Do we become angels after we die?

By Dillon Burroughs

Many people have the misconception that humans become angels after death. However, this is not the description the Bible gives regarding life after death.

According to the Bible, it is clear that to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). The Apostle Paul yearned to be with the Lord in heaven, saying, "My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better" (Philippians 1:23). When a believer dies, his or her spirit is immediately in the presence of the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Though it is uncertain what our human bodies look like in heaven, it seems clear it is still a recognizable form. For example, when Moses and Elijah appeared before Jesus, Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration, they were recognized as people with glorified bodies.

First Thessalonians 4:13-18 speaks of the future body of the believer. At Christ's return (also called the rapture), the dead in Christ (Christians who have already died) will rise first followed by Christians who are alive at that time. The body of each Christian will then be transformed into a resurrected body.

Believers will remain humans in a new body recognizable to one another in heaven with the Lord. Upon death, believers will have new bodies, but will not be turned into angels. Angels, instead, are already created beings who serve as ministering agents of God. Hebrews 1:14 states about angels, "Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?"

Instead, angels already minister before the Lord. They rejoice when a person becomes a believer in Jesus: "I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10). Angels are recorded in the Bible as praising God (Isaiah 6:3), worshiping God (Hebrews 1:6), and serving Him (Psalm 103:20).

Angels were created before humans rather than humans being turned into angels (Psalm 148:2-5; Colossians 1:16). In contrast with humans, angels are primarily spiritual beings who occasionally appear in human form in Scripture; human are physical beings with a spiritual component who live eternally after this life.

Christians do not become angels upon death, but rather worship the Lord alongside the angels after death in the presence of the Lord forever. Revelation 21-22 reveal that both angels and believers in Christ will be with the Lord for eternity future in heaven.

Image Credit: 733215; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Eternity-Forever  | False-Teaching

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Published 6-20-16