Angels are ministering spirits sent to help the heirs of salvation

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Christmas plays always depict angels as gentle females in flowing white robes, almost like a fairy godmother. However, when I read the Bible I do not see angels described this way. Why? — P.A.

Dear P.A.: We often get false notions about angels from plays given by children at Christmas. It is true that angels are ministering spirits sent to help the heirs of salvation. But just as they fulfill God’s will in salvation for believers in Jesus Christ, so they are also “avengers” who use their great power to fulfill God’s will in judgment. One day an angel will blow the trumpet to announce impending judgment when God summons the nations to stand before Him in the last great judgment.
The Bible says that throughout history angels have worked to carry out God’s judgments, directing the destinies of nations disobedient to God. God used angels in scattering the people of Israel because of their sins. He also used angels in bringing judgment on many ancient cities that refused to live according to God’s standards.
There isn’t much in Scripture to describe the appearance of angels and so our imaginations wander, just as Scripture does not depict Satan with horns and a tail. But the writer of Hebrews does speak of angelic forces: “Who makes [God’s] angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire” (Hebrews 1:7). The flaming fire suggests the power of the angels who carry out God’s decisions according to His righteousness.
But when the Savior was born in Bethlehem, God presented His angel with the heavenly host praising and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). This is what Christmas is all about.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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