One of the earliest phrases a child learns is, "Hey Mom! Watch this!" Perched on the edge of a pool, wearing a bloated inner tube, the little guy wants to show off some amazing acrobatic. Some guys never grow up. It's jokingly said a typical man's last words are, "Hey Hon! Watch this!" as he shows off some stupid stunt.
Some crave an audience, while some cringe at the thought. Either way, there is a vast crowd of beings who see us when we're sleeping, who know when we're awake, who know when we've been bad or good. They're not a squadron of Santas or an army of aliens (although they are out of this world) - they're a multitude of messengers called angels. This can make us cringe or feel confident, depending on what we're doing.
Angels have been God's audience from the beginning. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Because God does all things for His glory, it behooved Him to have someone to whom He could say, "Watch this!" It appears that God created angels early on, for when the "foundation of the earth" was laid, "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7). They witnessed Creation.
Angels take an intense interest in us as well. In Daniel 4:13, they are called watchers, meaning "wakeful ones." They are ever alert to what is going on. They are assigned to keep us in all our ways (Psalm 91:11), and they never sleep on the job.
Angels are fascinated by Salvation. Peter tells us the facts of the gospel are "things into which angels long to look" (1 Peter 1:12). Perhaps God's most glorious work outside of Creation is to save sinners through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The extraordinary wisdom of God's plan is put on display through the church: Angels are watching (Ephesians 3:10).
Everyone loves a good party, and angels are no exception. When a person gets saved, "there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10). Jesus promised, "Everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8). Imagine the Son of God telling Him and the angels about you, and how much joy you can bring to them!
Angels pay attention to our Ministration. As we serve the Lord, we are sometimes made to feel like fools (1 Corinthians 4:9). However, the angels view us as fellow ministers (Hebrews 1:14).
Paul instructed Pastor Timothy about the election of elders, charging him "in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels" (I Timothy 5:21). Angels observe the character and qualifications of God's servants. We should not offend them by improper behavior in church (1 Corinthians 11:10).
Because angels have been watching God's program unfold from the beginning, taking keen interest in every human being for thousands of years, it would be as unfair to shield them from the finale as it would be to tear out the last chapter of a mystery novel. Having witnessed Creation, Salvation, and Ministration, they are fit witnesses to the Culmination at the final judgment. Unbelievers will be "tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels" (Revelation 14:10).
They are also qualified to join the saints and all creatures in praising God and Christ forever (Revelation 5).
Like it or not, we have an audience. Does that make you cringe or feel confident?
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