There are some moments, beyond explanation, that just stick in your brain. I remember, 14 years ago, sitting in my college student union as a new Christian. One day a girl, whose name I have long forgotten, sat down with a group of us friends. Our conversation meandered around many topics until she mentioned something so unique it lodged deep into my memory.

She told us a portion of her morning had been spent praying for Satan to become a believer. The world would be a better place, she surmised, if the Devil would trust Jesus as his savior. I didn’t have any slick biblical or theological response. I remember thinking, “Hmm, that’s an interesting thought. It doesn’t sound ‘right’ but yeah, I guess it would be good if Satan became a believer in Jesus.” The moment came and went. I didn’t think about her prayers for Satan very much until recently.

As Executive Director of the Credo House I get some great opportunities to speak at various churches. Recently, I was at a church in Oklahoma City teaching through the first five sessions of our Discipleship Program. On this particular week I was teaching through our session on the importance of the Trinity.

After discussing topics such as Tritheism, Modalism, Subordinationalism, Arius and the Council of Nicea, I wanted to make sure everyone was tracking with me so I asked if there were any questions. Unrelated to the topics we were discussing a lady asked, “So, it seems like you don’t think I should pray for Satan to be saved. Is that correct?”

Why she asked that question at that time in our teaching is still beyond me. What are the odds, I thought, having bumped into two people who pray for the salvation of Satan. Are there only 2 Christians on the planet who spend time praying for his salvation? By some astronomical bit of luck I have conversations with both of them? Maybe this is common for Christians? Is this one of those hidden beliefs people don’t talk about but still practice? Can Satan be Saved?

2 Major Reasons Against Satan’s Salvation

I think there are predominately two major reasons why we should not pray for the salvation of Satan. Are there only two reasons? Probably not, but for the sake of this post I think two reasons should pretty much end the discussion.

1. Only Humans Have a Savior

It’s easy for us to forget the vast difference between humans and angels. Yes, we have a bunch of similarities. We are both conscious intellectual beings created by God. We both have the capacity for good and for evil. It seems we are both immortal. Both of us have a beginning, neither of us have an ending. Individuals from both humans and angels will spend eternity in either heaven or in hell. Those are some of our similarities. Now for some differences.

The greatest difference comes from the simple fact we are completely different created beings. Dolphins and humans share similarities but at the end of the day we are completely different types of creatures. Similarly, angels and humans are different creatures. Some other differences…While all humans can trace their lineage back to Adam and Eve, this is not true for angels. Angels do not have grandparents, great-grandparents, etc… It appears all angels were individually created by God around the same time.

Here is where my first point against Satan’s salvation comes into play. All of reality contains one Savior. Let me say that again, in all of the universe there is one and only one who can say, “I am the Savior.” That is the God-man Jesus. As God, Jesus is able to fix what needs to be fixed. As a Man, Jesus is able to pay what needs to be paid. Jesus, in His grace, became a man instead of an angel. His incarnation was to free humans, not angels. Hebrews 2:16 says, “For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.” God accepted the payment of Jesus on behalf of humans…not angels. As Adam represented all humans in sin, so Jesus is the new Adam representing humans.

Thomas Aquinas postulated since angels aren’t all connected through blood line (like we are to Adam and Eve), Jesus would have to become every single angel. He would need to live on behalf of every angel, die, and rise for every angel for them to have salvation. With humans Jesus is incarnate once. If He were to save angels He would have to be incarnate millions of times. Regardless whether Aquinas is correct, it does help us see the difference between angels and humans as it relates to salvation.

Human beings, through God’s grace, have a unique position. We are the only beings whom God incarnated to become one of us to rescue us for Him. Why did He rescue us and not the fallen angels? I don’t know, but I am thankful. I cannot pray for Satan to be saved because Jesus is not His Savior. The offer of salvation is only offered to humans.

2. The Bible Tells Me So

Secondly, I do not believe Satan can and/or will be saved because of the Bible. If you give us a Christian quiz we will all say that God knows best, is love, and his Word is completely true. On the ground, however, we all seem to think we are wiser, more loving, and have a better view of the future than God. In preparation for this post I’ve come across additional people regarding Satan’s salvation saying things like, “With God all things are possible…” and “Shouldn’t we keep faith that all things are being made new?” To me that sounds like we know more than God. It sounds like we’re more fair and loving than God. It sounds like we are sitting on the throne instead of Him.

Throughout Scripture, however, it is clear Satan will never be saved. Satan had his chance to walk with God and he has continually rejected Him ever since. It is not possible for Satan to be saved. His end has been prophesied and recorded for millennium. He will be thrown into the lake of fire that is prepared for Him. He will deserve it and we will worship God when we see it happen.

Please don’t pray for Satan’s salvation.


    74 replies to "Can Satan be Saved?"

    • Indeed Satan is eternally fallen! God is not dualist! But certainly we are dealing with mystery here, but God is Sovereign! Btw, note, Satan’s name is not in the book of life (Rev. 20:10-15).

    • Jason

      The nature of Satan is adversary with God. Indeed that’s what Satan means IIRC. He believes in God, he believes in Jesus, but he has no loyalty to them, indeed he wants no loyalty to them.

      Satan cannot be saved because he cannot want to be saved. To borrow from Dante, “better to rule in hell than serve in heaven.”

      Of course he is just another prisoner in the abyss.

