by Tim KimberleySeptember 11th, 2012 72 Comments
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.
- Thank You God for Imputing Adam’s Sin to Me
- Are We Condemned for the Sin of Another (Part 4: The Resolution)
- Reflections on Heaven: How can Heaven be Heaven when People you Love are in Hell?
- Questions I Hope No One Asks: Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone?
- Must One Believe in the Trinity to be Saved?