Dad Loves You Most

Pastor Jeff Struecker

To set the stage for what we’re going to talk about today, and I’m going to answer some very specific and a couple really, really important questions about angels and demons. I want to set the stage for everything that you’re going to hear, and this comes directly from the book of Psalms. Psalm 142 tells you why God created the angels in the first place. Here’s what it says: 


Ps 148:1–2. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights.  Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly armies.


God created every being in the universe for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to praise him and to give him glory. God created the heavenly beings to praise him. That’s the reason why he created them in the first place. God created human beings to praise him.


You and I have the same purpose for existence as the angels do. You were created to enjoy God, to bring him glory and to praise him. Did you know you were created to praise him for eternity?


Now, I need to help you understand God’s fierce love today. I need to help you understand where you sit in relation to the angels with your Father in Heaven. So I’m going to give a phrase. You may have said or heard this when you’re a child.


If you were around the dinner table, if you’re part of a big family, if there was only one piece of fried chicken left, and two children were fighting over the fried chicken and Dad had to make a decision on which one of the two gets the fried chicken (and by the way, you can’t split the fried chicken in half because there’s just not enough), you probably heard you or your brother or sister make this statement right here: ”Dad loves you best.” 


“Dad loves you most.”

Well Christian, listen to me. This statement is about your Father in Heaven, and this statement is about your relationship to your Father in Heaven. As compared to the angels, I’m going to prove to you that Dad loves you best, or Dad loves you most today by answering a couple of really, really important questions that you asked that are fascinating and very, very important to your soul. The questions are directly the questions that you submitted; these come directly from you.


1. What are angels?  Are they like ghosts?


Question number one that I want to try to answer for you is: “What are angels? Are they like ghosts?” Well, let me answer the second question. I have no idea what you mean by “Are they like ghosts?” In your mind, I have no idea what ghosts are like, so there’s no way that I can answer the second question without knowing exactly what you mean by that.


But the first question I can answer for you. Actually, I’m not going to answer this for you. I’m going to let Scriptures answer this for you. We’re going to start back in the Book of Psalms. Psalm 103 tells you exactly who these heavenly beings are when we refer to angels. Psalm 103:20 says it this way: 


Psalms 103:20 Bless the Lord, all his angels of great strength, who do his word, obedient to his command.


This is a description of angels, and the first thing that it says is that the angels have great strength. The second thing that this one verse in the Bible says is that angels were created to do his word and be obedient to his command. We’re going to come back to that last half of this verse in just a few moments and ask the question: “Well, what about the angels that don’t do his words, are not obedient to His command?”


But I want to define terms for just a second. If you were with us last week, I made this statement. I don’t want you to miss it. So if you’re joining in this week, when I use the word “angel,” I’m talking about all of the created beings. I’m talking about the good angels that do his word and that are obedient to his command, and I’m talking about the evil spirit angels that no longer do his work and are no longer obedient to his command.


God created heavenly beings known as angels, and then some of those angels rebelled against God, and we now call them demons. But they still fit into the category of angels created by God and created to praise him, to bless him and to do his work.


So I want to just ask you, has this happened to you? You lost somebody really dear to you, and when you were grieving, maybe you were at the funeral service, maybe this is after the funeral was over with, a friend or somebody that you knew came up to you and they cared about you and they were concerned about the grief. They said this statement out loud: “The reason why your loved one died is because God needed another angel in Heaven”?


Listen to me. If you hear that statement, you have my permission, as a pastor, to look somebody in the eyes the next time they say that to you and just delicately but honestly tell them, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” because everything about that statement is wrong. First, just the words “God needed,” itself are wrong. No, God cannot need by the very fact that he is God. If he could need, he would no longer be God.


So God didn’t need another angel, and he certainly didn’t turn my grandmother, as beautiful and as godly of a woman as she was, into an angel when she got into Heaven. That’s not how things work. People don’t become angels. And by the way, angels don’t get their wings every time a bell rings. But I get where people get that idea from, because the book of Hebrews says angels can sometimes appear like people. They’re not created like people, but they can sometimes appear like them. Hebrews 13:2 says it this way: 


Hebrews 13:2  Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.

They did it without knowing it, because the angels that showed up at their homes looked very much like people. In fact, most often, when you hear about angels taking on form, they take on the form of a human. And by the way, it’s almost exclusively male. In fact, I’m not sure that there is one reference anywhere in the Bible where the angels take on a form of a human and it’s a female. They almost exclusively take on the form of a man when they show up on earth, usually a very impressive, very overwhelming guy.


But it is possible for angels to take on human form. They’re just not human. Angels were created by God to worship him. You were created by God to worship him and to bring him glory. That’s the reason why you exist.


But there is a difference, and I need you to always keep in mind the angels are not people who get to Heaven, and they get wings and a harp and float around on a cloud. That’s not what the angels are. Angels are different, and we’re going to learn just how different they are in the rest of this sermon.


