Meditations by John Dean

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are Angels Real?

(Luke 16:22 KJV) And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

The study of angels has to be one of the most intriguing studies. Everyone wants to know if angels are real and if so, then what do they look like. Are they little fat cherubs with harps or are they nine foot beings with wings and white feathers?  When it comes to picturing angels, it seems as though our imagination knows no bounds.

The answer is, “Yes, angels are real.”  Not only are they real, but they are present with us every day. As a matter of fact, it is written that “...he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Psalm 91:11 KJV). Just because you do not always see them does not mean that they are not there keeping watch over you.

I also find it interesting that in Luke 16:22 there is a distinction between being buried and carried when we die. The rich man was buried by other men when he died, whereas the poor man was carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom when he died. That being the case, then one could conclude that the difference between being buried and carried would depend strictly on one’s relationship with God.

The writer of Hebrews says, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14 KJV). I realize that this could either be talking about angels or ministers of the gospel, but I do not really think that it makes any difference. The fact is that angels do minister to us one way or the other. I find it extremely comforting to think that God loves us so much that He would actually send His angels down to encourage us.

Another interesting scripture on angels is in Matthew where he gives a stern warning concerning how we treat the “little ones.”  He said  “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10 KJV). This scripture definitely gives a new perspective on how Jesus feels about the little ones.

I have personally had a number of experiences with angels over the years. For some reason most of my experiences have either been on an airplane or in my own home. I am sure there have been many other times, but they would probably fit into the category of “entertaining angels unaware.”

I recall this one time when I was flying to Kentucky. The airplane was completely full except for one seat between me and another passenger on the three seat side of the plane all the way in the back. We were about an hour from landing when I had this unusual experience. I looked up and saw a man coming down the aisle. I was not sure where he came from because all the seats were still occupied except the one next to me. He walked up and said, “May I sit next to you?” I begrudgingly said yes and let him in. He kept trying to engage me in conversation, but I would not talk to him. As a matter of fact I was even a little rude to him as I did not want him to sit next to me because I was crowded enough without him being there.

After a time of me ignoring his many attempts to engage me in conversation, he finally got up and stepped out into the aisle...and literally vanished. At that point I knew I had “entertained an angel unaware.”

I spent the rest of the trip repenting for my arrogant attitude and asking God to forgive me and give me another chance. God answered my prayer and forgave my sin and gave me other such spiritual opportunities.

Yes, angels are real and they are sent by God to help us. I do not believe that it is the will of God for us to seek angels, but to seek Him. We see angels at Jesus’ birth, at His baptism, in the Garden of Gethsemane, at Jesus’ resurrection, and at His ascension. Angels are real and we should expect to experience more and more sightings of them in the future.

I thank You for sending angels to intercede for us, protect us and even carry us home to be with You when we die. Father, help our attention not to be on the created but on the creator.

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