What do we know about angels? These mysterious and powerful creatures of the Bible are depicted in many ways in pop-culture these days, but let’s take the scriptural view of them according to the Word of God.
Much of what we know about angels comes to us through the Bible; and, the remainder comes to us through the contextual reasoning of great theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) as has been recorded in the Summa Theologica.
Angel means “messenger” in Hebrew. But, in addition to being those who exchange verbal words between we humans and God in heaven, angels have a host of jobs and unique characteristics. In the Scriptures of the Bible, angels are referred to as: The Heavenly Host, Sons of God, and Stars of Heaven. In different books of the Bible we read about different types of angels such as the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Powers, and Principalities. And each angel, according to St. Thomas, is so unique that it can considered a species unto itself (Summa, P1, Q. 50). We’ve heard they are messengers, singers, warriors, and more.
So, that is very brief overview on angels with some reference material, but what does that have to do with us? What will we be like in heaven? If we are to take Lord Jesus Christ at His word, we are to be like the angels above. Let’s looks at the following verses:
Matthew 22:30 – “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”
Luke 20:36 – “But those who are considered worthy to share in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In fact, they can no longer die, because they are like the angels. And since they are sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God.”
John 1:12-14 – “But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
1 John 3:1-2 – “Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth not us, because it knew not him. Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.”
Now, that makes things interesting doesn’t it? There are some who argue that the term “sons of God” speaks only to certain groups of humans or to those humans on earth who have accepted Jesus Christ. But, such theories start to fall apart when we look at the book of Job:
Job 1:6 – “Now on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them.”
Job 2:1 – “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.”
Job 38:7 – “When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
So, it appears highly likely that John was talking about angels in this Gospel in the same way that Matthew and Luke talked of angels in theirs.
So, if by God’s grace we make it to heaven, we will be “like the angels” according to Matthew, Luke, and John. This means that we faithful Christians are to be obedient, diligent, heavenly workers of God, to love him as we do His will, glorifying Him in all we do for all eternity. What a role!
In preparation, we ALL must accept Jesus Christ in the entirety of His message in all that we do. For if you and I are to get to heaven, we must do as we are commanded by Jesus to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) and to follow as he told us to “obey everything I have commanded you“(Matthew 28:20).
Are you up to the challenge to fully accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior so that you may be saved as an eternal, loving servant of God?