2. Do angels have gender?


The next question that somebody asked is: “Do angels have gender?” This is a pretty tough question, believe it or not. My answer to this question is going to be, “Well no, if you are talking about gender the way that human beings have gender. But yes, when they take on human form, they have what appears to be human gender.”


I’ll show you from two different passages. Sometimes people say, “Well, the angels are asexual; they don’t have gender.” And this comes directly from Jesus’s words about marriage and about divorce and about Heaven when Jesus says in Matthew 22:29 and 30:


Matthew 22:29-30 “Jesus answered them, ‘You are mistaken [He’s talking to some religious leaders about who is married and not married in Heaven], because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God. For in the resurrection [and now Jesus is referring to when all people get to their eternal resting place], they [human beings] will neither marry nor be given in marriage.”


It doesn’t mean that you won’t be a man or a woman in Heaven. It’s just saying you’re not going to be married in Heaven, but “they will be like angels in Heaven.” Not, “They will become angels,” but they will be in gender like angels, meaning there’s not marriage and angels are not married in Heaven. That’s where I would answer, “Well, angels don’t have gender the way that human beings have gender.” —Except when angels take on human form and enter into a physical relationship with women on earth. Genesis 6: 


Gen 6:1–4.  When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves.  And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.”  The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men.

Now, I need you to understand that that phrase, “the sons of God,” is the Old Testament phrase that we use to refer to angels in the Bible. Very clearly, this is a reference to angels. The angels took on human form, and they chose wives for themselves of the women on earth.


What the Bible is describing here is a physical relationship between the fallen angels and women on earth, and they had children. These children became really powerful warriors that existed for many generations on earth because they were the direct descendants of these powerful beings, the heavenly beings that God created, and human beings.


So somehow when angels show up on earth, when they take on gender, they are like you and me. But the way that God created them is not with the gender like you and I would have. I realize this is probably going to cause you to ask 50 questions about this. And to be quite honest with you, the Bible doesn’t give us any more information other than what we just read in Genesis 6.


But the Bible does start this passage with God is so angry with what he saw between this relationship between angels and humans, and sin has become so rampant on earth, Genesis 6 says God is ready to hit the reset button. So, he’s just going to wipe every human being off earth, literally, in a flood, with the exception of Noah and his children and their wives. That’s it. It’s become so disgusting in God’s eyes that he’s ready to just pass judgment and wipe every human being off the planet because of what’s happening in Genesis 6.


3. Do angels have the power of choice?


And now we get to some really, really important questions. In fact, the people that submitted these questions, I don’t know if you realize just how important these next two questions are. The next question asks: “Do angels have the power of choice?” And the answer is, “Do they today?” My one word answer to this question is, “No.”


But if you were to reword the question: “DID angels have the power of choice?” the answer’s unequivocally, “Yes, they did at some point back in God’s creation. I have no idea when this happened. We don’t have the timeline for angels anywhere in the Bible, and I’m only giving you what the Bible says here. We’re not using the other junk out there that Hollywood or books describe about angels and demons. From the Bible, we have no timeline on this, but at some point, God created angels. God created angels to be perfect beings.


But at some point, angels were able to make a decision, and there was a rebellion in Heaven, and about half of God’s created angels decided to rebel against their creator while they were in his presence and try to take over his throne and depose him from the throne while they were in his presence. And those became the fallen angels referred to as evil spirits, or we just call them demons today.


At some point there was a choice, but it’s clear that that point is over. We read that just a moment ago from the book of Psalms and from Hebrews, but Jude makes this abundantly clear as well. Jude verses 5 and 6 says it this way:


Jude 5-6 Now I want to remind you, although you came to know all these things once and for all, that Jesus saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; and the angels who did not keep their own position but abandoned their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deep darkness for the judgment on the great day.


“These things” that Jude is describing is the gospel and what Jesus did for you on the cross. Maybe there was a moment in time (I don’t know when this happened in the eternal timeline) where the angels decided, “I’m going to serve God,” or, “I’m going to try to kick God off his throne and I’m going to take over in God’s place.” And when that moment happened, God pronounced the judgment, and those evil angels, which we would call demons to this day, have been reserved for the Lake of Fire.


In fact, Jesus says that God didn’t create Hell for human beings. He created it for these angels. That’s the reason why Hell exists in the first place, just to punish the angels who were in God’s presence and yet chose to rebel against him anyway.


When you talk about the power of choice, it is a description of the grace of God that calls a man or a woman to believe. James 1 describes the evil angels. It says, “Those angels, they don’t just believe in God. They know he exists, and they know it from firsthand knowledge because they were in his presence and when they hear God’s name, they tremble. But those angels are certainly not going to dwell with God in Heaven.”


So do angels have the power of choice? Yeah, they sure do.


4. Are angels redeemed?


And the fourth and final question (and the most important question you’re going to hear answer today) is: “Are the angels redeemed?” Now, listen to the whole question because it starts with the statement, and then it asks something very significant for your soul right now. “Jesus didn’t die for the angels, right? So are they redeemed if they do anything wrong or do they exist in a state of perfection, kind of like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden?”