    • Doug H

      Under no circumstances would I ever worship in response to any conscious being being consigned to fire. That doesn’t mean I “know more than God”, that just means I’m average.

    • Brent Vermillion

      Satan and demons chose rebellion against God. They were not born sinners but became sinners. We were born sinners because it was passed down to us from Adam and Eve. As a result of their sin/rebellion we are sinners by nature and, of course, we have all sinned. God in His righteousness has decided to ransom us from not just our sins but from our sin nature by making us new creatures in Christ by His grace when we are saved. Everyone now has a chance to be saved except the Devil and demons.

    • teleologist

      I was in a cult where the cult leader believe we will bring salvation to Satan and all the fallen angels.

      (Ecclesiastes 1:9) What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

      It’s all from the same source the father of lies.

    • Andrew Hillaker

      Matt 25:41 “The he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” This shows that the devil will spend eternity in torment. The fire is prepared for the devil and it is eternal. Sounds to me like his fate is sealed….

    • sue berg

      well, it’w an interesting subject. It is an interesting desire — The Bible does tell us that “all things will be reconciled unto Him.” I don’t believe that it is that Satan cannot be saved but chooses not to be “saved.”
      If “salvation,” or forgiveness, was available to him and his angels, it would have to be through a means other than Christ, that is true.
      As a child, in Sunday School, I was taught that to be saved, all I had to do was “believe in Jesus.” Eventually, I had to ask, “But, what am I supposed to believe about Him? That He lived? That He died for my sins? That He rose again because He was sinless?”
      Just what am I supposed to believe?
      You see, I was taught that the Devil would never be saved, and he already KNOWS all those things are true … so if he can’t be saved with that knowledge and belief, what do I ahve to believe?
      I have to believe that Jesus died for my sins and nothing I do can change that. I cannot add to it. I cannot take away from it. Nothing I do changes that.
      Keeping the Law or not keeping the Law cannot change that. In fact, everyone is “saved” and forgiven already — but will everyone end up in Heaven? I doubt it, because they don’t believe in the one and only Door into heaven … (I’d love to say more but 756 characters just aren’t enough to get it across …) One day soon I plan to re-write a story about The City and The Door that I wrote years ago but lost when that computer croaked … In the meantime, thanks for this thought-provoking post.

    • Irene

      As I understand it, Satan only had one decision to make, and his will is now “fixed”, unlike us who are able to grow and develop and whose will is not “fixed” until our death. So, there is no point in praying for him.

    • adrian paul miles

      Of course Satan cannot be saved.

      It is alarming and concerning that anyone claiming to be a Christian would even consider praying for this to be so. However, to my understanding of God’s Word, your reply here is flawed in a number of fundamental ways (no offence intended.)

      Human beings are not immortal. Only God, His Son and God’s angels are until we (all true, faithful believers) are given eternal life at Christ’s Return and Judgement.

      Satan is not a supernatural person. Yes, in the Book of Job, an angel appears to be ‘a’ Satan, but then so does the Apostle Peter, according to Jesus Himself.

      Yes, Satan is personified in Scripture, but ‘he’ (it) is not a personal individual being. It is anyone or any angel or any group of people or any nation that act as an ADVERSARY to either God, Christ or Their/His followers. However, a good angel was also sent as an adversary to tell the people a lie, just as God also created the wicked Serpent and allowed it to mislead Eve.

      Hope this helps.

    • Paul Leonard

      If we were to pray for him and/or his angelic followers/demons it would be so stated in Scripture. We find direction to pray for all sorts of men, for God’s will to be done, but that is it.

    • Steven W. Wilgus , RN/CRT

      No. In Mark, we have the Declarative of the Lake of Fire, for him and the other “fallen” angels. The “Salvation of Angels” is allided to in Job, as well as the declarative mentioned before [in Mark]. The EXACT mechanism of the Angelic Salvation is NOT elucidated in the Scripture, but that “something” happened is clear. In closing, the DISTORTION of Biblical Truths from pulpits is RISING daily, so “rightly dividing the Word of Truth is critical, and the Pastor who is prepared has his work cut out for him. Feelings will ALWAYS mislead and divert form the truth, so KNOWING the Word and what it means is critical for Spiritual Growth of the individual and the congregation.

    • Michael Snow

      The tabloid type title was enough for me. I read no more.

    • Jack Moore

      This seems like a question a boy in second grade asked me when I was in second grade. “Can God make a rock that God can’t move?” he asked. I answered quickly: “Yes, and God can move it.” Seems to me we all have plenty of humans, animals, plant life and our planet in general to be concerned about, rather than be praying that folks on some distant planet, if there are any, be saved from whatever damnation they might or might not face.

    • Being older than most of you, I have pondered that question, but the answer as above stated is that he cannot repent, as he made his choice and separated from God. It was permanent choice according to Scripture.

      But to be so completely separated from God, with no hope of redemption terrifies me. As it should every human… God is Love. Without God, there is NO love. Infinitely NO love. After death without Jesus, there is no love. None to give or receive.

      A sobering thought. Look at the world around us. Love is in short supply outside of the Church. This is a time when each Christian should be committed to loving both saint and sinner, or rather, allowing Jesus to love through us. We are not capable of His kind of Love, but He can and WILL love through us.

      Time is short…pray hard.

