Saturday, August 15, 2009

What is God’s plan for animals?


Everybody immediately thinks of their dog or cat, just like that, or their horse, or whatever. Well, I just have to tell you one thing. Animals don’t have souls. Now we don’t want to take the time to support that, but if you were to study carefully the Old Testament, you’d find that animals do not have souls. They do not have spirits. They have bodies and they have instinct, and there’s a great difference.

The difference is that a soul and a spirit has what you would call self-consciousness. That is the ability to know that it lives, and to think and to reason and to feel and to collate facts and make conclusions. An animal has no self-consciousness, does not know that it exists and cannot collate facts and make conclusions; it can only operate on the basis of instinct. It can be trained to function in a certain way.

And so we don’t have any reason to believe there’s anything in heaven relative to animals. Now I know old Dr. Ironside said, “Well, my dog is going to be there, I don’t care what anybody says.” And there may be some of you who think that yours is going to be there, but you’d have a hard time getting it through the scripture.

The only problem we have, of course, is that there will be white horses descending from heaven. Now we do not believe that these would be…well I don’t know how to say this…they would not be typical horses. Typical horses would not descend from heaven, and typical horses would provide problems for heaven that heaven is not set up to handle. So whatever…you understand, right? So whatever, whatever the word of God has in mind, it is something very unique and very distinct.


Damaris said...

Well, I respect Mr. MacArthur but I think this idea: "[animals]cannot collate facts and make conclusions; it can only operate on the basis of instinct" it's not accurate. I understand that there a lot of studies that show that some animals do can collate facts and make conclusions. They don't only operate on the basis of instinct, but with a certain (and often, amazing)degree of intelligence. Please, note that I'm not saying that therefore animals have souls, that is another point.