Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Do people become angels when they die? What about Christians? What about children?

There has been an idea around for a long time that a Christian or a child when they die becomes an angel. Part of this thought may stem from our usage in English of the word “angel”. The word “angel” is a transliteration of the Greek word anggelos which in its basic sense just means messenger (although in the Bible it is usually referring to a special group of heavenly messengers). Today we use the word in a more broad way. 

An example of this broad usage may be when a parent refers to their child as their “little angel”. When a parent says this, they mean that their child is wonderful, special, innocent and pure. So when a person refers to one who dies as “becoming an angel”, they may or may not be thinking of the biblical usage of the term, but instead that their loved one has now received their special, pure, spiritual body.

No, humans do not become “angels” when they die. Angels are different from humans, they are are created by God for a specific purpose (usually to deliver a message or accomplish His will). Humans are a special part of God’s creation too, but are different from angels. Although Christians do not become “angels” when they die, they become something wonderful (maybe even better than angels!!).

What happens to a Christian or a child when they die?

They receive an imperishable and immortal body. 
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:52-53)
They will get to live with God, in His house, in a room prepared by Jesus.
He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God (Revelation 21:3)
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:1-2)
They will never have to suffer, cry or feel pain.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4)
They will not have to be around evil ever again.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:7)

We often look at angels as special beings (which they are), however, God has something special planned in eternity for His human followers in heaven. 

CS- Quotes from ESV Bible