In today’s episode, the guys discuss the passing of Ray’s treasured friend and partner in the gospel: his beloved dog, Sam. The guys talk about grief, loss and how to weather the storm through the grace of God. Sam was a fluffy, white dog that would ride on a bike wearing red sunglasses. Many people would approach Ray because of Sam, and that would be his instrument to witness to people. Sam became so popular on social media, that many people commented on Ray’s instagram post about Sam, saying how sad they were about his passing. Sam at first was a hyper, crazy dog and Ray tried to get rid of him multiple times! After Sam calmed down, he became a docile, sweet dog that would patiently sit as Ray talked about the gospel to hundreds of people. Recently, Ray had to bring Sam to the veterinarian to put him down. Ray says the loss of his dog Sam has helped Ray grow closer to the Lord because instead of being by himself when he gets home, Ray is glad that the Lord is with him.
The guys then discuss how popular pets are, with now 70% of all households having a pet. During COVID, 23 million people adopted pets. Ray speaks about how dogs have unconditional love and complete trust in their master. They discussed this hypothetical question of whether you would save your dog or another person from a river if they were drowning, and a surprising amount of people said they would pick their dog. As much as we love and care for our pets, they are not as valuable as human beings. God names Adam and then lets Adam name the rest of the animals. God intended for us to be his representatives, to love, nurture and care for the rest of the world. Pets speak into a specific type of companionship and sing the glory of God. By having pets, we can honor God through the way we take care of them and use them for God’s will. Even though pets are wonderful, we need to not create idols in what we worship (animals) instead of who we worship (the Lord).
The guys then discuss the idea of whether or not dogs go to heaven. They talk about how heaven will be full of God’s image-bearers with animals, but maybe not necessarily our personal pets. They then say how it won’t actually matter if we have our pets in heaven or not. Heaven will be so good with being face-to-face with Jesus, that everyone else won’t actually matter to us. They also talk about how we should not console or comfort people by saying dogs or people are in heaven, but that we should ask what they would do or say if they were here. They discuss how grieving is really important and in the Bible, they would actually hire mourners to help people grieve. Grief is God’s way of healing us. You can’t let it pent up or hold it in, but you have to let it all out to heal in a healthy way. Even through loss, we can be comforted by the fact that God will make all of this right one day. There is hope in eternal life and one day, there will be no more death and no more tears.