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  • Are Angels Capable of Sinning?
  • Which Angel Welcomes You at Heaven's Gates?

    Do angels have free will, and can they rebel against God?
    --Marian Gyasi-Adom

    God created all the angels. God pronounced that all of his creation was good and holy, and this included the angels. But some of them fell from grace, becoming fallen angels, such as Satan and his followers. In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council of the Catholic Church, “Satan and the other devils are by nature spirits (angels).They were created by God, and so were originally good, but fell into sin of their own free will.” These fallen angels continue to sin, especially by tempting humans to sin.

    But what about the good angels? Can good angels sin and fall from grace today? Hollywood loves this idea. In movies like "The Bishop’s Wife," an angel is tempted to sin by falling in love with a mortal and choosing not to follow God’s holy will.

    However, most Christian theologians agree that holy angels cannot sin. In 1 Timothy 5:21, the holy angels are called “elect.” This suggests that once they choose to remain loyal to God, instead of Satan, their decision is permanent. As they continue to serve God they are“confirmed in holiness.” Theologian Louis Berkhof explains it this way: "The angels evidentially received a special grace of perseverance, by which they were confirmed in their position.” Because of this grace, the good angels are incapable of sinning, and their delight is to love God wholeheartedly and to always serve him willingly.

    Some angels, then, have rebelled against God and continue to sin, but other angels (the good ones) have never sinned and never will.

    Which angel brings you through the gate of heaven? I thought it was Gabriel.  I have asked this question of everyone I know, including a Roman Catholic priest, but no one has the answer.  --LaurieAnn

    Jesus taught us that at the time of death the angels carry a person to heaven (Luke 16:22). What a wonderful, comforting thought! The Book of Luke is the only place in the Bible we find this reference, and the names of the angels are not given. It is probable that there are many teams of angels who carry people to heaven as God assigns them to his holy transportation service.

    Gabriel most likely never draws this assignment because an angel can only be in one place at one time. Since Gabriel is one of the chief angels, he is no doubt too busy with other important activities. In Jewish texts such as the Talmud, the Kabbalah, and others, many job descriptions have been assigned to Gabriel, but none state that he is the angel who brings people through the gates of heaven. However, in Milton’s "Paradise Lost," Gabriel is the chief of the angelic guards placed over Paradise, but this is a role that was mostly likely created out of the poet’s own imagination.

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