The reason why this question is so important is because it gets to the essence of the very idea of choice in the first place. -the idea that you and I can simply do whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, and it’s no big deal. The way Bible describes sin is, it affects every cell of the human body. You and I were born into it like being born with COVID from parents that were infected before you came out of the womb. There’s nothing that you can do to stop the infection of sin. It impacts absolutely every bit of who you are and everything about how you think. And it impacts the choices you make.


But Dad really does love you most. And instead of letting human beings suffer the same consequences of the angels, he decided, “I’m going to make a way for those humans that I created, Adam and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. I’m going to make a way for them to turn to me in faith. I’m going to personally intervene in their life. In fact, I’m going to do it in such a personal way that I’m going to take on flesh and blood just like the humans that I created so they can know me, so they can turn to me in faith, so they can love me.”


What I’m trying and to say is, had God not done for Adam and Eve, for you and me, what he’s done for us, you and I would never have a shot at eternity, have no chance of Heaven or being called a child of God. It is exclusively because of God’s fierce love to go after you and to make a way so that you can turn to him in faith, so that you can be redeemed.


This is exactly what the Bible is trying to teach us. And Hebrews 2 describes your savior leaving Heaven and taking on flesh and blood because he loves you that much. Read Hebrews 2, starting in verse 14:


Heb 2:14-16 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. For it is clear that he does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring.


Jesus left Heaven, came to earth, and took on flesh and blood because of his fierce love for you. Jesus took on flesh and blood to break the power of death and sin and hell in your life, the one that’s holding over you, the chief of the evil angels, the devil. 


The Bible wants to make it abundantly clear to you, Dad really does love you more than he loves the angels. God would not let Adam and Eve suffer the eternal consequences of their sin. He wouldn’t let them spend an eternity without him. So, in order to fix what Adam and Eve just broke, when the exact same thing happened with humans that happened with angels, God said, “I’m going to go fix this. And in order to fix it, I’m going to send my son to leave Heaven and to come to Earth, to take on flesh, and to be a delicate, vulnerable human being and ultimately to pay your personal sacrifice on the cross, to give his life up to prove to his fierce love for you.”


If you’re going through some stuff right now and you’re thinking to yourself, “It doesn’t feel like God loves me,” maybe it doesn’t feel that way, but all you need to do is look back 2000 years ago to a cross on a hill right outside of Jerusalem. That will tell you how much you mean to God. They took him off of a cross, and they laid him in a tomb.Then three days later, the man who really was dead stepped out of that tomb alive to guarantee your eternal life. This is where you stand in relation to the angels.


Hebrews makes it clear God didn’t do that for the angels. They’re going to pay eternally the price for what they did, but you don’t have to. And the reason you don’t have to is because God has freed you from the bondage of sin, and he’s offering it to you as a gift.


What he’s asking you to do next is to just reach out to him in faith and to turn to him and to say, “God, I can’t fix this. I can’t be free from my sin. You and you alone can make me free.”


Somebody asked today: “Is there a written reason as to why Lucifer would defy God?” By “written reason,” I assume that what you mean here is: “Does the Bible tell us why he did this?” The answer is, “Yes, kind of.” It implies that Lucifer thought he was pretty awesome because God created him as the angel above all of the angels. Lucifer let it go to his head, and he thought he was so awesome that he could take over the throne of God.


I don’t have the exact Scripture reference for you. I could go back and research that a little bit, but there is the reference in Scripture to Lucifer being so proud, so arrogant, that he would literally think he could become bigger or better than God, his creator. It’s a great question.


Question number two: “If the fallen angels are chained up in hell, how are they free to cause spiritual warfare?” I’m not exactly sure how this works. I think what it’s saying (and I’d need to go back and do some more detailed study of the verb tense), I think what the Bible is inferring is that their destiny is set for hell, and no one and nothing can change that.


But right now they have a little freedom. The freedom that the demons have is totally under the control of God. That means they can’t do whatever they want whenever they want to whomever they want. Go back and read the first two chapters of the book of Job, because it tells you, “Even the works of the devil is under the authority of God.” And he permits this tormenting or spiritual warfare that you just asked about, but it’s still under God’s authority.


And then Revelation tells us the day is coming where God is just going to say, “All right, I’m done with all of you evil spirits. I’m done with sin. I’m done with wickedness. I’m going to fix it all. And the way I’m going to fix it all is by destroying all sin, all evil, all wickedness, to include evil angels and [this should make you tremble] evil people.” That’s the only way to eradicate it completely from God’s creation.


Last question that came in today: “It is mentioned in the Bible that men and women were possessed by demons. What would that look like, and how should we react to that as Christians?”


We’re going to do a lot of discussion about demon possession because there’s been, literally, about 20 questions that came in on demon possession. So I’m not going to answer that question right now. Stay tuned, because we’re going to talk a lot about demon possession and exorcism because the Bible talks a lot about demon possession, fallen angel possession, and exorcism. We’re going to try to tackle all of your questions on this topic coming up.