy, antiquarians like Leon Battista Alberti and Poggio Bracciolini began to promote the study and preservation of Roman ruins, which, to that point, had been unsystematically pushed aside as the city expanded. According to Alberti’s biographer, Anthony Grafton, they also “made fun of those who became too depressed” about the ruins, like poor, oversensitive Cyriac of Ancona, who “seemed to mourn the fall of Rome with excessive emotion.” “

We think nothing of viewing the Colosseum in Rome, a ruin, but ponder the whys of people driving to Detroit to look at falling down buildings. Perhaps the ancient has more mystique, and thus pondering the ruins of today is just plain morbid? A Paris family flew to Detroit to see the ruins of the once-beautiful Packard Plant, and when asked what appealed to them about Detroit, “One of them gleefully exclaimed, “I came to see the end of the world!”

In this article titled the Psychology of Ruin Porn, ruin photographer Matthew Christopher said, “I’d like the viewer to step back just a bit and to see the horror story that’s implicit in the image,” he says. “These pictures document physical conditions that are the direct consequences of failed economies.”

I agree with his assessment but would edit it to a biblical stance. When people are drawn to modern ruin, either in images or to places, it is to personally interpret not just the physical conditions that are the direct consequence of failed economies, but to document physical conditions that are the direct result of sin and the curse.

See, all people respond to the creation. All. People.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

Romans 1:18 says tough that people deliberately suppress the truth. The feel it. They know it. They suppress it. Yet their fascination with it peeks out in trips to ruins, to ponder the explosiveness of a long-dormant volcano, a once-placid lake becoming a killer, weapons of ear dying in the desert. The earth is blighted by disease,war, and cataclysms, and we cannot help but ponder the power of it all. The fascination with ruin, pure and simple, is people pondering their eternity, thinking they have escaped such a ruin themselves. But they have not.

The same is true for people who travel far and wide to view the beauty of the earth. They are responding to God’s eternity set within their hearts.

The Lord has dominion over all. As we see in this verse from Ezekiel 21:27, it is prophesied of Israel–

“A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him.”

Yet the Lord’s dominion extends also to the church and the whole world. Wesley’s notes explains, “Shall be no more – Never recover its former glory, ’till the scepter be quite taken away from Judah, and way be made for the Messiah. He hath an incontestable right to the dominion both in the church and in the world. And in due time he shall have the possession of it, all adverse power being overturned.”

Ultimately, all earth will be a ruin before the Lord renews it. That is why we do not cling to the cities of today, nor do we exult in their passing, for that means the unsaved people within them are passing into eternity of hell. The writer of Hebrews said, “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

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Other essays on this topic:

Things Fall Apart

Ruin porn

Posted in morning in tuscany, new earth

If ‘Morning in Tuscany’ is THIS pretty, then…

Just think, the New Earth (Rev 21:1) will be even MORE beautiful than this

Peace in the valley! Click on the photo for enlargement and drooling purposes. Remember, any person can be with Jesus in the gorgeous New Earth. He wishes for all to join Him there. (1 Tim 2:4). All one must do is repent and believe-

“and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Posted in jesus, new earth, pets, rapture

Pets and the rapture

I’m asked more often lately about what will happen to our pets when we’re raptured. Some ask about the animals we keep, being a farm community. This place abounds with cows, bulls, buffalo, mules, goats, chickens, pigs and more. An ancillary question is often asked about pets and/or animals in the New Earth. I find the question fascinating, and also encouraging. The question about pets during the rapture has two answers: the literal one and the abstract one

The literal answer would have to refer to the bible. The book of Genesis tells us that we are unique in God’s creation, being made in His image and likeness. Also, though we and the animals have the breath of life in us, we were made to have dominion over the animals. It is reasonable to assume that our futures will be different, being of different flesh and having had different roles on earth.

We read in Isaiah 11:6-9 that there will be animals walking the earth during the Millennial Kingdom.

