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Summary: Answers the questions: What are angels like? What do they do? What should we do knowing what we know?

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*ILL>In 1951, the original movie starred Paul Douglas as Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager Aloysuys (Guffy) McGovern, a man with a profane vocabulary. Janet Leigh (as Jennifer Paige) was his love interest, and Keenan Wynn played the role of Fred Bayles, an angel who promised manager McGovern that the Pirates would have a winning season (assisted by angel Bayles) if the manager would control his nasty tongue. As the manager battled with his tongue, angels helped his fielders make remarkable plays, enabled his pitchers to throw unhittable pitches, caused fly balls to fly over the outfield fence for home runs, and brought great excitement (and lots of fans) into the ball park. The title of the movie was, of course, "Angels In the Outfield."

*ILL>In 1994 the remake of the movie starred Danny Glover as the manager and Tony Danza was one of his players, but this time the team was the California Angels, a team with a well-earned reputation as "losers" on the field. The plot of the movie surrounded two young orphan boys who become involved with an angel, played by Christopher Lloyd (of "Back to the Future" professorial fame), as they seek God’s help to bring about their wish...they want to be adopted into a family with a real "dad." They are living in a home with an abusive and mean foster parent who told the boys that he wasn’t interested in adopting them. His actual words were, "Wanna know when I would be willing to adopt you? I’ll adopt you when the California Angels (because they were such a hopeless team) win the pennant!" Bring in the angel, and you have the rest of the movie. The foster dad still didn’t live up to his "promise" even after the Angels win, but Danny Glover adopts the boys in the end, and, as only Hollywood can profess, "they lived happily ever after."

Well, as entertainment, they’re both pretty good movies. However, when it comes to being theologically sound and reliable, they stink up the place. They’re all Hollywood and not really Scripture.

Continuing in our message series, Pursuing Answers, I’ve entitled today’s message, "Touched By An Angel," as we look to Scripture for answers to these questions:

What are angels like?

What do they do?

And how shall we respond after knowing what we know?

I invite you to open a Bible and turn to Luke, chapter two.

As you’re turning, it’s no exaggeration to say that angels have become big business in the last twenty years.

You can hardly find a bookstore or retail store that doesn’t have books, movies, sculptures, or artwork that focuses on angels.

Angels have become a fascination by many...and an entire "religion" to those involved in the New Age movement.

Yet, it shouldn’t be so surprising, really, because once we understand who they really are, and who Satan really is, we’ll come to understand why that is the case...but not a good thing.

A. WHAT ANGELS ARE LIKE...

There are numerous WRONG IDEAS that have been presented in movies and recent literature concerning angels that need to be exposed as false:

--Angels don’t shoot arrows and make people fall in love, and there isn’t a struggling angel out there who is finally "getting his wings" each time we hear a bell ring.

--They don’t play baseball in the outfield, and they don’t play harps and sit in the lotus position on clouds in heaven.

--They’re not dead human beings trying to earn a second chance back on earth or trying to earn their entrance into heaven by doing good deeds for God while they’re stuck in a limbo state between heaven and earth.

--Although they can take on other appearances, they don’t normally look like Della Reese or Michael Landon or the Precious Moments figurines.

--Nor do they normally appear as Clarence with his flushed face, trying to help Jimmy Stewart live a wonderful life, or like John Travolta hiding his wings under a trench coat.

What Is True About Angels...

<>They are real.

1 Timothy 3:16 -- By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Angels are real, not just wisps of the wind or "imaginary" creatures like fairies or leprechauns.

They don’t have flesh and blood bodies, but they aren’t "make believe."

They usually operate unseen, but they can appear as flesh and blood creatures if it fulfills their purpose at the time.

*QUOTE>Martin Luther’s definition: An angel is a spiritual creature without a body created by God for the service of Christendom and the church.

<>They are created beings.

Nehemiah 9:6 -- You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the heavenly host bows down before You.

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