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The Flurry Of Wings

What Angels Know

Erwin W. Lutzer | December 11, 1994

Selected highlights from this sermon

Angels know a lot. They’re privy to the counsels of God, and they constantly observe and investigate humanity—us. Even so, we should never seek their knowledge or counsel. 

Angels of God are probably astonished by the pride and stinginess of humanity, because they know how we should be responding to the gracious God of the universe.  

All of us know, in our day and age, that angels are big business. There are angel computer networks. There are angel channelers. There are angel prayer meetings. They are big business indeed.

We learned last week that this emphasis on angels is not new. The ancient Gnostics emphasized angels. They believed that angels would be the way in which we could get all the way to God. Nobody could have contact directly, they said, but through a chain of angels we can get there. And the Apostle Paul spoke against that heresy.

What is unique about today is the breadth of the interest in angels and the depth of the deception. There’s a movie that came out recently that I didn’t see but that I read about entitled Angels in the Outfield. Apparently the story is about an 11-year old boy by the name of Roger whose mother dies, and then his father leaves. But before the father leaves he says to this little boy, who is basically on his own now, “We will be together again as a family when the L.A. Angels win the World Series.” Now I don’t know anything about the L.A. Angels, but from what I picked up from reading this article, it would be equivalent to telling a boy in Chicago, “Our family will be together again if the Cubs were to win the World Series.” Now you know that that would be equivalent to saying to a kid, “Kid, buck up. Learn to live alone, and don’t even think about your family ever getting together again.” (laughter)

But nevertheless, the boy prays to a god who he doesn’t know, and angels come and apparently then the game is won, which may give some hope to our Cubbie fans. But the reason that this movie is a beautiful illustration of where our nation is in terms of angels is that first of all, the god who sends them is undefined. He is gender neutral. He is a god who does not have any ties to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is a “whoever you are out there” in whatever your name might be in whatever connections you might have, a “please use them for me” kind of a god. And secondly, the angels turn out to be the experience that people like to have without having to confront God, the mediator, and the experience of the supernatural without having to confront the issue of sin and repentance and righteousness. It’s a beautiful example of where today’s society is when it comes to angels, forgetting that there are angels of light out there who masquerade as angels of God but are actually angels of deception, as we learned last week.

What we’d like to do today is to discuss what angels know. Last week we talked about what they do. What do they know? Somebody wrote to me this week and asked if angels know our thoughts. Very probably not! They may know some of our thoughts. They may not know all of our thoughts. But one thing is sure. They can listen to all of our words, and they see all of our actions. They know quite a lot.

In fact, let me begin by giving you three sources of information that angels have. Where is it that they get their information? Well, number one, they know what they have been told by God. They know what God has told them. In a moment we’re going to be turning to Luke 1, the story of Gabriel speaking to the Virgin Mary and bringing her that message. Well, the reason that Gabriel could do that is because he was in the presence of God, and God said, “Gabriel, this is what I want you to say,” and whether it is to Mary or to Daniel, Gabriel gets his messages from God.

Now if you lived in the White House you’d hear a whole lot more about what the President has to say than you would just at his press briefings. The Bible is a press briefing. It’s as if God held a news conference and said, “This is what I want you to know, and this is all that you need to know.” But if we lived with God, like angels do, we’d get those background briefings. We’d get a lot of details filled in.

When you read the book of Revelation, you are so impressed with the work of angels in both judgment and blessing that you realize, I am sure, that there are many times when they have information briefings when God tells them what’s going to happen and what their role is. So first of all, they know what God tells them.

Secondly, angels know what they observe – the things that they observe. Remember, they were there when creation took place. When God spoke the worlds into existence, angels where there and they marveled at the wonder of God being able to take nothing and create something. And they were breathless (if they breathe), thinking about the wonder and the power of God. And they were on hand to see Adam sin and plunge the human race into its misery and its despair. They saw all of that. And they saw Noah. They saw the flood. They saw the judgment of God. They saw the tower of Babel. And then they see us. They observe us.

The Apostle Paul says that we are a spectacle to men and to angels. For 10,000 years they have been watching us and consequently we have the privilege of knowing that we are always being watched and that even if our eyes were opened in this auditorium we would see not only spirit beings, but among those spirit beings, both good and bad, there would, of course, be those good beings called angels. They know what they observe.