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Those verses do not give us any indication one way or another specifically whether any of those animals will be our resurrected pets or whether they will be all newly created animals, or whether they will be animals completely different from any we could conceive of. After all, our normal picture of angels never prepared us for the passages in Ezekiel 10:10-12 with the cherubim of four faces and wheel within wheels. And a word of caution. Remember, a redeemed earth is not a resurrected earth.

After the thousand year reign of Christ on earth concludes and He makes a New Heaven and a New Earth (Rev 21, 22, 2 Peter 3:13, Isaiah 66:22) there is no indication that animals will be present with us. I take comfort in the Genesis flood accounts that He took care to provide for animals of the earth. He didn’t make new animals after the flood, and He didn’t give Noah only the animals he would eat and sacrifice, but He provided for all the kinds of animals. But the truth is, we simply don’t know.

We do know for a fact that we will feel all joy in the new heaven, and the former things will not be remembered nor come to mind. (Revelation 7:16-17). I take that to mean that if our pets are not accompanying us in the eternal state, not only the crushing guilt of our sin will no longer be remembered and not only also our lost family members and friends will not come to mind, but also we will not remember our pets. Everything necessary to our happiness will be in heaven, and that will mean they will either be present or their memory will be absent.

The abstract answer to the question as to what happens to our pets indicates a growing awareness of the real impacts of imminent rapture. Many Christians who ask me this have been Christians for a lifetime, or at least many years. We hear about the rapture and most of us know it as truth and adhere to it as a doctrine, but peeking into the nuts and bolts of the mechanics of it has largely been absent from our thoughts. This is because until now it has not been obvious that we might very well be the generation spoken of that will experience it. Though the rapture has been imminent for thousands of years, the conditions that immediately follow our departure haven’t been.

But those conditions are present now and growing more glaring by the minute. Christians are waking up to the fact that the rapture could indeed occur in our lifetime, or next year, or tomorrow. As we gaze around at our world and see the decline of the church and the war against truth, we start picturing what it will exactly look like- after.

I have an indoor cat. When I’m raptured, whether it occurs when I’m home or at work, it means they will starve. They will be thirsty and alone and lonely and confused. Maybe a tree will fall on the house in one of the terrible storms and disasters prophesied to come upon the earth, and maybe they will be injured or escape into the world, only to be eaten by a larger predator. I don’t know. But it will be bad. The future does not look good for them.

Nor does it look good for the chickens in the pens and the cows needing to be milked and the dogs tied to the pole or inside the car while the master is inside getting coffee. I try not to think about it. It is just one of the many tragedies that will occur during this time. After all, Jesus Himself said “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24: 21-22). It will be a very bad time, for not only the people but for the animals who suffer under the same corrupted earth that we do. I simply try not to dwell on it.

I take encouragement from something Texas Baptist Pastor Don Fawcett said, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope, that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” Romans 8:20-21. It seems abundantly clear from this verse that 1) the entire creation was subjected to decay and corruption due to sin, 2) animals and pets are created beings, 3) animals and pets are subject to corruption as part of the fallen world, 4) Christ, in his atonement, undid the sin/death principle for all corrupted creation, 5) at the eschaton, all things that have been effected by sin and corruption unwillingly will be restored. So, my conclusion- animals or pets in heaven? Animals? No doubt. Personal pets? I don’t know but it is certainly within the scope of biblical theology.”

I would like to agree with this. It is certainly in the scope of possibility, too.

I know God is good. His thoughts are above our thoughts and His plans are always working together for the good and His glory. It comes down to trust. I trust His thoughts and I trust His ways. After all, He sent Jesus to us. He sent the Holy Spirit to us. He sent the bible to us. He knows whither a sparrow falls and He knows our emotions and needs. Maybe He will send Fluffy and Scrappy to us! Heaven is perfection, and so, it will be perfect. I trust that with all my soul.

Further Reading:

Will our Pets be Raptured with Us?