Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Angels vs Angels? Does is really matter?

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? ~ Hebrews 1:14

Of all the times I've read the book of Hebrews, this verse never stood out to me before. A while back, I had a student come to me demanding that I back him in an argument with one of his peers. The argument was whether or not we become angels when we go to Heaven. I'll get back to what I told him when I close this post.

First, let me make clear that I often refer to Amanda as an angel. In my dealings with other bereaved parents, the vast majority do. That said, I understand that Amanda and all the others who have passed and gone to Heaven are not "angels" like Gabriel and Michael and the others in the Bible.

This verse from Hebrews clearly states that angels are servants of all who will inherit salvation. In my reading of the scriptures, I believe these are special beings that were never human. But somewhere along the line, we humans struggled to find an adequate word to describe our loved ones in heaven.

On earth, when we refer to a human as an angel, we are saying they are pretty much perfect. (Now I know that nobody is perfect, but you all know what I'm saying here.) The same way we tend to call people who are doing bad things devils or demons, knowing full well they are not actually agents of Satan.

So, when our loved ones go to Heaven and we say, "Heaven gained another angel," or we refer to our "angel" in Heaven, it's not necessarily that we believe they have transformed into an angel like those mentioned above. But I do believe, that once we ascend to Heaven to spend eternity with Jesus, we are perfect. Indeed, Hebrews 10:14 tells us that Jesus' sacrifice made us perfect forever.

But I also realize there are people, many people, who don't understand the difference between the angels of the Bible and our loved ones in Heaven. Which brings me back to how responded to my argumentative student.

His argument was heated and he was adamant that his peer had to change views and agree with him. But my response was, does it matter? Is what this kid believes about whether we become angels or not going to gain or deny him/her entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven? When he said no, it's not going to affect the salvation of the kid he was arguing with, I asked why he was so worried about it.

To me, this is one of those things that will be revealed in study as we get closer and closer in our relationship with Jesus. And, if it's not something that's going to keep someone from Heaven or get them to Heaven, it's certainly not something worth having a heated, hostile argument over.

I honestly cannot tell you what it's going to be like when we get to Heaven. The best I can tell you is what I've read in God's Word. It's a place with no tears, pain, or sorrow. If you want a physical description of Heaven, read Revelation 21 and 22. Aside from that, I won't attempt to tell you how it's going to be in Heaven. There are many who will and who have, but their descriptions are as many as their number.

What will eternity in Heaven be like? That's a mystery that will be revealed to me when it's my time to go. But it's not worth arguing about while I'm here.

While I'm here, my goal should be to allow Jesus to use me to bring as many as possible to experience His saving grace so that they too can be "angels," or whatever you want to call them, with us in Heaven. So let's preach repentance and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ -- Son of God, crucified as a sacrifice for our sin, resurrected and awaiting us when our time on earth is finished.

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