Monday, April 02, 2007

Matthew 18:10

"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven" (ASV)

Do you believe in angels? I get this question pretty regularly when discussing my faith. People are often surprised that I do in fact believe in them. For some reason our culture seems to have equated the concept of angels with new age spirituality.

The concept of the guardian angel is not a new one at all, but rather a very old one. In connection to Jesus, we often think of angels associated with His birth (Christmas) and His death (Easter), but forget about them for the rest of the year. It should also be noted that the Bible mentions them attending Him in the desert (Mark 1:13) and predicts their appearance at His return (Mark 8:38).

We also know that angels were present in the early church. It was an angel who freed the jailed apostles in Acts 5:19. An angel placed Phillip on the road where he met the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26. In Acts 10 an angel appeared to Cornelius and directed him to seek counsel from Simon Peter. Afterward an angel rescued Peter from a jail cell where he was surrounded by guards Acts 12:7. And all of that happened in just one book!

The Bible also takes for granted the concept that angels will always serve as guardians to God's chosen people. "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14 ASV) In the above passage from Matthew, Jesus makes reference to "little ones" having angels who dwell in the presence of God. In Hebrews we are reminded that not only do angels live in heaven, but also they walk among us here on earth. "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2 ASV) Just as angels existed in the days when Christ walked the earth, so too do they work today as messengers and servants of God.

While the Bible does assure us that angels are real, it also warns against worshiping them. It is clear that angels are merely servants and messengers of God. "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions." (Colossians 2:18 ASV)

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