Thirdly, angels know what they investigate. You see, God doesn’t tell them everything. If God told angels everything, there would be no mystery left. You know that if you were God there would be no mystery because God knows everything, and all the mysteries have been accounted for and answered and understood and explained. But angels are constantly looking into God’s program. They are prying, trying to understand more. God says, “Here’s this piece of the puzzle. Here’s another piece of the puzzle, and I created you as intelligent beings. Put this puzzle together and do the best you can.”

You say, “Well Pastor, where in the world are you getting that?” Well, turn to 1 Peter for a moment, and you may also turn to Luke 1 where we will be in just a moment. But in 1 Peter 1 this is what the text says. It says that the prophets sometimes never understood their own prophecies. They understood what God was going to do, but they couldn’t put the time together. They struggled with the suffering that the Messiah was going to endure – suffering on the one hand and glory, and they were constantly getting those times confused. So it says in verse 11 and 12, “…inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”

They see redemption too. They see the prophecies. They can’t quite put it all together, but they would like to be able to put it together, and so the angels long to look into it because they are fascinated with redemption, as we shall see in just a moment.

By the way, what can be said of good angels can also be said of the bad angels – satanic angels. How much do they know? Well, they know what they are told. Lucifer tells them certain things and gives them briefings, but his knowledge is often flawed. He is not omniscient like God. He does not know the future infallibly. He knows what is being planned but he does not know whether or not it can be executed because there are too many contingencies. I kind of like that word. I hope you do too. There are too many contingencies that he cannot control, but he knows the plan.

You see Satan knows that somebody is going to try to assassinate the president of the United States on November 22, 1963. He knows the plan. He may even have put the idea in a man’s mind. But he has no assurance that it’s going to come off. The gun could misfire. The assassin could be stopped before he gets into the Dallas Bookroom Depository Building. There are so many contingencies. Now he knows the future better than we do on the basis of probability. We can go to a fortune-teller and sometimes they are right, but not all the time because the future ultimately is not in their hands. They know what Satan is plotting, what people are thinking if they belong to Satan, but they don’t know whether it will really come off. And that’s why the Bible forbids all fortune telling. It forbids reading such things as the horror scopes, deliberately mispronounced perhaps, but nevertheless very accurate. If you are into that, you are shaking your fist in God’s face and will end up with a curse. We are to trust God, and not those who try to pry into the future through occult experiences.

Well folks, that’s enough chitchat, don’t you think? That’s the introduction. Now what we’re going to do is get to Luke 1 where we are going to try to understand what it is that the angels know about two different categories. The first is what they know about Christ, and secondly what they know about us. And once we have finished that, this will eventually end the message. I say eventually because this is going to go on for a little while. Aren’t you glad you came?

First of all, what is it that they know about Christ? Gabriel has been sent to the Virgin Mary, and you know the story. He says, “The Lord is with you,” and then he goes on to say in Luke 1:29, “But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’”

What is it that they know about Christ? First of all, notice He will be the Son of the Most High. You know, that word sonship does not mean that Jesus originates with the Most High like we think of sonship. Sonship has to do with relationship. The son has the characteristics of the Father, and that’s the imagery that is used to help us to understand the Trinity. And actually we might say that in this case the Son is the Most High.

So if you are taking notes, the first thing that they know is they know Christ high in heaven. They knew Him before Bethlehem. This is what exaggerates, or I should say increases, their wonder. They knew Christ in heaven. They saw Him as He was.

I want to quote some Scripture to you in a moment, and then we are going to turn to the twelfth chapter of the book of John, so keep that in mind. You remember that very familiar passage which all of us know by memory. In the sixth chapter of Isaiah it says, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple,” the text says, “and above it stood the seraphim and they kept saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts.’” Isaiah ends up finally saying, “I will go to preach to these people.” And then the Lord says, “Go and preach even though I have hardened their hearts and I’ve closed their eyes and I’ve stopped up their ears and they won’t believe,” which is an interesting call to the ministry. I don’t understand how that would fit in with our success oriented syndromes, but nevertheless, that’s what he was called to.