    • Danny Klopovic

      Seems that the 7th century St Isaac of Syria puts it better instead in his teaching on mercy:

      What is a merciful heart? It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons, and for all that exists. By the recollection of them the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance. By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled and one cannot bear to hear or to see any injury or slight sorrow in any in creation. For this reason, such a person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth, and for those who harm her or him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner such a person prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns without measure in a heart that is in the likeness of God.

      Amen

    • mbaker

      You know i may be terrible in some folks eyes, and that’s okay, I still pray that Christ’s victory on the cross can overcome everything and save everyone who repents, no matter how bad they are. I must believe that otherwise I couldn’t go on.

    • thrufaithalone

      No Satan cannot be saved. If he could, the book of Revelation would be a false prophecy.

    • adrian paul miles

      The Devil, or Satan, is not a person, so Salvation is not open to it (or him.) Whatever (or whoever) Satan is, it (or he) is totally corrupt and evil; it (or he) is also already destined for destruction. To my knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, the Devil is simply the flesh (both personally and corporately.)

    • Danny Klopovic

      It is a denial of orthodox Christian faith to claim that Satan is “totally corrupt and evil” since even Satan retains original goodness of having been created by God – for God has created all things and saw that it was good. To say that demons are utterly and totally evil is to be a Manichaean

    • adrian paul miles

      @ Danny: Psalms teach us that it is God Himself who creates Evil (to test the good.) I believe the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was simply the first example of a sinning creature hostile to God and it personified the Devil/Satan, which is the flesh, which the Apostle Paul says there is nothing good in. It’s all about the war between our two natures, the flesh(ly) and the Spirit(ual).

    • Danny Klopovic

      We will have to agree to disagree on this since I do not think the psalms teach anything of the kind, namely that God is the creator of evil, even if God is ultimately, as Creator, responsible for evil. But that is a whole other topic.

    • adrian paul miles

      Sorry, my mistake, I meant to refer you to Isaiah 45:9… How do you understand it?

    • adrian paul miles

      Sorry again – verse 7…

    • Darryl

      Satan could not be saved for the same reason that Adolf Hitler or Osama bin-Laden could not be saved- too evil to be saved.

    • Danny Klopovic

      Many Hebrew words have a broad range of meanings. While the Hebrew word translated “evil” in the King James Version usually refers to unethical or immoral activity, it can also mean times of distress (Amos 6:3) and is sometimes contrasted with shalom (peace). The New International Version renders the passage, “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster.” Similarly, the New Living Translation offers, “I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness. I am the one who sends good times and bad times.” Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text confirms this understanding with, “I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe—I the Lord do all these things.”

      Barnes’ Notes, a Bible commentary, has this helpful additional comment: “The parallelism here shows that this is not to be understood in the sense of all evil, but of that which is the opposite of peace and prosperity. That is, God directs judgments, disappointments, trials, and calamities; he has power to suffer the mad passions of people to rage, and to afflict nations with war; he presides over adverse as well as prosperous events. The passage does not prove that God is the author of moral evil, or sin, and such a sentiment is abhorrent to the general strain of the Bible, and to all just views of the character of a holy God”

      http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/does-isaiah-457-imply-god-creates-evil

    • Johnson Alexandre

      I don’t know but for some reason I think the reason behind why Satan can’t be saved is because first of all the wages of sin IS death. Satan is NOT death but he is the agent that endorses death or separation away from God. Now what I mean is that his heart has been added. I believe that one of the other wages of sin is a hardening of heart. It is when the heart becomes spiritually dead and locked in rebellion, so much that God must speak a word of Grace or God must speak life into the rebels heart. Indeed disobedience is a serious sin with great and grave consequences. This is why in my understanding even for a dinner separated away from God, that sinner MUST receive grace in order for that sinners heart to be opened to the things of God. I have seen people that no matter how many prayers and truth are revealed to them and no matter how much truth that they may experience their hearts seem to be locked and sealed for judgment as if God will not allow them repentance. Now that is not to say if a person wants repentance that God will not grant them repentance. It’s just to say that in some mysterious sense that I don’t understand that God IS the author of granting repentance.

    • Johnson

      I Also feel like that this is all God’s great plan of things. It’s one of the secret council of God’s will. In that only the Father the Son the Spirit know the whole story as to why Satan still has some authority over the world. It’s very important to believe that Satan is a personal being otherwise Scripture lied or many literal scripture should be taken spiritually. Like in the sense when Jesus was tempted for for days by the Devil. Now ever since The son of the morning fell from his position a seraphim as some might believe, the archangel over all the other angels, it pleased the Lord to leave Satan roam about the earth as a sort of agent of His. This is not something I can articulate well but this is what is always implied in scripture. There is a purpose and I don’t claim to understand it at all. When gets my mind boggled is that if Satan knows the immense and infinite power of God and that all things work together for good for those who love God and I’m sure that Satan does know that God does have chosen ones on this earth than why in hell doesn’t Satan give up and acknowledge that he has lost?

    • Bill Mayor

      It seems to me that to properly answer this question, one must have an understanding of what demons or Satan could be, and then work from that. From all my studying, it would seen that demons and Satan cannot be real in the sense of having been created by God, rather they are all the creation of something other than God, thus inherently, from their creation, flawed and unable to be saved. God will save all His creation that wishes to be made whole, but that which is not His will have no place in the perfected world to come.

