Summary: A brief survey of teaching about angels and how we should be grateful for God’s intervention in our lives.
Touched by the Angels
18Do 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. 19He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Angels are making a comeback. And that’s not because the of the way the Anaheim Angels won the Baseball World series last Sunday. It seems we like stories about them…
The movie industry keep churning out stories of angels from Angels in the Outfield, to Nicholas Cage flick called City of Angels, Dogma starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the classic Christmas season film – It’s a Wonderful Life. Popularity of long-running TV shows such as Touched by an Angel, a while back Michael Landon’s Highway to Heaven again shows that the public wants to hear stories about angels. The success of recent popular Christian novels such as Frank Perretti’s Piercing the Darkness, This Present Darkness, shows that the Christian public too is quite interested in these heavenly beings. However, we have to remember what we get, even in Christian novels is a work of fiction. Over the internet, there are many Urban legends about angelic visits. It seems the public will never tire of angels. We are fascinated, curious and awed by stories of angels, are we not?
Listen to this story…
The Rev. John G. Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. Paton realized then that God must have sent his angels to protect them.
Whoa! I wonder… Could it be that my wife and I too have experienced angels as well? When my wife was involved in a car crash, two people came by and offered comfort and prayers and then vanished. Were they angels?
My suspicion is that we like these stories because it warms our hearts. To believe God’s looking out for us, he cares to send his angels to do something good for people. As we gather today in church, I believe many of us here would like to get the story straight about angels. So what does the Bible have to say about angels?
Rev. Billy Graham, noted evangelist, said this in 1975: “When I decided to preach a sermon on angels, I found practically nothing in my library… I soon discovered that little had been written on the subject in this century.” He also added: “I have never heard anyone preach a sermon on angels.” Hey me too, when I think about it! According to Millard J. Erickson, respected Evangelical Christian theologian , Barth, and I don’t mean Bart Simpson, but Karl Barth is the authority on the topic – and Barth himself said this topic of angels is “most remarkable and difficult of all.”
What we are about to find out together, might not be an exhaustive treatment of the topic… but these are things we need to know about angels.
So it seems we best strap on the seatbelt and here we go to discover more about angels…
1. Angels are created beings.
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts…
Let them praise the name of the LORD ,
for he commanded and they were CREATED. Ps.148:2,5
When we are asked where do angels come from? We can say “God made them”! Implications: they are then lower than God. They are not equals of God. They are dependent on God for their existence and they were created for His praise and His purposes. They have no power apart from what God gave them. Thus, they have limited powers.
This means no one should worship them. As Col 2:18 “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.” Maybe we have heard stories of angelic visits or encounters but do not let the sensational stories take your eye off God. We do not worship created things, but the Creator. Let us not lose our connection with God by chasing angels.