One of the movies often shown during the Christmas holiday is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Ruined financially, George Bailey is suicidal, thinking the world would be better off if he was never born. George’s guardian angel, Clarence, who is in training to become a full-fledged angel with wings, has the task of convincing him that his life really does matter. By the end of the movie George is glad he was born, and the tinkling of a bell on a Christmas tree indicates Clarence has received his wings. I don’t know if it’s because of this movie, but I’ve been surprised how many people believe that when we die we also become angels. I believe an understanding of the Bible gives an entirely different view.
The place to start our study takes us back to the creation of mankind. The Bible states that, of all God’s creatures, only people are created in the image of God. The basic meaning of this is that every person is aware of God and has the capacity for a personal relationship with Him. (Personally, I believe even those who claim to be atheists have a built-in consciousness of God, though I wouldn’t argue the point with them.)
The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about angels. We do learn that they are not eternal, like God. Therefore, we can conclude that God created them before He created people. One thing we are told is that one of them attempted to organize a coup and overthrow God as ruler of the universe. Somehow, that angel convinced a third of the other angels to join him. Of course he failed, and he is now known as satan, or the devil. The other angels that joined him in his failed attempt are now referred to as demons.
Shortly after the creation of mankind, satan deceived our first parents to disobey God’s clear demand. The Bible says this resulted in sin entering the world, infecting every person and the creation, itself. This is the Bible’s explanation for all the evil and natural disasters that have occurred over the millenia.
The Bible indicates that the Son of God has always existed in Heaven. It is VERY SIGNIFICANT that He chose to become a human being rather than an angel. Fully human (yet, never relinquishing His divinity), Jesus enabled us to be made right with God and have a child-Father relationship with Him. Jesus never became an angel to die for the ones who rebelled. We find this in Hebrews 2:14-15, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” There is no possible forgiveness or redemption for demons.
To think of yourself as entering Heaven as an angel lessens what Jesus has done for you. He died for you so that you can enter Heaven as one of His children through faith in Christ. I hope to see you there.