    • B.R. Mullikin

      I wonder if you could give a citation for your comments regarding Thomas Aquinas. I only ask because I distinctly remember from his Summa that he argues that God being omnipotent, he could bring about salvation in many different ways, but that it’s more fitting that Christ should become incarnate.

    • Aaron Katona

      Tim,

      I have question about a conclusion you drew: ‘Only humans have a savior’. I am not arguing against your Hebrews 2:16 citation I don’t see how that statement can be applied to other saviors for other beings. I can’t think of anything in the Bible that would allow one to draw such a conclusion. I am not arguing that there is not text to support such a statement; I just have not run across it (which is not saying much since I usually run across something new every time I read the Bible). Could you or anyone else who cares to take a shot at it point me to either a passage or church tradition that could validate it. Not to overstate but I am not asking this question because I have a response already planned, I sincerely am just curious.

    • B.R. Mullikin

      I also remember Augustine saying something similar in his de trinitate, but I dont recall where.

    • adrian paul miles

      @ Danny: Good answer re Isaiah 49:7, although it is not conclusive either way, as translators inevitably have some degree of doctrinal bias.

    • Teresa

      Okay, this kind of stuff makes my brain hurt:) I haven’t studied the bible a whole lot although I read it. Here is what I wonder… Do angels have free will like we do? Why did Satan rebel and why did the Lord allow it? I know the scriptures say we shouldn’t be offended by God but is it wrong to question or wonder??

    • Danny Klopovic

      Adrian, that is the point – the text cannot decide that so using it to back up your claim is far too definitive and becomes a pretext based on a prooftext QED 😛

      Teresa – God created us with brains that question and wonder. What would be the point if not to question …

    • John

      As I understand it, God created the angels. Lucifer, the angel of light, rebelled against God because he wanted to control the earth and the humans on it. One third of the angels in Heaven supported Lucifer and were thrown out of Heaven also because of their rebellion.

      If that is true, then God made angels with a free will or a choice just as humans have. The Bible says that the saints (the believers in Christ) will judge the angels when the Judgement comes.

      It is impossible to know what God intended when he created the angels; but, it seems to me that they were to be His tools to carry out His will. He may not have loved them as He did us because He created man in His own image. Nowhere does it say (that I can find) that God created angels in His own image.

      I do not know the mind of God so I will not conjecture in order to define His intentions. Whether or not we think He would allow the repentence of the fallen angels is irrelevant at this point but may be revealed after the judgement. The Bible indicates that all will be judged including the angels.

      This is just an opinion by a relatively new Christian and is not intended to rebuke, refute or otherwise impune the comments of others.

    • adrian paul miles

      I think it is important to remember that God’s Message and Plan of Salvation is basically very simple and easy to understand, unless you are in spiritual darkness.

      Creating the notion of a supernatural bad guy orchestrating evil throughout all ages is far-fetched and unnecessarily complicated IMO.

    • Andrew Hillaker

      The only issue here is what does God’s Word say. It is clear that Satan’s eternal destination is the lake of fire which was prepared specifically for the devil and his angels. (Matt 25). Our opinions in this case do not matter. Our traditions do not matter. The only thing that matters is what God’s Word says and it is clear on this point.

    • Amen there Andrew! As I have said, GOD is not in some dualist affair, but HE is Sovereign over all, and allows and controls all! As Luther said, ‘Satan is God’s satan!’

    • Jason Pratt

      Tim,

      (I’ll have to go with several short replies instead of a couple of longer ones, to deal with the 2K character limit.)

      1.1.) After listing many key similarities, you simply assert that angels and humans are “completely different”, which if true would mean those key similarities wouldn’t exist. A vague comparison with humans to dolphins is of no help without detail: are dolphins conscious intellectual beings? Do they sin? If not, then there is no point comparing them to angels as different from humans. If so, then we have even less information about them scripturally than we do about rebel angels.

      1.2.) Whatever the creation of Adam and Eve means, the first sentient humans did not have sentient human parents, and so in that regard were created by God directly–as, strictly speaking, is also true for all rational intelligences (since merely reactive Nature cannot of itself bring forth rational act-ers). The scriptures routinely treat human sinners as being equal in moral responsibility to angels. (For example, humans and angels share punishment together.) On your ground, not only could Adam and Eve not be saved, neither could any other human sinner!–our common decent from the first sinners would actually make things more hopeless for us (if that was possible), not better!

    • Jason Pratt

      Continuing,

      1.3.) Hebrews 2:15 does not actually read in Greek “it is not angels He helps” etc. There are no pronouns or even a subject in that verse. The subject is merely implied in the verbs, and the verbs are both {epilambantai} which means “grab on”. While this often involves someone helping someone else in the NT, by grabbing onto them, it doesn’t always; sometimes it means capturing for imprisonment (as often happens to people in Acts), or it could even mean simply taking someone by the hand to lead them somewhere.

      So while the verb could mean “he helps”, it could also mean “it seizes”. The nearest preceding referent nouns by context are “fear of death” and “slavery”, either one of which definitely take hold of children of Abraham but not angels (or not rebel angels yet anyway: the context preceding that is about how the Son through death renders powerless the one who has the power of death, namely the devil.)

      Since the children share in flesh in blood and are afflicted by that which does not afflict angels, the Son partakes of the same, becoming made like His brethren in all things. That’s the immediate context of Hebrews 2:16.

