Surprisingly, many people who profess not to believe in God still believe in angels. We are comforted by the idea that angels are there in an emergency to warn us, protect us, and battle evil for us. There is more than one popular song to give us goosebumps, and, along with heart-warming movies, they assure us that angels are real.
As children, we have watched cartoons about angels and devils. Even cats and dogs received their wings and sat on a little cloud playing their harp. Unless, of course, they were sent down the elevator to that fiery furnace below, where they became cute little red devils.
Please, let me assure you that the devil is not a cute cartoon figure with a pitchfork and a pointed tail. Neither does he send people back after they die to do his bidding on earth. He has fallen angels for that.
These cartoons are cute and memorable. They have shaped our thinking despite Sunday School, preaching, and even our own Bible study.
In this day of enlightenment, it is unbelievable that we, even as Christians, are influenced by Greek and Roman Mythology and their gods. Here you find those cute little cherubs, such as Cupid and his little friends. This also where we probably find the origin of the idea of female angels. However, in God’s word, angels are usually referred to in the masculine sense. (Numbers 22:31; Judges 6: 21; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:26; Luke 24:4; Revelation 10:1)
Many people are comforted by the idea that their loved ones, especially children, become angels when they die. A person who has been miraculously saved from an accident will often profess that they are sure it was their angel father or mother and they felt their loving arms around them, pulling them from danger. God's word never says that our loved ones can return to save us. It does tell us that we are watched over by guardian angels.
Yet, I never gave much thought to just how confused we are about angels until a serious, young girl asked me a very deep question. “How were there angels before God made Adam and Eve when no one had died yet?”
The Bible tells us that God created man in His own image. It is interesting to note that it never says that angels were created in His image. It is most important to understand that angels and humans, like cats and dogs, are two distinct species. One species does not become another. A dog cannot turn into a cat. A cat cannot turn into a dog.
Please understand, we do not sprout wings when we go to heaven. A human does not, cannot, become an angel when he or she dies. A precious, innocent baby, cherished by our heavenly Father, does not become a cherub in heaven. Finally, becoming an angel would not be a guarantee that we would go to heaven even if it were possible.
God’s word answers many of the questions we have.
We really need to stop the misleading talk on angels and heaven, lovingly interfere, and warn our loved ones that everyone who dies does not miraculously turn into an angel and fly off into heaven. Heaven is real, but so is hell.
Kim Marie Johnson
Marie is an ordained minister. She is an author, artist, and designer. Marie enjoys teaching and speaking. Most important to her are her relationship with God, her three children and five grandchildren who inspire her every second of every day.