Now look at whom it was that those angels were honoring. You say, “Well that’s very clear. I saw the Lord Jehovah – Yahweh” as it is in the Hebrew text. That’s who they saw. Well, you are right. But do you know who that was? It was Christ.

Look at John 12. Jesus is having a spirited discussion with the Pharisees, and they are trying to figure out who He really is. And it says in verses 37 and 38, “Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled,” and then I want to pick it up in verse 40. There’s too much here in the text to comment on. Pick it up in verse 40. “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” That’s right out of Isaiah 6, the passage I just told you about.

Verse 41, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him (Christ).” That was Christ whom the angels were honoring. When they were there saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory,” they were speaking about Jesus. They saw Him high and lifted up. Now you can understand why their wonder is increased, because now they are going to see Him low and despised.

We’re back in Luke 1, and this is where it says now, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” Verse 32, “And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.”

Aren’t you intrigued by the way the Bible just throws things out for us to ponder and to think about? Notice that Jesus is the Son of the Most High. We get that clear, but He’s also looked at as the One whose Father is a man by the name of David. Well, how can that be? Well, it can only be if Jesus Christ, who is one with the Father, God, becomes a part of the human family. And that’s exactly the message that Gabriel was on his way to present here to this virgin. What he was saying to her is, “You are going to be the mother, and because David is your great, great, great grandfather, in effect he will be the father of the child that you bear. He will be a man.” And what a mystery!

And you see, the angels know how far Christ came. They saw Him in His glory. They saw Him fill the whole universe with His beauty, and they were singing His praises, and now suddenly they hover over Bethlehem and they see this infant in the crib, and they are filled with incredible astonishment and amazement. It’s no wonder there are some things that they long to look into.

Do you think that the angels were fascinated with Christ’s life on earth? I want you to know that moment-by-moment they were constantly hovering near Him. Here is Jesus, who is out 40 days and 40 nights, and He’s fasting, and after that time, He is hungry. And then He has that altercation with the devil, and it says that when the devil departed that angels came strengthening Him. They were there.

And then we come to Gethsemane where Jesus is on His knees and saying, “If it be Thy will let this cup pass from Me,” and the disciples are thinking to themselves, “Jesus, get out of this.” How can you be both the man of glory and the man of suffering? It isn’t right that the Son of God should be spat upon and humiliated and tormented. Get out of this.”

And that, of course, is the way we, as people who live in America, reason. Where is the escape hatch? Deliver me. And Jesus says, “No, I have to keep back the angels. I could call ten legions of angels, hundreds of thousands, and they would deliver me just like that, but I need to restrain them. I will not call on them because it is needful that I suffer,” and the angels saw it all, and they wondered in amazement.

And then we come, of course, to the resurrection of Jesus, and who is at the tomb to announce the news but angels, and who is there when Jesus is ascended on high on the Mount of Olives but angels that accompany Him? And then they will be with Him when He returns to earth and finally fulfills this prophecy, by the way. I don’t think the prophecy has been fulfilled.

You know this is a very controversial statement where it says, “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father, David, and He will reign over the House of David forever.” Some people say, “Well, that throne is in heaven. That’s what it means. Jesus is going to rule over the House of David in heaven. He’s got a throne up there somewhere.” Well, bless Him! He does have a throne in heaven, but the House of David and the Throne of David seems like a very earthly kingdom. That’s why some of us actually believe that during the millennial kingdom, Jesus is still going to rule from this earth, from the city of Jerusalem, though He has a glorified body and though we have glorified bodies. There is going to be a population in planet Earth that does not have glorified bodies, and there will be that interaction just as there was with Jesus after the resurrection – He and His disciples. And someday He will still rule from the city of Jerusalem.

You say, “Well, you believe that?” Yeah, I believe that because I don’t think this prophecy has been fulfilled, but my point this morning is simply that angels will be there. They will accompany Him. Will you remember that angels are fascinated with Christ because they saw Him high and exalted, and they saw Him low and humiliated, and they knew how far down He had come?