      It may be worth noting that the Person of the Son routinely takes the form of an angel in the OT–as the Hebraist himself is well aware, spending much effort in the first chapter to explain that the Son is actually greater than all angels, sharing the one and only ultimate Godhood and source of all existence with the Person of the Father.

    • Jason Pratt

      Continuing,

      During that first chapter, not incidentally, the Hebraist references Psalm 97:7 to the effect that one result from the First-born being led into the world again, will be that all the angels of God shall worship Him. That wouldn’t be any different from loyal angels of God already worshiping Him, but as it happens Psalm 97:7 and its contexts involve REBEL GODS eventually coming to worship YHWH in the Day of the Lord to come, the point being that those who current worship rebel gods will be ashamed when they see their alternatives going back to loyalty to YHWH Most High.

      So not only does Heb 2:15 not necessary involve testimony against the possibility of rebel angels being saved, the Hebraist actually references a Psalm about rebel angels returning to loyalty to God as an important part of his argument regarding how much greater than angels the Son is. Possibly also as being relevant to his challenge that if we neglect so great a salvation (i.e., so great that even rebel angels will be saved by the Son), how shall we be saved?!

    • Jason Pratt

      On to your second main reason,

      2.1.) Your argument seems to be that if we prayed for the salvation of Satan from his sins, then we would be more fair and loving than God, so stop that because no one should be more fair and loving than God.

      I understand that it’s important to take account of revealed data–although there are far more translation and interpretation issues involved than people are usually aware (which is no fault to them; we have to do the best we can with what we have). But a comparison of principles is one way people commonly make decisions on how to interpret the scriptures, including giving grounds to check to see whether there has been misinterpretation. If we find that we can actually be more loving than an interpretation would imply of God, and if we find that it is impossible (not merely that we shouldn’t) be more loving than God, then the interpretation logically falls under suspicion.

      That isn’t rebellion against God; that’s trying to be faithful to God, and to believe as rightly about (and to cooperate with) God as we can.

      No doubt Satan has been prophesied for millennium to be thrown into the lake of fire–whatever that particularly means–and he deserves it and we shall worship God when we see it happen.

      But what that means and what that involves is a whole other issue; and if there is evidence that being thrown in the LoF is not the end of the story then that evidence ought to also be considered.

    • Darcy

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      I agree Satan can’t be saved. But desagree on this:

      “It seems we are both immortal. Both of us have a beginning, neither of us have an ending.”

      In the light of the understanding of Greek and Hebrew usage of the words “everlasting/forever/eternal”, I see Scriptures points to the clear message that both Satan and the unrepetant sinner will have an ending.

      “…the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Mal. 4:1 and Rev. 20

      See also: Salms21:9; 37:10, 20, 38; 92:7; 97: 3; 145: 20; Isa. 11:4.

      God bless!

    • Tim Kimberley

      B.R. Mullikin – Aquinas discusses some of his ideas here:
      http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1050.htm#article4

    • adrian paul miles

      I realise we are touching on other subjects now, but immortal soulism for all people is not a Biblically-supported teaching. At least three passages, and perhaps quite a few more, evidence the fact that many people will be destroyed, as well as sin and death itself eventually.

      Matthew 10:28 makes it very clear that only God and Christ can make the final condemnation and that is one of total destruction (eternal damnation.)

      Yes, those who will be accepted by Christ are effectively already saved, and have in a sense already begun their eternal life, but is the LORD who knows who are His, and He will accept some and reject many.

    • Tim Kimberley

      Although the concept of annihilationism is considered within the bounds of orthodox Christianity, it is definitely a minority view. Most Christians have believed the Bible teaches all humans and angels not in heaven spend an eternity in hell.

      Matthew 25:46, for instance states, “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” From this verse I observe both eternal life and an eternal death operating in the same verse. If we believe people in heaven are there forever, we need to also believe those sent to hell are also there forever. Definitely not my favorite doctrine, but I believe it to be biblical so I trust God’s goodness over mine. He is justified to decide how He likes…and I think He has spoken clearly on this issue.

      -Tim

    • B.R. Mullikin

      Tim,

      Summa I.50.4 deals with whether angles differ in species. The implication from his argumentation is that each angel has its own substance, which is not predicated across multiple particular beings (unlike, say humans). I can understand that such a claim would be one of the foundational propositions through which one might argue that for Christ to save the angels, he would need to take on each of their natures, as many as he wished to save.

      But the question does not deal with the subject of the possibility of the salvation of angels. In fact, the “essence of angel” has nothing proper to do with the question of whether some such substance may be saved.

      On the other hand, and it is for this reason that I brought it up, Thomas Aquinas states that the incarnation is not necessary for God to effect salvation, only that it was most fitting for him to do so (it is necessary only by the fact that God chose the incarnation as the means for salvation).

      It was to that point that I asked for citation. Namely, where does Aquinas postulate about the salvation of angels, and what where his arguments and conclusions. Understand that I do not ask with any intention of calling your argument into question, but only so that I might read what he says on the matter.

      Cheers,

      B.R. Mullikin

    • Chris Echols

      Does the same sentiment apply to fallen angels as well? If so, who are the spirits that Jesus preached to who were in prison?

