Do Angels Walk Among Us?
Let’s first define the term “angel.” It comes from the Greek word angelos and literally means “messenger.” Many are not aware that the Bible uses the word “angel” or angelos to simply refer to a human messenger at times. Rev. 2-3 cite seven examples of this, when Jesus tells John to write to “the angel of the church of Ephesus/Smyrna/etc.” He wasn’t telling John to write to a celestial angel; rather, he was telling John to write to the messenger of that particular congregation, most likely referring to the preacher of that congregation, since preachers are to preach the message of God (2 Tim. 4:2). So in that sense, one could answer this question by saying that human angels, literally human messengers of God, walk among us today. In a sense, God wants all Christians to be his messengers.
However, the question most likely has a different kind of angel in mind, celestial angels. The Bible speaks of the existence of celestial, heavenly angels also, as seen in many places, chapters 5 and 7 of Revelation being cited as just two of many examples. Concerning celestial angels and whether they walk among us today or how they walk among us today, the Bible gives very, very little information.
Hebrews 1:14 is talking about celestial angels and says, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” So this verse tells us that celestial angels are sent out to serve for the sake of Christians. Notice though that this verse does not give details as to how that happens, nor does any other verse in the New Testament.
Over in Matthew 18:10, Jesus is warning about not placing stumbling blocks in front children, and he gives the reason why we should be careful not to do this when he says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” Notice that Jesus says that children have angels (“their angels”). However, also notice that he gives no other information about these angels of children other than that they see God the Father’s face in heaven. We don’t know what that means. A lot of people read into this verse and conclude that this verse is talking about guardian angels, but if you read the verse you’ll see that guardian angels are never explicitly mentioned. In fact, nowhere in the entire Bible do you read the term “guardian angel.” Now, angels are said to serve for the sake of Christians, and children are said to somehow have angels. Does that mean that these angels guard Christians and children in some capacity? The Bible doesn’t say. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. Without further biblical data, we cannot say for sure.
Over in Hebrews 13:2 Christians are commanded, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” We see a biblical example of this in Genesis 18-19, where Abraham and Lot separately brought angels into their home without at first realizing it. Now, is that what Hebrews 13:2 is referring to? Is it simply telling Christians that we need to be hospitable because at some time in the past Abraham and Lot had angels in their home and didn’t know it? Or is Hebrews telling us that we need to be hospitable because even now, today, angels might walk among us and come into our home and we are not aware of it? The verse doesn’t specify either way.
In the end, notice the word “unawares” in Hebrews 13:2. That word best answers this question: “Do angels walk among us today?” Biblically, Hebrews 13:2 tells us the answer: We don’t know. (Deut. 29:29)