Summary: Now would you take God’s Word and turn with me to the book of Psalms… Psalm number 91. After years and years of neglect… as a matter of fact, since the Middle Ages we have known a neglect of those majestic beings known as angels.
This is from a transcript of a sermon preached by Dr. Jack Graham on July 24, 1994
I know that you pray for us because every week we’re hearing from people ah individuals, families who are being ministered to by God’s word because of this powerful impact of television.
Now would you take God’s Word and turn with me to the book of Psalms… Psalm number 91. After years and years of neglect… as a matter of fact, since the Middle Ages we have known a neglect of those majestic beings known as angels… angels. And yet today angels are in vogue. Angels are in fashion. There’s a Popular new movie Angels in the Outfield. Three television shows this fall, I understand, have to do with angels.
Whether it be by movies or media attention or magazines, angels are now in the forefront of people’s imagination. I wonder why. I believe it’s because more and more people are realizing the failure of secularism, the failure of humanism, the failure of materialism. And as peoples’ lives become more confused as people realize that there must be something more. There must be something more to life. There must be a spiritual dimension beyond what I can comprehend, beyond what I can know here on earth. There must be more to life than this. And so people today are looking beyond themselves for help and for hope, and many people are looking for angels.
Now does the Bible refer to angels? Well, of course, the Bible refers to angels, and very specifically what angels do. And there’s 1 verse that I’ve chosen, and I hope you have 2 verses actually that I’ve chosen, but I hope you have your Bibles open and that you’re going to write down these references, because I’m going to be moving quickly through the Scriptures this morning as we discuss the subject: angels, angels, angels. Verse 11 of chapter 91:
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
They shall bear you up in their hands,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
As a matter of fact, angels are not for our imagination or our entertainment. They’re not the product of the Middle Ages or Medieval thought or mystical thought. But angels are very, very real. And I want to speak at the outset of the reality of angels. Now, of course, people wonder if beings exist in other places besides earth.
We are celebrating this year the twenty-fifth anniversary of man first walking on the moon. I know some of you really still don’t believe that that happened, but it did happen. And man walked on the moon! And today because of that there’s a renewed interest in… in space exploration.
As a matter of fact, the cover article in this week’s Newsweek has to do with Mars; and we’ve been ah… watching the explosions in outer space this week, and there is still an insatiable quest within the heart of mankind to explore the heavens. And the question is often raised: Are there beings out there besides us? Are we alone in the universe? Are there extraterrestrial?
Well, as a matter of fact, we are not alone in the universe. And supernatural beings do exist in this world and beyond this world. These beings are beautiful beyond our imagination. They are intelligent, they are powerful, they travel at unprecedented speeds through time and through space. And from time to time these beings appear to man, though it is rare, because these beings are most often invisible and they belong to a domain beyond the comprehension of the human eye.
Martin Luther, the great reformer, said this about angels. “An angel is a spiritual creature without a body, created by God for the service of Christendom and the church of Jesus Christ.”
Angels, indeed, exist. Their presence has been felt and testimonials abound in history, as well as current affairs, as to who these angels are and what these angels do.
For example, Billy Graham has written in his fantastic book, Angels: God’s Secret Agents concerning the Reverend John G. Patton, a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. And he tells the thrilling story of the protective care of angels over John Patton and his family.
It seems that a hostile nation of natives surrounded the mission headquarters of the Pattons one night, with the intent of burning the Pattons out and killing them. And so John Patton and his dear wife and children huddled together and they prayed for God to deliver them through that danger. They awakened the next morning relieved to discover that somehow unaccountably their would-be attackers had left. And so they thanked God for delivering them.
But the rest of the story is this: “A year later,” Mr. Graham says, “the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ. And Mr. Patton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning the house down and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, ‘Who were all those men you had with you there?’ The missionary answered, ‘There were no men there. Just my wife and I and our children.’ The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard. (That gives me goosebumps!) many men standing guard! Hundreds and hundreds of big men in shining garments, with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack.” God sent angels… dispatched angels to protect that missionary and his family.