Do angels walk among us?

Do angels walk among us?

By Rajinder Buxton

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” (Hebrews 13:2). Does that mean that angels walk among us?

The Bible is full of references to angels in both Old and New Testaments. From what we are told, they are a part of God’s creation, different from human beings in that they do not have a physical body like ours, and have powers beyond our abilities. They love God and did not join Lucifer, later called Satan, in the rebellion where some angels fell from heaven and became demonic beings.

Hebrews 1:14 asks the rhetorical question, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” In other words, it is clear they are active behind the scenes in this world and especially in the lives of Christians. They are seen only rarely – when God has a purpose for their visibility – and there is a good reason for this. In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John is so overcome by the sight of an angel, he twice falls down to worship him. Being only a created being himself, the angel is horrified and tells John that only God is to be worshipped (Revelation 22:8).

Angels can appear in human form. In fact, the Bible reveals a whole invisible, spirit world around us, inhabited by both fallen angels and good angels. But the latter far outnumber the former and are clearly, at God’s bidding, invisibly involved in the welfare of Christians.

I'm living with chronic illness. Can the Bible help me?

Healing is part of the gospel message and many can testify to being healed through prayer. But that is not always the case and many sincere followers of Jesus who are full of faith, can find themselves sick. This is no reflection on them or their walk with God and there are times when our faith may be tested severely.

Perhaps the part of the Bible that can help is the experience of Job. It is clear he was a faithful servant of God, yet he suffered a prolonged period of severe ill health. It is evident that although the reader knows what was going on behind the scenes, Job did not, and, as far as we can tell, he never did. But he was still able to hold on to his trust in God. At the end of the story, Job’s reaction to his prolonged suffering proved to be a great witness against Satan and by so doing, brought great glory to God.

When we leave this earth, we who follow Jesus will see him and be like him, freed from every situation that causes us pain, suffering or sadness. So, writing to those experiencing tough times, the writer to the Hebrews encourages them, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Hebrews 12:2).

Must Christians submit to the government in all circumstances as it seems to imply in Romans 13?

When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, the Emperor at the time was Nero, who would later have Paul, Peter and many other Christians executed, in what would be the first of many such persecutions of the followers of Jesus. Yet Paul clearly states that Christians should be model citizens. The power of the state, even if ungodly, is instituted by God to keep law and order and to prevent anarchy, which is why Paul, echoing Jesus, also said Christians should pay their taxes.

There is an exception to this rule, however, and that is when the government makes requirements of its citizens that directly contradict God’s laws. So, when ordered to stop preaching, Peter replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,” (Acts 4:19-20). Although the occasions are generally rare, that principle can be applied to those situations where to obey a government’s order would require direct disobedience to God.

From Direction Magazine issue 233


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