Saturday, May 24, 2008

Can Angels Still Fall Away?

For my Practicum I have to answer different types of questions that may be received at the church. I thought this was an interesting one so I posted the question and my answer. I could be wrong on this but it would be interesting to get other's perspectives! Let me know what you think!

1.) Since we know that demons are fallen angels is it possible for angels to still fall?
2.) When we get to heaven will it be possible for us to mess up/ make a mistake/ sin and get removed from heaven?
3.) If the answer to number two is, "No, it is not possible to get kicked out of heaven." how does that work with having free will?

Angel questions are always the most difficult to answer and obviously the second and third question naturally follow from the first; and remain just as difficult no less! If angels can still fall then what hope do we have in God’s ability to keep us from doing the same thing! It is quite an awesome challenge and I will attempt to answer these from what little biblical evidence we do have!
The first thing worth mentioning at the start of this discussion is a clear definition of what Angels are. Angels are created, (Ps. 148:2,5) spirit beings just as God is but they are not eternal. (Luke 24:37-39) genderless (Mt. 22:30) and they never die since they are purely spirit. (Mt. 25:41) Angels also are given a free will because as created beings, they still have a choice to actually worship God or to not to. This is inevitably where your student questions come in and it is from this foundation that I will attempt an answer.

We know from Scripture that once an angel sins they do not have any sort of redemption available to them. (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6) We also know that many of the hosts rebelled against God and were cast down to the earth. The specifics of this fall we do not have and many speculate concerning it. The bigger point in this story though is that rebellion against God, which is what we call sin, has more then physical consequences. In fact, if the falling of the angels shows us anything it is that our sins echo in eternity unless there was some type of covering for this. Unless God had an answer that would cleanse us from eternal damnation. Hence the Christian hope is something that even the angels seem to ponder! (1 Peter 3:22)

Wither or not Angels can still fall is something which we cannot know. Scripture is silent beyond the fact that Angels did fall. However, there are some things which we can speculate and I put emphasis on that. Angels did not fall within what we know as “time”. Angels exist in a world that is separate but tied to our own and therefore there “falling” is spiritually the same as ours but different since they cannot be redeemed. Angels are purely spirits and therefore I believe that they cannot change in the way that we do. Angels cannot “turn” and be “good” once they made the decision to be “bad”. (Heb. 2:16) How this exactly works we cannot know.

Concerning the second and third question I do not believe that there is an issue with being eternally with God and still having free will. First, we will not be carrying around these fallen bodies when we are resurrected. Second, the evil forces that lead us into temptation will no longer have power over us since they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. So then the question becomes could we suffer the same fate as the angels then? I believe that we won’t because unlike the angels, we were washed in the blood of the Lamb. Something the angels never had the opportunity to understand and something which is a seal on us when we receive our resurrection bodies.

I liken our experience in Heaven/New Jerusalem as someone who has been anticipating a vacation. He freely chose to save up for the vacation, he worked for it, he took the vacation time for it, and he planned it with the help of an outside agent. When the time for the vacation comes he is not going to think of his free will being violated by enjoying the scenery, the company, and food which is presented because it was what he paid for. In fact, he is going to feel regret when he has to leave and go back. Or he could feel homesick and just want to go back to a place which is familiar to him. In heaven however neither of these options will be a factor since Heaven/New Jerusalem is a fulfillment of everything and anything we could desire. It also culminates the ultimate desire we have as humans; we found home. Therefore, we will be utterly satisfied that we have finally reached home, we have finally found peace.

So in closing, I am not sure if I actually answered your question in full. However, I hope to leave you with the following main points. First, we can’t know everything concerning the angels because the Bible does not let us in on it. Second, sin has grave consequences not just on our body but on our spirits as well. Finally, this shows us how great a salvation we have received because Jesus was made lower then the angels so that we could not suffer their fate! That kind of love is something we all seek and when we finally see it face to ace, nothing could possibly drive us away from it!


Anonymous said...

I believe angels can still fall out of will. I survived a car crash which defied the laws of physics. Perhaps an angel sacrificed itself out of will for exchange of my life and was banished from heaven. That or divine intervention.

carline parchment said...

you keep saying that angels are spirit but they put flesh upon themselves and married to the daughters of men and had children with them,now for angels to have sex with us and imprenate us we have to share similar DNA because if humans should have sex with animals we whould not get pregnant so humans and angels are similar,further more no where in the bible did it say we are going to heaven humans were never created to live in heaven,and new jerusalem will be on earth,and another thing why whenever spirits fall god trows them from heaven on to the earth it really dosent make much why not kill fallen spirits why send them to antagonize humans still dont make any senc to me

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the fallen angels being sent to Earth is the fulfilment and practical implementation of our free will. The fallen angels provided our awareness of evil. If there were no fallen angels on Earth then it would be far more difficult to experience evil or temptation to sin. We would only experience good (bathed in gods presence without choice) as Adam and Eve originally only experienced good until the chief fallen angel introduced itself and evil/sin.

From this view it is easier to understand the purpose of the stress of suffering and sin/evil on the Earth. Without it we would only experience goodness which would not be an experience of free will. We would not have the full opportunity to recognise and experience the greatness of our every moment here on Earth to "choose" to bath in Gods wisdom and light and goodness, made possible dispite our sins through the sacrifice of Gods son Jesus. Now Jesus has made that sacrifice and is still alive, God allows us to access his eternal power and goodness through our relationship with Jesus (which humans have the opportunity "choose" during their every day lives).

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14