Do We Become Angels When We Die?

You’ve likely heard the phrase said;

“Heaven’s gained a new angel…”

Or;

“Now we have a guardian angel.”

Or a similar variance, when a person has passed away.

Matthew 22:30 is often cited to seek support for this position, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” {Underline mine}

This isn’t referring to human beings transforming into the angels upon death but rather that human beings are like angels in that they become immortal. No longer subject to desires, disease, temptations, sins, sorrow or death. Able to serve God perfectly without weariness or distraction. Having no conflict between flesh and spirit, between the old nature and the new; being fully glorified.

Theologian John Gill, in his commentary states;

“…no longer subject to human wants, passions, failings, or temptations; they serve God perfectly without weariness or distraction; they have no conflict between flesh and spirit, between the old nature and the new; their life is peaceful, harmonious, satisfying.”

Matthew 22:30 does not support the position that human beings transform into angels at death. Neither does the whole of Scripture.

We know from Scripture that God created human beings and angels as distinct beings with distinct purposes. Though similar in that both were created by God to worship and serve Him with intelligence and wills; there are vast differences. Explicitly, Redemption through Jesus Christ.

When a human being dies, the body and soul are separated. The soul of the Christ follower joins Him in Paradise; receiving new, glorified bodies for eternity. The soul of the unbeliever goes to Hell (Luke 16:22-23) cast into a lake of fire for eternity. There is no mention of becoming an angel upon death.

Though our paths may cross as human beings and angels work together for the Kingdom of God; in Heaven, we will glorify God alongside the angels, but we will never become them.

The Word of God is the source of all angelic understanding, and it is our duty and delight to understand the Word of God fully. We can expect to profit as we search out the Scriptures on the Biblical doctrine of angels to increase our knowledge and gratitude but also to be able to discern what is false.

And lastly, it probably goes without saying, but just in case, please be shrewd as to WHEN you address this error.

“The acknowledgment of angels is needful in the church. Therefore godly preachers should teach them logically. First, they should show what angels are, namely, spiritual creatures without bodies. Secondly, what manner of spirits they are, namely, good spirits and not evil; and here evil spirits must also be spoken of, not created evil by God, but made so by their rebellion against God, and their consequent fall. Thirdly, they must speak touching their function, which, as the epistle to the Hebrews shows, is to present a mirror of humility to godly Christians, in that such pure and perfect creatures as the angels do minister unto us, poor and wretched people, in household and temporal policy, and in religion.” ~ Martin Luther

For further study and consideration:

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/angels/angels-part-1/?

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/angels/angels-part-2/?

http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/articles/item/4108-reformed-view-angels-1

https://standardbearer.rfpa.org/node/44436

https://standardbearer.rfpa.org/node/43249

http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/boyce/aos/chapter18.htm

http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/boyce/aos/chapter19.htm

Chapter 3: Of God’s Decrees

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