Summary: The angels played a major role in the Christmas story. They announced the birth of Christ to both Mary and Joseph, and helped them work out the complexities of the virgin birth. Angels announced His birth to the shepherds and sang the first Christmas song--Glory to God in The Highest.
The secular world has fallen in love with angels. Angels have become so popular in our culture
that any book or movie on angels becomes an instant success. Two
of the popular TV programs are about angels. Touched By An Angel, features an Irish angel who
goes about helping people out of life's trials, and always has a successful conclusion. Every once in
while she tells people she is an angel, and every so often she does something supernatural to prove it.
But she is very conservative with her miracles, and you find yourself impatient with her for not
The other series called, Heaven Help Us is no longer on, but it had a lot of things not even
remotely related to Biblical revelation, but it was well done and satisfied the current hunger for
spiritual reality. The two angels are a young husband and wife who were killed in a plane crash.
They are assigned tasks each week to help people in sort of crisis. It is made clear that their success
in their good works will determine if they go to heaven or hell. It is a works salvation theme all the
way. They are very nice angels and they always succeed.
These two programs are, or were, watched by millions, and have a positive message about angels.
But they convey the false impression that people become angels at death, and that good works are a
means of salvation. They do convey the truth that there is a spirit world that cares about this world
and what happens to people. People long for this to be true. They do not want to trust Jesus as
Savior, or submit to God's will, but they deeply desire to know that someone cares and is watching
over them, and that death is not the end. This hunger for assurance of another world has led to
numerous books on angels, and many of them are not from a Christian perspective. A number of
modern artists are also into angels, and so the secular world is now competing with Christians in the
exaltation of angels.
The revival of interest in angels is both good and bad. It is bad because of all the myths and false
information, and the substituting of angels for God. This makes the angels into idols, and destroys
the very essence of what real angels are all about--to increase the adoration of God, their Creator.
The good side is that it opens the door for Christians to talk about the Biblical reality of angels, and
how they, like the Christmas angels, point men to the Lord Jesus.
Angels play a major role in the theology of the three major religions of the world-Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam. There are 109 references to angels in the Old Testament and 56 references
to the Angel of the Lord. In the New Testament there are 188 references to angels. In the Koran
there 101 references to angels. Angelology is a branch of theology in the great religions of the
world. They also play a role in cults theology, and in the world of the occult. The new age is into
angels, and so are religious nuts and wackos. In short, this is a subject that holds interest for most of
mankind. You could spend the rest of your life studying angels and never exhaust what is available.
So much of what angels do is personal and subjective. You cannot capture angelic experiences
on film, or get them to sign their autograph or pose for a picture.
Hard objective evidence is hard to come by. But when you begin to add up the enormous number of
witnesses who describe their encounters with angels, you are forced to recognize there is too much
evidence to ignore their reality. I believe in angels because the Bible reveals them and not because
of any personal experience. But Hope MacDonald has had many experiences with angels, and she
wrote the book, When Angels Appear. She is a pastor's wife, and her book was published by
Zondervan, an evangelical publishing house.
She started her encounter with angels at age 4. Her sister Marilyn was struck by a car and
thrown 20 feet into the air. She was rolling full speed into a large open sewer when all of the sudden
she stopped right on the edge. No one could understand how that could happen, but the sister said,
"But didn't you see that huge beautiful angel standing in the sewer holding up her hands to keep me
from rolling in?" She never forgot this incident, and as an adult she began to do research on angels.
She discovered hundreds of books on the devil and demons, but all she could find in print were 8
books on angels. This was back in 1982. It seems that men have a greater fascination for evil than