      Because Christ also suffered once for sins,
      the just for the unjust,
      to bring you to God,
      by being put to death in the flesh
      but by being made alive in the spirit.
      In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
      after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you – not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him. (1 Peter 3:18-22 NET)

    • Pete again

      @ Chris Echols:

      The “spirits in prison” were people in sheol.

      “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the grave, bestowing life.”

      @ Tim Kimberly:

      The most famous proponent of universal salvation (or “apokatastasis”, meaning the “restoration of all things”) was, of course, Origen of Alexandria.

      http://orthodoxwiki.org/Origen

      Origen was condemned during the Ecumenical Council of 553 because of his writings on apokatastasis. Apokatastasis includes the eventual salvation of Satan.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Council_of_Constantinople

      The Church, the Body of Christ and the Pillar of Truth, decided on this topic 1,500 years ago.

    • Saskia

      I’ve gotta say – who cares?
      Is someone’s faith going to stand or fall on whether they pray for satan? No.
      This seems way too much like arguing over genealogies to me…

    • Brent

      Poor ole Satan,
      can’t catch a break.
      Is he an angel,
      or is he a snake?

    • Joseph

      I prayed for him once upon a time, after I first believed in Christ Jesus my Lord. It was a mistake. I was ignorant and did not know what I was doing; because, the truth is that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. His deception of Eve in the garden started this mess. Jesus said that Satan was a liar from the beginning, and it is him and the dark spiritual forces of this world who are in rebellion against their Creator God. It is them that we wage war against – not flesh and blood (though spiritual warfare definitely takes to physical form) – and they who continue to encourage our rebellion in conjunction with our selfish, fleshly desires. The down side of praying for Satan is that one may actually open their lives to him by having sympathy for him, if they are not careful. It is like a hostage learning about who the hostage taker is and their situation that led them to terrorize the people and then turning around and excusing them for their actions after the fact because of their emotional connection to them through the event. It can likewise be examplified in an abusive relationship. A woman could be beaten for years with no intervention and then one day a neighbor reports a domestic dispute in which the police officers discover the truth and ask the woman to place charges against him, but she refuses because she is still so blind with love for the man that she cannot see just how bad he is for her, so she refuses and he is set free. Let’s face it: Satan is not present for every temptation or every spiritual battle waged, but we should not give our enemy, Satan – or any other dark spiritual force – a foothold in our lives by having sympathy for him because of our emotional connection to him. He will make efforts to make us think that he is a nice puppy dog that we can trust in this, but he really is a ravenous wolf looking to devour anyone he can get to listen.

    • Satan, is “the” malevolent and malicious Evil-Spirit or supernatural demonic being (the diabolos), the chief adversary of God and humanity or mankind, ‘the accuser of the brethren’, and head of all the fallen spirits of the universe or “age”! There is but one Devil, but many demons!

      “The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has known sin from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3: 8)

      We should always note Revelation chapters 12 & 13!

      “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev. 12: 9)

      Thankfully his doom is the “lake of fire”, (Matt. 25: 41 / Rev. 20:10). But ‘his fury and malignity will be especially exercised at the end of the present age, Rev. 12:12.’

      The NT especially knows this spiritual battle, (Eph. 6: 12, etc.) But always, Jesus Christ, as Lord & Victor stand over him and these! Satan is already a defeated foe, but not yet removed from this place and battle, (Rom. 16: 20).

      Here we need to speak more simply and biblically! The battle is always the Lord’s!

    • Pete again

      OK, thanks to this post, I went back and re-read several articles and analysis of Origen of Alexandria’s teachings on this subject, as well as the 5th Ecumenical Council’s records.

      One thing that is very clear is that WE SHOULD NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PRAY FOR SATAN.

      Praying and interceding for someone is an act of:

      1) Love
      2) Hope
      3) Faith

      But above all it is an act of LOVE. The Scriptures tell us to “LOVE your enemies” and “PRAY for your enemies.” However, the devil is in his own “spiritual category of evil”, and only God is allowed direct conversation with him.

      The Scriptures implicitly deny us any direct contact, communication, or interaction with satan, as does the witness of the Church for 2000 years.

      Praying for the devil and therefore showing love toward the father of lies through intercession is extremely dangerous.

      WE SHOULD NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PRAY FOR SATAN.

      Glory to GOD for all things

    • @Pete: Amen! Agreed, but “praying” to anyone less than GOD Almighty (Matt. 6:9-10), is also forbidden! (Ten Commandments) And Christ alone is the ONE Mediator! (1 Tim. 2:5)

    • Pete again

      Hello Fr. Robert,

      Of course you know that, on this subject, I’ve cast my lot with the practices of the early ancient Christians, vs. the traditions of the European Protestant Reformers:

      http://www.catholic-convert.com/2012/05/30/where-does-the-bible-say-we-should-pray-to-dead-saints-resources-about-communion-of-the-saints/

      http://www.goodshepherdbh.org/bulletins/2010/101031_GsBulletin.pdf

      (I really do not care for Steven Ray and his silly Indiana Jones hat, but his web-post on these Christian catacomb writings was one of the best I could find)

      The Anglican Church (that you claim to be a member – indeed, a priest – of) supports prayer for all Christians:

      “Why do we pray for the dead?
      A. We pray for them, because we still hold them in our love, and because we trust that in God’s presence those who have chosen to serve him will grow in his love, until they see him as he is.”

