Can Satan be Saved?

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 Responses to “Can Satan be Saved?”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.


    Glory to GOD for all things

  5. @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)

  6. 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:

    (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.”

    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…”

  7. @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).

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. “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)?

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

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

  16. @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). :)

  17. 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.

  18. 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..

  19. 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.”

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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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