Secondly, angels are also interested in us. They know us. Let’s pick up the text now. Mary says in verse 34, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” I take this by the way that she is not asking in unbelief. There are some people who say she didn’t believe. Notice that she is not saying, “I don’t believe this will happen,” but she is saying, “I don’t understand how it can happen since I am a virgin.” And so the angel explains. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”

How can this be? The answer is, “With God, nothing is impossible.” And then the beautiful response, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel did what angels always do when their job is done so that they do not divert attention from God. Gabriel departed.

Now let’s look at this beautiful, beautiful assent of obedience. The angel Gabriel presents the news. Mary accepts it and says, “I am the bond slave of God,” and on the one hand it’s a great honor, and on the other hand, which is always the case, great pain. Her friends will not understand. When you read the Gospels you discover that Jesus is constantly being accused of having been born out of wedlock, and her friends did not understand it. Perhaps her close ones did, but she lived with those rumors, and then she had to see her son die such a horrible death. She went through the whole experience, but she said, “I am your bond slave.”

Now here’s my point today. Gabriel saw her response. And if she had had a different response, if she had said, “No, absolutely I’ll have nothing to do with that,” he would have observed that response too because angels see our obedience, and they also see our disobedience, and constantly they see both.

You know, here at The Moody Church we believe that men should hold the role of elder in the church, and we get some criticism for that because there are those who think that there should be women elders. And I don’t want to get off on this, this morning, but since I am now walking on this branch, I’m going to walk just a little farther until it creeks beneath my feet. But the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians, when he is discussing the role of women in the church, even says that women should be veiled to show submission. And actually we do not require veiling because we think that it’s the submission that was the important part. But do you know why he is giving reasons for it? He just throws in a statement that I’ve often pondered. He says, “For this reason women should have that symbol of subjection because of the angels.” You know, I’m reading it and I’m saying, “Oh, okay, that makes sense - because of the angels.”

You know, some of you are looking at me. Look! You take your Bible and turn to 1 Corinthians 11, and notice what he says in verse 10 just in case you think I didn’t have enough sleep last night. 1 Corinthians 11:10 says, “That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.” Incidentally, if anybody asks you what Moody Church’s position is on these things say, “Yeah, we believe in thus and so,” and if they ask why, say, “Well, it’s because of the angels.” That’ll probably slow them down for a moment or two.

What is my point? The reason Paul includes that is because he has seen disorder. He has seen rebellion, and angels have witnessed their own original rebellion and the fall of man in the garden. And therefore, Paul says, “Even the angels are observing your worship.” And that’s my point today. And they see our obedience and they see our disobedience, and they are constantly moving in and out among us and they are seeing what happens.

Let me ask you something today. What if you were to interview an angel and ask the angel the questions, “What is it that keeps you motivated? What is your greatest sense of awe or wonder?” I’ve thought about that and I’d like to tell you what I think angels would say as to what they marvel at. First of all, they would say they marvel at the humility of God and the pride of mankind. I think that must be a source of everlasting distress and wonder. They marvel at the humility of God. Here is God in all of His beauty, in all of His wonder, having all of this adoration, and He comes to this earth, and He is spat upon, and He is lied about, and He will not accept the deliverance that they were willing to give to Him. And He is willing to accept even the cross, and all of the shame that was connected with the cross. And He is God, and they marvel at it. And then they see us who are sinners, strutting around like kings when Christ came to serve. And we come and we want to rule. And they marvel.

This past week my daughter Lisa said to me, after having a discussion about a matter, “Dad, it just seems to me as if recently all that you can think of is your own agenda and you’re not sensitive to our needs.” Oh, wow! Thank you! Appreciate that!” I began to justify myself, and then I thought, “No, I’m not going to.” And for ten minutes I thought about it. And then I went into her bedroom where she was and I got on my knees, and I said, “Lisa, please forgive me because you are right.” I said, “Please pray that your dad will be more like Jesus. Yes, please pray that your dad will be more like Jesus.” He came to serve. He was not interested in His own needs, and angels marvel at the fact that all that we are is self-absorbed, and we do not humble ourselves in the sight of God. Much less do we humble ourselves in the sight of others because we maintain all those walls that insulate us from the possibility of accepting the beauty of God’s promises because most of God’s promises cannot be received unless we are broken and humble in the sight of a holy God. And if we aren’t, all the promises of the world roll off our backs.

