Q: Do angels get old and die, like we do? And do they need to have their sins forgiven, like we do? What do angels look like anyway? I am 14 years old, and I wish I could see an angel. — A.R.
A: God created the angels before the worlds began, but unlike us, they will never grow old or die. They are sinless spiritual beings, and throughout eternity they will continue to serve God and praise him. Even those demonic angels that joined Satan in rebelling against God will never die but will be cast “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
Occasionally angels become visible, the Bible tells us. Sometimes they appear as ordinary human beings, and we may not even recognize them as angels. This apparently happened to Lot in the Old Testament, when two angels came to rescue him from God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19:1ff.). At other times angels have appeared in great beauty and splendor, giving people a glimpse of heaven’s glory. This happened, for example, when the angels announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds outside Bethlehem (see Luke 2:8-20).
Why did God create the angels? He created them to be his agents, working for the good of his people. One of the Bible’s greatest promises is that when we know Jesus, God sends his angels to surround us and protect us. We aren’t to worship them, but we should thank God for them.
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I’m grateful for your interest in God’s angels, but don’t make them your main concern. Instead, ask Jesus to come into your life and become his follower. Then you can be confident that “he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.