      “What is the communion of saints?
      A. The communion of saints is the whole family of God, the living and the dead, those whom we love and those whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament, prayer, and praise.”

      http://anglicansonline.org/basics/catechism.html

      Also, I Tim 2:5, taken in context, is talking about Jesus Christ’s unique role in SALVATION, not intercession: “…God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…”

    • @Pete: I don’t follow the 1979 Prayer Book, nor do most classic Anglicans, we of course use and follow the 1662 BCP, with The Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles! The true Anglican Body & Communion is a “catholic” and “reformed” body, a via-media (middle-way) church. But it is always Reformational & Reformed!

      Note, too we can see this in other historical aspects of the church. The Mercersburg Theology (Philip Schaff, John Williamson Nevin), in the so-called quest for a Reformed Catholicity. And even today, in the Federal Vision movement. Also some of the Lutheran Churches are seeking a Reformational Catholicity!

      I am myself some kind of a “Reformed Catholic”, but of course as an Anglican always an Evangelical!

      And btw, YOU are just flat wrong on 1 Tim. 2: 5, “Christ Jesus” is the ONE and ONLY Mediator: prophet, priest & king – Himself, the Glorified God-Man! One simply cannot divide Christ’s intercession and soteriology! Verse 6 is connected here also: “who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” And here Paul himself is the appointed preacher and apostle, (verse 7).

    • It’s the Pauline Gospel I seek! This is the Gospel of the Reformers and Reformation! Always the Ecclesia semper reformada est! – Always Reforming by “spirit and truth”! This is the nature of the Church in a fallen world!

    • mbaker

      This question has come up so often in my former prayer ministry.

      My thinking is that we should simply pray for those who seem to have come under satan’s influence, which is what I do, that they will escape it and come to Christ. We cannot give up, yet sometimes that is an unpopular stand, because folks don’t really understand how lost the lost really are. Yet, I don’t think there is anything else we can really do but pray for their souls to find salvation and rest in Christ, after we have preached the Gospel.

    • Amie sims

      Dear fr. Robert,
      There are a lot of tombstones from the early church that say “Peter and Paul, pray for —” I suggest that you explore early church history and read the fathers of the church–and limit your exclamation points. “You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.”

      I used to agree with you
      R viewpoint until I did this study and found what a recent interpolation of scripture it is…

    • April Carter

      It is evident that most people either do not read God’s word and/or reject its truths. The bible (ie, KJV) makes it clear that God created angels to worship him. They are more intelligent, powerful, etc, than humans and are immortal. We aren’t immortal because sin causes death. And, we are in bodies, while angels are spirits. Because of this, we had to eat from the tree of life in order to have immortality. When sin entered earth, God kicked Adam and Eve out of the garden to prevent them from being immortal in their fallen state. That is what separates us from the angels and makes us saveable: we are mortal and they are not.

      Satan was an archangel who lead worship around God’s throne. He became prideful and wanted to dethrone God. Satan wanted to rule earth and all of God’s creation because he thought he was so great that God should have given him his creation. Satan managed to get a third of the angels to join him in his mutiny. God kicked them out of heaven and they have been bent on destroying humanity ever since.

      God gives everyone free will. Because of that, Satan was able to choose to turn against God. That’s also why Adam and Eve were able to sin. Because God is ALL powerful, knowing, etc, he has been able to provide a way for humans to escape evil and hell, through Jesus, while we’re surrounded by evil. This is called salvation. It is only for humans, not angels. For ignorance also makes us saveable. Angels know everything about God, while we are born blind and ignorant. The more you know, the more God holds against you. Plus, fallen angels are pure evil. Therefore, it impossible for Satan and demons to get saved. They literally are unsaveable, which is why Jesus did not waste time trying to save them. Only some humans have the capacity to become good, with God’s help.

      To sum it up, only humans are saveable because we are born blind and ignorant, are mortal, and have some capacity for good. Demons already know the truth, are immortal, and…

    • Francis

      “Satan was an archangel who lead worship around God’s throne. He became prideful and wanted to dethrone God. Satan wanted to rule earth and all of God’s creation because he thought he was so great that God should have given him his creation. Satan managed to get a third of the angels to join him in his mutiny. God kicked them out of heaven and they have been bent on destroying humanity ever since.”

      I’ve always wondered where that tradition came from:
      Satan was an archangel?
      Satan used to lead worship around God’s throne?
      Satan thought he was so great that God should have given him his creation?
      Satan managed to get a third of the angels to join him in his mutiny?

      Where does it say these things in the Bible (KJV or otherwise)?

    • Sylvia

      One thing to remember is that Satan is already a defeated foe. His fate is already sealed. Whether he is an angel or not, there is no changing his path now. God has already determined his future.

    • […] Satan be saved? RJS on Adam as the original sinner rather than the origin of sin. Greg Boyd looks at the […]

    • Biblically and theologically Satan as the fallen adversary was already on the scene in Gen. 1-3. See too Revelation chapter 12, noting especially verses 4:7-9. And Ezek. 28: 12-15, the language there certainly presses beyond the king of Tyre to Satan himself. And Satan always likes to use other people to do his evil, (1 Peter 5:8). But indeed he will have his last great Antichrist, which this king foreshadows, see (Daniel 7).

    • Amen there Sylvia, Satan is always “God’s”, as Luther said, he can only do what God allows.

