Summary: When it comes to the topic and subject of angels, there seems to be two extremes. On one hand, many of us are ignorant about angels. On the other hand, some people are obsessed with them. As with a lot of spiritual issues, the truth remains between these
I am very excited to begin today our series on angels. I am hoping that at the end of this series you will be much more informed about what God’s word has to say about these special supernatural helpers. I first became informed about angels a few years ago when I read Billy Graham’s excellent book, Angels, God’s Secret Agents. In his book, Dr. Graham relates the story of missionary John Pollock and his wife, who went to the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. As they arrived at the island, they were the first white missionaries the natives had ever seen. The witch doctor was afraid of them and told the tribe they were there to kill their babies. So, on that first evening, the natives surrounded the missionary’s hut, preparing to kill them. All night long John and his wife stayed on their knees in prayer and the natives never attacked. As time went on, they learned the language and they won the trust of the people and many of them came to know Christ. The tribe’s chieftain became a Christian and John asked him the following question. “We’ve always wondered why on that first night when you surrounded us with your spears you didn’t attack.” And the chief said, “Where did you get all those men?” John said, “It was only my wife and myself.” The chief said, “Oh, no. All that evening we saw large men with swords in their hands, surrounding your hut and we were afraid so we never attacked.” Billy Graham, others and myself believe this is just one of thousands of manifestations of God’s special secret agents–his angels. This month we are going to learn what the Bible has to say about angels. I’m going to ask you to forget a lot of what you may have heard from folklore or Hollywood or just your imagination and let’s focus on what God’s word says about angels. Look with me here in Hebrews 1.
Hebrews is all about the superiority of Jesus; how He is superior to angels; how He is superior to Moses; how He is superior to the law and how He is superior to Melchizedek.
Hebrews 1:13-14. “To which of the angels did God ever say, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”
God told only His precious son, Jesus, that he would sit at His right hand. If you want a quick phrase that tells us who angels are and what they do “they are spirits sent to serve the saints.” There’s a few “s’s” for you. They are spirits sent to serve the saints. Now if you ask me if I have you ever encountered an angel, I believe I have. If you ask me if I have ever physically seen an angel I have to say to you, “I’m not sure.” I hope you would answer that you are not sure either. Why? Flip over to the last chapter of Hebrews, chapter 13. There is a fascinating passage of scripture that tells us we might have encountered angels and not even been aware of it.
Hebrews 13:2. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
The King James Version says, “entertained angels unawares.” You may have encountered angels and not even known it and I might have as well.
When it comes to the topic and subject of angels, there seems to be two extremes, as with a lot of things. On one hand, many of us are ignorant about angels. On the other hand, some people are obsessed with angels. Most of us would probably fit in this camp, because I want to confess to you that for much of my Christian life I was totally ignorant on the subject of angels. You have heard my testimony. I grew up in a southern Baptist church and have been going to one all of my life. I went to RAs and Sunbeams and Training Union and Wednesday nights and I don’t ever recall one time hearing a sermon on angels. I went to a fine Baptist University where I received a good education. I don’t ever remember hearing one teaching about angels–and I majored in religion! I did seven years of postgraduate work on the seminary level and I have to be honest. In the seven years that I was at seminary, I never heard one professor say anything about angels and I love my seminary. I even went back to my theology book and I looked in the index and there was not even a listing for angels. There seems to be what amounts to almost a satanic intent to keep God’s people ignorant of the wonderful subject of angels.