With all the cartoons, movies and toys in popular culture today, children have become quite familiar with the wild, wild world of the dinosaurs. They’re exotic and wondrous creatures who romp and play! Yet as our young people mature, they begin to ask interesting questions. For parents, the most exciting aspect of this is introducing your offspring to the power of the Bible. The afterlife is a favorite topic of tweens and teens alike. Heaven can inspire one to the heights of goodness and ward a weary soul away from the hellish depths of evil.
But what about the dinosaurs??? many youngsters demand. While the Bible is quite clear and correct about the existence of dinosaurs (represented as serpents, leviathans and dragons), it does not specifically describe their place in the afterlife. As was recently noted in a journalistic investigation, they were incredible companions to early man and were created as a sort of exceptional work animal:
The tall, lanky design of the dinosaur may have been intended to help our first human ancestors pick the highest fruits and nuts from the trees. Their amazing strength would come in handy when preparing foodstuffs. Maybe those long, muscled tails were used to clear out space for habitation. When one opens the door to serious consideration, the possibilities of the dinosaur as a work animal and companion to man are endless.
So would such a hardworking, helpful companion be accorded a seat in Heaven? There is a great deal ofscholarly debate whether modern-day animals belong in Heaven. Some thinkers mollify millions of children weeping over that lost puppy by saying yes. Others take a more intellectual approach:
The Bible is very clear that God created animals to be the servants of humans. They are there to carry things for us and to be cooked as meat when we’re hungry. Some animals violate these rules. They serve no purpose for humanity; rather they distract and harass us. Beasts must serve humans and not the other way around. Some animals do trick their human masters into becoming helpless slaves, commanding fresh food and the central spot on the couch. –Do Gay Pets Go to Heaven?
Yet when it comes to dinosaurs there’s something I would describe as the “Grandfather Clause.” This is an intriguing corollary to the modern awareness of our ancient dinosaur companions and may give children (and all of us adult amateur paleontologists!) a bit of hope. The Bible’s view of contemporary man’s creatures interprets them as wild beasts, food sources or verysubservient pets. Yet dinosaurs weren’t true meat sources (too reptilian to be nutritious), nor were they ever pets. Indeed, they may have been viewed as equals to human beings at the very dawn of time. They were never weak and never beholden to the Biblical ideal of man’s stewardship.
It’s quite possible that God viewed the dinosaurs as far closer to human beings than any later animal creation. It’s a special status that is made even more special by the fact that they are now entirely extinct. They served our planet well and there time has expired. It wouldn’t be at all surprising that God, in His infinite love, granted our ancient dinosaur friends a glorious seat at the table. Inevitably, nothing in the Bible contradicts this belief and much actually confirms it.
So will there be dinosaurs in Heaven? Tell your curious teens and tweens that if they live by His word, they may very well find out and the answer is likely to be a delightful one!