Regarding Animals, first we need to look at Noah's Ark.
If God gives murders and rapists eternal life (when they repent and believe) is He too powerless to give animals eternal life? No. He shows us by the picture of Noah's Ark that He brings animals to heaven. The picture of the Ark is what goes to heaven. People and animals and birds, etc. With humans he lets them decide by free will. With animals, who knows? I don't. Neither do you!
Now, I can't prove this just like you can't prove that animals don't go to heaven. But, I say to you that all living creatures in the Ark go to heaven. That is what the Bible difinitively implies (and I would say teaches) because that's what the Ark is: Who / what is saved. Who / what is inside is saved. Who / what is outside perishes.
Another point is where is their fall? Man fell and needed to be restored by Christ. Animals did not have a fall.
Also, God shows through scripture that He cares for and has concern for animals:
Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
Psalm 104:21 The young lions roar after their prey
And seek their food from God.
39"Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40When they crouch in their dens
And lie in wait in their lair?
41"Who prepares for the raven its nourishment
When its young cry to God
And wander about without food?
And Numbers 22:28-33
28And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" 29Then Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would have killed you by now." 30The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?" And he said, "No." 31Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32The angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me. 33"But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live."
The Lord did not do anything special to Balaam's donkey except to have her speak. These feelings expressed by the donkey are feelings the donkey has always had. God just let her express these in words. Next, you see the angel of the Lord had concern for the donkey too.
You say animals don't have a soul. Where does it say in the Bible that they would have to have a soul for God to bring them to heaven. It's a guess to conclude that or that He could not give them one if He felt like it or needed to. And, they may have one and God just did not mention that in the Bible. You can't prove He didn't. You being made in God's image and able to rule over animals does not by default mean that animals can't have a soul.
You may say, "Animals were made for man so we can treat them as we wish." No. You cannot. You are to care for them like God does and to be God's hands in that caring. Woman was made for man too and when she is your wife you are to love her like Christ loves the church. So, just because something or someone was created for you does not give you rights you do not have.
Some read 1 Corinthians 9:9-10 and thus believe that God is not concerned about animals. It does not say that. It says, I'm am not talking about animal abuse here because there is none happening. I'm talking about you.
1 Corinthians 9:9-10
9For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING " God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
I will paraphrase loosely (When I paraphrase what I add is in the Bible based on other verses, like Balaam's donkey "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?")
For it is written in the Law of Moses, "YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING" God's primary concern is not the OX but our faith. He is saying to have concern for the OX but God's main point is for us to have faith enough to know that letting the OX eat some grain while he is threshing will not harm the amount of the crop. So, God is speaking out of concern here for us; altogether for our sake, for our sake it was written. Do this and the ox is fine and your faith is fine. The plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
Lastly, Jesus said in Matthew 10:29-31
29"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31"So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
Jesus said, "you are more valuable than many sparrows." Jesus did not say you are more valuable than all sparrows.
When you don't help animals, when they need help, I believe this applies:
Matthew 25:45 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
The least of these is people and animals. It is made hard to see, like the Pharisees could not see things, because it takes love for animals to see that. If you don't love animals then you won't agree with me. You say, "but they are not Jesus' brothers." I say they are from what the Lord has told me from scripture and my personal experience with my dogs.
Also, did you know God made a covenant with your dog? He did. The same covenant He made with Noah and his family, with the rainbow as the sign, He made with your dog. The Bible says God made His covenant with "every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
Gen 9:11-16 11"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." 12God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; 13I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14"It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, 15and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.16"When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
Lastly, in 2 Samuel 12:1-5, look at how the Lord (these are the words the Lord had Nathan speak), Nathan the prophet and David view a relationship between a man and his animal (notwithstanding how this was a tale to get David's attention for his evil actions against Uriah the Hittite):
1Then the LORD sent Nathan to David And he came to him and said,
"There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.
2"The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.
3"But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb
Which he bought and nourished;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,
And was like a daughter to him.
4"Now a traveler came to the rich man,
And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;
Rather he took the poor man's ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him."
5Then David's anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die.
As believers we have a duty to care for animals just like Noah did (and how the Bible implies David would have too). In a church the pastor would be like Noah. If the Ark were in many of your hands half the animals would have died before the waters dried up. And, the thing is you have an Ark in your hands pastors and you're letting animals die. Show me your faith by your works. Help your congregation with their animals. As far as animals are concerned that's your first level of duty. Your congregation's animals are not pawns in your legalistic games. Second, donate to help animals. Just like you help people in need and you don't walk past a bleeding man on the side of the road you are not to turn a blind eye to hurting animals (such callousness is evil).
As you may have noticed this book is dedicated to my dog, Boone. He was murdered by a local vet here in Memphis that actually is a professional murderer of animals. I was told that by the person who took him there. He said, "I am an amateur (murderer) so I had to take him to a professional (murderer). Jesus filled in the words, "murderer" for me as the evil man spoke. Pray for justice in this matter. I want that vet shut down forever (I have seen testimony that he killed other dogs too) and whatever else God wants to do to him to recompense him for his evil, you will not find me standing in the way.
I was not given the financial support I needed to care for Boone and to protect him from these evil people (you do know that poverty makes it easier for Satan to kill, right? You may not. Another chapter for volume 2), which is another reason I am writing this chapter: to get pastors to open their eyes to God's love for animals which should, if they hear Jesus (I often wonder about how much they actually hear Him), help them to love animals and to help them (show me your love). That's my hope.
Jeremiah 23:28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream...
I was thinking of Boone and me in heaven and I could see it in my mind's eye. We were on the edge of a white cliff and we had just got done giving testimony against the people who murdered him. My dog can talk, just like Balaam's donkey, and he is young again. The Lord used his words against those murderers. I love it how God lifts up animals to heaven and sends the evil people to hell. The people who thought they would go to heaven one day end up in hell for their evil and the animals they said don't have souls and can't go to heaven end up testifying against them and live eternally with the Lord. Now that's heaven. Justice will only fully be completed on that day. That's the day I live for.
If I did not have a job to do here on earth, I'd rather be there now.