The article goes on to report what two previous popes had to say about the matter. The Pope that was in office just before Pope Francis, which was Pope Benedict, said that "animals are not called to eternal life." He also said that animals and salvation are never connected in the Bible.
The Pope before Benedict was Pope John Paul II. In 1990, he said that animals possess a soul. This fact, he said, makes them identical to other living creatures.
Obviously, there is a real problem here. They do not agree.
Let's consider what the Bible really says about animals. Animal lovers – I am not trying to be mean – but I will tell you what the Bible has to say about the matter.
In the answers given by the Popes, there is not one verse of scripture to support it – at least not reported in the article. In fact, there is a clear contradiction. Pope John Paul II, for instance, according the article said: "in this respect, man, created by the hand of God, is identical with all other living creatures."
If you look at Genesis chapters 1 and 2, which shows us the creation account, it is the work of the "hand of God" that is being used to create Adam and Eve. With the animals, however, God simply spoke and they were instantly created. There is nothing special about the creation of the animals. This special touch showed that God had a special care for the first couple – and only for them. His touch showed a greater care in their creation than in that of the animals.
Before God created the first couple, there is another primary distinction. We see this is in Genesis 1:26: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." This means that there are some similarities between us, and God made them so that we could communicate with Him and vice versa.
Another unique feature was that God breathed into them the breath of life. We see this is Genesis 1:7: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Once again, God never did this with animals.
God clearly set man above the animals. He is distinct from them and has always been so.
We also see that Christ died only for humans. Only we can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. One more very important distinction is that Christ became a human to redeem us – not an animal.
The article also mentioned Isaiah 11:6, and it said that animal lovers like to use this verse. The verse says: "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." It is not speaking about Heaven, but the Kingdom – which is on earth, and it ends after 1,000 years.
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Photo Credit: Unchanged; by Ryk Neethling at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rykneethling/5811680700/sizes/s/
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Keywords: animals, go to Heaven, Pope, Bible, Genesis 1,2, Creation, Isaiah 11:6