Reformed Reflections

Angels in our Daily Lives.
Number Ten

As I have shown, the Bible clearly stands on the side of those who believe that angels are real. God enters our tragedies. He opens the windows of heaven to interact with the earth. God still sends His angels to minister to the Church. They work in ways unsung and unseen. The writer of the epistle of the Hebrews even spoke of Christians who welcomed strangers into their homes and that by so doing, "some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebr. 13:2) We cherish the ministry of Christ for our salvation. He is our only Mediator. What the apostle Peter said in his Jerusalem sermon is still true today, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) But this truth should not lead to the conclusion that God can no longer use the ministry of angels to do His will. We should not let New Agers capture angelology to give it a life of its own and paganize it.

The active ministry of angels is encouraging for the Church as we come to the end of the most violent century in world history. And the 20th century has also been the worst century of anti-Christian persecution in history. It is well documented that Christians are now the most persecuted religious group on earth today. China and Islam Middle East nations are the worst offenders. Michael Horowitz wrote in the introduction of Paul Marshall's disturbing and moving book Their Blood Cries Out. The Untold Story of Persecution Against Christians in the Modern World: "The mounting persecution of Christians eerily parallels the persecution of Jews, my people, during much of Europe's history." Today, minority Christian communities have become chosen scapegoats in radical Islamic and remnant Communist regimes, where they are demonized and caricatured through populist campaigns of hate and terror.

Christians are not alone in their spiritual battle. Sometimes God shows His care for His people by dispatching angels to intervene on behalf of His suffering saints in need of heavenly encouragement. When the apostle Paul sailed to Rome to face Ceasar, a fierce storm theatened to wreck the ship. Crew and passengers had given up all hope of being saved. But all hope was not lost. God intervened. He sent an angel to Paul with the message, "Do not be afraid, Paul, you must stand trial before Ceasar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you." (Acts 27:24)

God knows our weakness, our perils, the enemies we constantly face, the threats to our faith. Without His help we would fall into despair and be overpowered by the Spirit of this Age. In his mercy, immeasurable goodness, and kindness He sustains us and has given us innumerable guardians to help us along our journey. As Calvin put it:

Therefore he (God) makes use of angels to comfort our weakness, that we may lack nothing at all that can raise up our minds to good hope, or confirm them in security.

Today the powers of evil seem to have the upper hand. The fallen angels are influencing our culture world and the nearer we come to the close of history the more frantic their demonic activity. Therefore we should keep in mind that God's powerful angels are active also; and their victory has been secured by Christ. (1 John 3:8) Soon the Lord will come with His angels and overcome His enemies. I believe that Thomas F. Torrance's summarizes the argument well:

In the fulfillment of God's supreme purpose, angels are surely still active in their missionary as well as their providential service. Disregard of the ministry of angels will certainly lead to a serious deficiency in Christian spirituality, bringing many forms of shallowness and instability in its train. That modern eyes should be opened to the ministry of angels is very much to be desired.


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