Some people are obsessed with guardian angels. One woman said that her guardian angel helped her lose 150 pounds. I have my doubts about that one.
So misconceptions about angels are common. Some believe that we become angels when we die, or that our departed loved ones become our personal guardian angels. These are all myths—the product of imagination.
What does the Bible have to say about angels? What do they do?
The Bible tells us that angels stand in God's presence, worshiping and serving Him. It also says that they share in God's work. Scripture calls them "mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word" (Psalm 103:20 NIV). And it says they send God's judgment. In the Old Testament, a single angel destroyed 185,000 Assyrians, and God dispatched two angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
During the tribulation, angels will unleash the judgment of God. Jesus said, "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 13:41-42). And He also said, "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:31).
But are there truly guardian angels? Good news: The Bible says that angels are sent on your behalf. It calls them "ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:14). And it says, "The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them" (Psalm 34:7). And they are called "watchers" in Daniel 4:17—like heavenly surveillance teams.
So one of the things they do in the lives of believers is protect us. The Lord sent an angel to protect Daniel in the lion's den. And He sent an angel to Paul as he rode in a storm on a prison ship bound for Rome.
Did you know that angels are sent when you pray? An example of this is in Acts 12, when an angel is sent to deliver Peter from prison, in response to the believers' prayers. (But it's important to note here that in the same chapter where Peter was delivered, James was killed. We can't always figure out the purposes of God. He is sovereign; He can answer prayers any way He wants to. That's the bottom line.)
What's the common denominator in all this? It's not the angels, but God Himself. The Bible doesn't say that we each have a personal guardian angel. But God always knows our individual situation, and He sends His angels to us as He wills, in His sovereign knowledge.
Skip Heitzig is the founder and senior pastor at Calvary Albuquerque. His teachings are heard across the country and around the world on The Connection. Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Jana?, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.