People are fascinated with angels. This is not a new thing. The church at Colossae (or at least false teachers there) had a fascination with angelic beings. And I suppose they are quite fascinating. But you want to know what is even more fascinating? The gospel.
How crazy that angels long to “look into the gospel” (1 Pet. 1:12); we are bored with the gospel and long to look into angels. What is even crazier is that this idiocy is probably part of what has the angels so baffled. God redeems a humanity filled with idolaters, guilty of sin no less treasonous than the angels that he refuses to redeem. The gospel indeed is precious. If only we had the wisdom of angels to be enamored by all that Jesus Christ has done.
I am saddened (though not surprised) that I would probably get a better hearing on a Sunday night with a series concerned with unlocking the mystery of the end times than I would a series unveiling the mystery of the gospel. More people would probably take a class on angelology than they would on atonement.
This is not surprising; angels are comfortable, the gospel isn’t. You can talk to a stranger (even if he hates Christianity) about some angel named Gabriel. Worse thing that will happen is that he will probably consider you a fruitcake and leave smiling. But the gospel will get you killed. I cannot remember reading of people getting persecuted to death for belief in angels. And why would they? Angels do not divide history. Jesus does.
Undoubtedly Satan, an angel himself, would be rather content with you spending your time concerned with angels instead of looking into what angels are concerned with; namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ. What, then, is this thing that angels are concerned with? “…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”. This is what angels long to look into, and Satan longs to distract you from.
This is filed under a Monday Ministry Musing isn’t it? What does this have to do with ministry? If you are one that preaches or teaches then you will face the temptation to assume the gospel and delve into flashy things, like angels. But heed what Richard Baxter said:
Through the whole course of ministry we must insist upon the greatest, the most certain and necessary things, and be seldom and sparing upon the rest. If we can but teach Christ to our people, we teach them all…Other things are desirable to be known, but these must be known or else our people are undone for ever.
Yes, angels are cool. But Jesus is much cooler.