    • @Amie sims: Yes, I have and still do read the Fathers and Patristics, perhaps one of my favorites is Tertullian. But, certainly I am a Evangelical and Reformed Anglican. Indeed no prayers to saints…Christ alone is the Mediator, (1 Tim. 2:5). 🙂

    • Paul Olson

      Unfortunately the current perceived theology (angelology) is based on Aquinas who is based on pseudo-Dionysius. “Pseudo” is now widely regarded as a fraud (Barth) so all the existing angelology is fallacious as of now. Also, your assertions that Satan and the demons cannot be saved are completely wrong because Col. 1:16;19-20;23 state otherwise, as does Eph. 1:9-10; 3:10-11. If you follow the logic that the Nephilim of Gen. 6:1-4 and Deut. 1:28; 2:11;20; 3:11; etc. were the product of angels mating with humans you will have to come to the conclusion that angel genes are the same as human genes. Therefore, angels are HUMAN. If angels are human, then they are our relatives and Jesus can be their kinsman-redeemer (Ru 3:9). Your interpretation of He 2:16 is incorrect because Jesus came to help humans with their “fear of death” and nothing else is implied in that verse. Angels do not have a fear of death so they don’t need help with that problem, therefore he does not help them. Satan is a “son of God” (Job 1:6; 2:1) and God loves him just like he loves the rest of us because “God is love” and he does not hate anyone. Just as the father welcomed the Prodigal Son, it may be that the Father will welcome his son, Satan, back one day. Do not be so sure that you understand what the Lake of Fire is and what it is meant to do. I refer you to George MacDonald’s sermon “Our God is a Consuming Fire” for enlightenment on that subject. Why do you think Jesus had “mercy” on Legion and let the 6000 demons go into the 2000 pigs feeding on the hillside? (Lk 8:30-33; Mk 5:13). And don’t think that the drowning of the pigs harmed the demons in the least, because they cannot die. Jesus could have cast them all into the Abyss, (v. 31) but he did not do that. Why? Maybe he was trying to tell us something? There is way more going on in Scripture than your short blog is able to analyze and this is too important a subject to be handled so simplistically.

    • MARY HEARD

      Satan cannot be saved because he is an angel, a fallen angel but still an angel. I’ve read no where, that an angel has been washed in the blood of Jesus. That Jesus laid down his life for an angel. He was created to worship and serve God in heaven, he chose to leave and do what he does..

    • Paul Olson

      Ephesians 1:10 tells us that God will bring “all things in heaven and earth together under one head, even Christ.” Also, Colossians 1:19-20 clearly says that “all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven” are reconciled to God through Christ. According to Ephesians 6:12, Satan is in the heavens, so he must be included in these two promises. “All things” means “all things.”

    • scott

      You calvanists are funny, first there is no eternal suffering. god loves and will save all, hell was entirely made up. the lake of fire is a refinement period. fire purifies. im not sure if satan will be saved but i am sure he will not rule anything. go read these ideas for yourself before you attack my comments. eternal suffering bahahahahaha who would ever worship a god like that. the false church has 90% of christians. im sure you believe in a rapture too.

    • Dr. Jay

      Evil is not a person, even the Devil is just a good thing gone bad. John Chrysostom cried out in irony, “Oh, that there were no night because of the thief; oh, that there were no knife because of the murderer; oh, that there were no alcohol because of the drunkard!” #So, evil is not something that is intrinsically bad, it is something gone bad because of the intent, or will of the perpetrator. This great truth set St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, free from the shackles of Manichaeism: that ancient religion of dualism. Evil is real, but it is not a real thing. It is the lack of good. St. Augustine in his anti-Manichean writings said, “Evil is not a thing. It is the corruption of a good thing.” I find Norman Giesler’s definition of evil as the absence of good interesting. Following his logic, it seems to me that annihilism would be a logical conclusion. #The conclusion that good Anglicans like C. S. Lewis, William Barclay and John Stott all reached; Stott had this to say about Hell: “I question whether ‘eternal conscious torment’ is compatible with the biblical revelation of divine justice, unless perhaps the impenitence of the lost also continues throughout eternity.” # Quoting Revelation 14:11, he continues: “And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever,” Stott went on to argue, “The fire itself is termed ‘eternal’ and ‘unquenchable’, but it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible. Our expectation would be the opposite: it would be consumed forever, not tormented forever. Hence it is the smoke (evidence that the fire has done its work) which ‘rises for ever and ever.’” #What say, Ye?

    • Thomas

      It appears that most of these comments are based on conjecture and extra-biblical sources.

      I would simply ask, what would be the most loving way to deal with Satan? Obliteration and destruction? Or forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, and transformation of evil back into the love from where it came?

      Is God’s love perfect and complete enough to win back the devil? To persuade Satan to chose an eternity embraced by (and within) God’s love rather than suffer forever in an absence of that love (hell)?

      For Christians, this should be, and remain our hope–that all will be reconciled to God.

      Even the devil exists because of the will of the Creator; love remains there somewhere, if only a reminent/memory. It can be found again; made new. For with God, all things are possible.

    • ADy Miles

      No.1 – There is no such person as a Devil or Satan – the Devil or the Satan is a PERSONIFICATION of human nature/the flesh’s inherent temptations

      No.2 – To say that the unsavable could be saved is ridiculous

      No.3 – Many millions and billions of people will perish, and have perished, including Judas Iscariot, who Jesus said He lost Himself

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