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  • Jeff Kent

Do People Become Angels?

Hebrews 2:5-18


A concept I have heard expressed at different times is that when people die (some people?) they become angels. Let’s be clear. No where in scripture is this idea expressed. It might have come from Jesus’ talk with the Sadducees about their poser concerning the woman who had seven brothers as husbands (Luke 20:27-40). In His answer, Jesus notes that “those who ... attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels...” It’s plain that those resurrected don’t become angels but are “like” angels, namely in that they do not marry nor are subject to death.

Some people seem to think that angels are superior to people. While angels do have certain abilities and privileges which humans do not currently have, a careful study of scripture indicates that in God’s scheme of things mankind actually occupies a higher place than the angels. In Hebrews 1:13-14, the writer tells us that angels are “ministering spirits” (a kind of servant) who “render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation.” That would be human beings. So, angels are actually serving those who will be saved!

Soon after that, the writer enters into discussion about Jesus and His place in regard to angels and human beings. The main thrust of this is that Jesus became a human being (not an angel) because God was giving the “world to come” to men and was bringing “many sons to glory.” Jesus becomes the champion of sinful man and calls us His “brethren.” What an incredible blessing this is! One of the most exciting texts in the discussion about man’s salvation is what Peter writes (1 Peter 1:10-12). After noting that the prophets had questions regarding the salvation of which they were prophesying, he records this: “things into which angels long to look.” Apparently, the blessings of salvation and eternal life are so marvelous that angels desire to know more about them. Knowing these things, who would even want to be an angel?!

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