Heaven Does NOT Need another Angel -- Debunking the Myths About Angels, Part V
“I’m so sorry for your loss. Heaven must have needed another angel . . .”
This is probably the lamest condolence I’ve ever heard. People say it when babies and young children die, but they also use it to explain the deaths of godly adults.
I know those who say it have good motives. They’re trying to say, “Your loved one was too special (pure, innocent, wonderful) for this world; God needed her in heaven instead.”
If you follow this line of thinking, this implies that whenever a job opening in heaven comes up, God prowls the earth looking for sweet, innocent children or godly adults to harvest for his heavenly work force. Not only is this wrong, it’s a direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches about angels.
Myth: People (especially children) become angels when they die.
Truth: Angels are uniquely created beings, NOT former humans who have been promoted to heaven.
To debunk this myth, let’s look at a few facts about angels from Scripture.
1. God created angels.
They did not evolve from humans. “Praise him all, all his angels . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded, and they were created” (Psalm 148:2, 5).
2. There is a fixed number of angels.
Bible scholars imply this based on several truths found in Scripture:
* We never read in Scripture of God creating any more angels after the original creation in Genesis 1.
* Jesus said angels do not reproduce themselves (Mat. 22:30).
* Angels cannot die, therefore do not need to be replaced (Luke 20:36).
Because of this, the number of angels is fixed and there is no need to add to this number by translating humans into heavenly service.
3. God doesn’t need more angels.
At the dawn of time, God, who knows the past, present, and future, created a set number of angels for his purposes. At no time did he wake up and say, “Ooops, I forgot about the heavenly choir. I think I need a few more sopranos. Better organize an American Angel tryout to see if anyone qualifies. The winner gets an all-expense paid trip to heaven.” God knew the plans and purposes he had for angelic beings, and created just the right number to accomplish his purposes.
There is, however, some truth buried in this common platitude. Christians will spend eternity in heaven with the angels, other believers who have died, and God. There, we will serve alongside angels and spend eternity glorifying Jesus Christ.
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Rev. 4:11).
As we conclude this series on angels by examining the common myth that people become angels when they die, it reinforces why we must study our Bibles. If we know Scripture, we can “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” By comparing commonly held beliefs with the truth of Scripture, we’ll never be led astray by false doctrine, no matter how sweetly it’s presented.
This concludes my five-part series on angels. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and perhaps learned something you didn’t know before. I’d love to hear from you. What characteristic of angels do you find most comforting? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
And before you go, I'd like to introduce you to my new friend Carol Heilman, a fellow South Carolinian who's recently released a fun book, Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar.
Listen to Carol's explanation of how this hilarious book was conceived:
Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar began as a short story assignment for a creative writing class at the University of South Carolina over ten years ago. Our instructor told us to place ourselves, along with some of our friends, in a foreign environment and to step back and see what developed.
I chose the porch of a retirement home because a standing joke, among a group of my friends and myself, was that one-day we would end up living in such a place together. Before I had written two pages the characters, with their own, unique names took on their own personalities.
I was fairly new to such writing adventures and was taken aback. They began to assert themselves and I decided I needed to pay attention, to listen and watch—for my scenes often unfold like a movie in my mind’s eye.
The short story ended when Agnes slipped out the back door of Sunset Manor, the name of the retirement home at that time. Then I began to ask questions. What if she . . .
Agnes Hopper’s story continues to evolve and surprise me. I am delighted to have a part in the telling of it.
Agnes Hopper Shakes Up Sweetbriar is available through Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback.