Do I turn into an angel when I die?
A listener asked:
“What is an angel? We are told by our ministers that if we go to church and pay our pew rent and never do anything real bad that someday we will be an angel and go to heaven when we die. Now, I want to know what angels are like. Did they all live as men and women upon the earth before they became angels, and how did they become angels before there were any churches and regular collections? Was there ever a cheaper way of getting to be an angel than now?”
The popular conception of angels is that they are radiant beings dressed in white with wings attached to their shoulder blades. They are invariably represented as women (even though all angels in the Bible were presented as being male), and are supposed to spend the larger part of their time seated upon clouds and fingering harps.
In the Bible, angels are referred to as created spirit beings who act as messengers of the Lord. They were sent in matters of extreme importance and did not interact with humans on a daily basis. Every time an angel appeared in the Bible, God had them perform specific tasks and then leave. There evidently is some diversity within the heavenly creation, as the Bible mentioned “morning stars,” “sons of God,” “cherubim,” “seraphim,” and “heavenly host.” We know very little about the hierarchy and what life and responsibility in heaven actually looks like.
We are not told specifically how many angels there are – just that there are “myriads” in Hebrews 12:22 and Psalm 68:17. A myriad is often translated as ten thousand, and the word here is plural.
We know of no Scriptures in which it is stated that human beings will ever become angels. On the contrary, the Lord has promised earthly blessings to all of the world of mankind, who will be obedient to His righteous laws of justice and love when His kingdom is established in the earth. Salvation will be free to all who will accept it upon the terms and conditions of full obedience to the Divine will. Matthew 6:10.
For an in depth study on this question listen to “Do People Turn Into Angels When We Die?”
You can also watch our CQ Kids Video: “What Did Angels Do in the Bible?”