Can Angels Abandon Us?

Plus: Does God assign us guardian angels? And do we get more than one?

BY: William D. Webber

 

Find Out About:


  • How Guardian Angels Are Assigned
  • If Angels Abandon Us When We Sin


    Is there any mention in the Bible of us actually being assigned or given a guardian angel by God or heaven? - Gregory C.

    Yes, the Bible teaches that God not only assigns but actually commands angels to care for us. Psalm 91:11 says, “For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways,” while Hebrews 1:14 explains, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” The Bible is filled with specific examples of angels guiding, helping, and protecting people.

    So God does assign angels to watch over us. The Bible is definite about that. But your question asks if there is any place in the Bible that tells us that God assigns a specific angel to each person. The answer is no. God arranges to have his angels care for us, but the Bible does not tell us how he does it.

    Although the Bible is silent on the topic, theologians, Bible scholars, preachers, and ordinary people have speculated about this. Here are a few of their ideas:

  • Many of the church fathers, including Thomas Aquinas, believed that God assigned each person a guardian angel at birth.
  • Martin Luther asserted that the angels God assigned to men differed in rank and ability, as did the men themselves. Luther wrote, “Just as among men, one is large and another small, and one is strong and another weak, so one angel is larger, stronger, and wiser than another. Therefore, a prince has a much larger and stronger angel, one who is also shrewder and wiser, than that of a count, and the angel of a count is larger and stronger than that of a common man. The higher the rank and the more important vocation of a man, the larger and stronger is the angel who guards him and holds the Devil aloof.”
  • The Catholic Church has taught that every angel in heaven has one chance to become a guardian angel, from seraphim down. The angel has to “lower himself” to serve his protégé on earth, but in so doing he learns more about the incarnation. The angels even puzzle about why God provides humans with so great a salvation according to 1 Peter 1:12.
  • Billy Graham writes, “Every believer should be encouraged and strengthened! Angels are watching; they mark your path. They superintend the events of your life and protect the interest of the Lord God, always working to promote his plans and to bring about his highest will for you.”
     

    Continued on page 2: Do angels abandon us if we do something wrong? »

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