Do you know what God does when He begins to stir up a congregation, and the manifest presence of God begins to happen? I’ll tell you. First of all, He takes the roof off so that our relationship with God is settled. And then He begins to take the walls down so that our relationship with one another becomes open and honest and caring and interactive, and the bonds begin to build and we begin to include others in our Christmas celebrations, and we begin to be sacrificially involved in the lives of others as Christ. And the vine that bears the most fruit is always the lowest on the ground. And the vines that stand up and say, “Look at me,” are the barren vines that have no fruit. And angels marvel at the humility of God and the pride of men – the source of life. Someone has said, “The world is a better place because Michelangelo didn’t say, ‘I don’t do ceilings.’ The world is a better place because Martin Luther didn’t say, ‘I don’t do doors.’ The world is a better place because Noah didn’t say, ‘I don’t do arks.’ The world is a better place because Mary Magdalene didn’t say, ‘I don’t do feet.’ The world is a better place because Peter didn’t say, ‘I don’t do Gentiles.’ And the world is a better place because Mary didn’t say, ‘I don’t do virgin births.’ And the world is a better place because Jesus didn’t say, ‘I don’t do crosses.’”

Angels marvel at the humility of God and the pride of men. God spends most of our lifetime crushing us, and sometimes only at the end of life finally does He see the humility and brokenness which is of great price in His sight. That’s what angels marvel at.

Secondly, angels marvel at the grace of God, and the generosity of God and the stinginess of man. God is so generous. This must certainly be a source of wonder.

Now in order to understand how much they marvel, let’s remember that when God created the angels, all of them were good. Lucifer had the responsibility, I believe, for this earth, and was supposed to take the worship of all of the created beings on this earth and make sure that all of it went to God. He was performing the function of a priest so that if there was some praise and worship, he made sure that it got passed along to the Almighty to whom it so beautifully belonged.

What he began to do was to accept some of it along the way and pass only part of the praise and the honor along to God. And he said, “I have to keep some of this for myself.” And in fact, he went on to say, “I shall be like the Most High.” God said, “I’m going to continue to give you authority over the earth (The Bible says that the whole world is cradled in the hands of the wicked one) but you are now going to be my enemy and we are not going to be getting along together, and at the end I will crush you, even though I am going to give you a lot of rope for a long time.” So that was the way in which the scenario went. But when Lucifer fell, a whole host of angels (possibly one-third of their number), which could be tens of thousands multiplied and cubed factorially, fell with him, and so they are all part of this fallen number. And God has chosen to not redeem them.

Now I explain this to you almost every Christmas, but we have some visitors who perhaps have not been here before. When God redeemed mankind He deliberately chose that angels would never be redeemed. The Bible says in the book of Hebrews, “He took not upon Himself the nature of angels, but took upon Himself the seed of Abraham.” If angels were to be redeemed then you would have to have Christ becoming an angel, and dying, and a special sacrifice made for these fallen creatures. And they are going to just be abandoned to hell, and that’s not going to happen. Now can’t you just imagine angels saying, “Well, He’s doing it for man? Why is He not doing it for the rest of us? You know, after all, we used to have some buddies that we worked with, and they are now infallibly and ultimately fallen – irretrievably so.”

Well, the angels, of course, are not envious, but what really intrigues them is what God plans to do with people. The Scripture says that mankind was for a little while lower than the angels. We are lower than the angels now. We know less than they do. We are not as powerful as they are. Our abilities are limited, but only for a little while are we lower than the angels. In fact, the time is going to come when we will be exalted above them, crowned with glory and honor. No angel will ever be an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ. And angels stand in rapt attention and wonder at God’s ability to take people out of the pit and to let them walk in the palace, and to scoop them up from the mud, and enable them to walk on marble. And they marvel at the fact that God is willing to do that for human beings that are really just about as bad as the demons who fell. And so they are filled with adoring wonder of God’s grace. In fact, we even see it here in the text.

Notice it says in verse 28. (Always keep your finger in the text.) In Luke 1:28 it says that when Gabriel comes, he says to Mary, “Hail, favored one.” Now in Greek the words favored one is kecharitōmenē , which is a perfect passive participle. Oh, I wish that my grammar teacher in the eighth grade had been here to hear that. She’d have been so proud. She would have quoted verse 37, “For nothing shall be impossible with God.”

What is a perfect passive participle? It means that we are the recipients. It is something that God does. We are passive, and it is God who graces Mary and gives her the favor and says, “Hail, favored one. You are graced; you are kissed; you are beloved; you are special, and God is showing you this favor.” It’s a very special form of the word and an intensified form to show you are highly favored.

Let me ask you something today: Would it help your coming week if you were to hear from God today and God were to look into your eyes, and say to you, “Hail, favored one; you are highly favored by the Lord”? You say, “Well, Pastor Lutzer, if I heard that and if God were to say to me today that I am highly favored, it would make Monday easier. It would make Tuesday easier and Wednesday easier, and all the way along the line.” Well, I want you to know today that that is exactly what God says to you today.

Ephesians 1:6 is the only place in the New Testament where you have the same construction of that perfect passive participle kecharitōmenē , and what does it say? It says that we are chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world, and we have been graced in the beloved one. The same expression! Don’t exalt Mary and think, “Oh, if only I were Mary, and if only I had these words given to me by God.” You are hearing those same words from God through the lips of the Apostle Paul, an inspired writer who says you are accepted in the Beloved (King James Version), you are graced in the Beloved and you are highly favored of the Lord.

Is it any wonder that the angels look at that with adoring perplexity? Here are these sinners who really deserve the same fate as those fallen angels, and God scoops them out and lifts them up and says, “Today, you are highly favored by the Lord in Christ, in the Beloved One. You are favored and accepted in Him.” Wow! No wonder the angels never lose their sense of awe and the grace of God. And then they look at our stinginess, our unwillingness to give, our protectiveness, our castles, and our desire to build those walls to have our own interest, to have our own way, to manipulate, and our desire to make sure that we come first, that we are the ones that are secure. And they marvel at the contrast - the grace of God and the stinginess of man.

You say, “Pastor Lutzer, will we ever see these angels that you’ve been talking about?” You will! In fact, years ago when people died without drugs, they oftentimes saw the spirit world before they passed on. They always mentioned Jesus, and usually some angels. And the Bible says in Luke 16 that when Lazarus died, he was carried away by angels into Abraham’s bosom. He wasn’t just escorted. These guys didn’t just say, “Well, look now! Go in this direction and we’ll follow you.” No! To follow you I’m not content until I know which way you went. What they said was, “Let us carry you. Let us take the initiative and take you where you need to be.” And I fully expect that at death in addition to Christ, angels will be there, rejoicing that we have finally arrived home.

And today God says to you and to me, “Do you understand how important you are to me?” You know, the angels are important. They are singing all the praises of God, but the Scripture says in Hebrews 1:14 they are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who are heirs of salvation, and they never lose their sense of worship when they see the humility of God, and their sense of pain when they see the pride of man, and their sense of joy as grace and hurt, and our own stinginess.

If you today come to Christ – not to an angel but to Christ (“For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man, Christ Jesus”) – you too someday shall see the good angels who will escort you into your eternal dwelling place.

I was thinking about this message yesterday, and then I was thinking about what we should sing today. You know, I’m always the one who chooses the ending hymn. Sometimes when I forget, Gerry Edmonds does it, and I thought, “You know, I wonder what the angels would like to have us end this message with.” And because I have no communication with angels I can tell you in advance that I received no fax, no telegraph, no telephone call and no vision. But I think they would say, “Hey, there’s only one song in that hymnal that should really be sung that we can’t sing. Sing a song that only humans can sing, one that angels can never sing, but they listen to us sing it, and they say, “Why don’t people sing it with more enthusiasm?” because we are excluded and they are included in the wonder of God’s grace. Are you wondering, by the way, what hymn it is? Of course you are. It’s 203. And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior’s blood. They can’t but we can. Amazing grace! Amazing wonder! Page 203. Let’s all stand, and you come, Gerry, and you lead us and let’s sing it for the angels, and of course, for God.

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