Q&A: Can angels be saved?

Can angels be saved?

Question

Can angels be saved? Do they have souls that can be saved?

Answer

I find no teaching within the pages of Scripture regarding sinful angels being saved. The Bible doesn’t say angels have a savior or even that they have souls. And Jesus definitely isn’t their savior. The author of Hebrews makes this abundantly clear:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, [Christ] himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb. 2:14-17).

One reason Jesus was born of the virgin Mary was so he could become flesh and blood like we are (John 1:14; cf. Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:5, 10). Jesus is both God and man, and he wasn’t/isn’t an angel (cf. Psa. 8:5; Heb. 2:7).

Christ came to save his elect flesh-and-blood people who have souls (cf. Eph. 1:4-5, 11; cf. Rom. 9:11, 15-16, 18), not angels. He came to redeem his fallen people (Rom. 3:24; cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:13-14), and angels aren’t people. Angels didn’t descend from Adam and Eve (cf. Gen. 2:7; Acts 17:26-28), rather are spiritual beings, that is, “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14). Biblically, therefore, angels have no savior.

However, the Bible does speak of elect or chosen angels. 1 Timothy 5:21 states, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.” Since there are elect angels, this implies that there are others that aren’t. We also observe that the Bible addresses a great spiritual rebellion of angels and speaks of Satan, a fallen angel, in Revelation 12:4: “His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth so that when she bore her child he might devour it.” These fallen angels are non-elect or non-chosen angels. While their salvation is never spoken of in the Bible, it does speak of their permeant dwelling place in hell where they suffer eternal damnation (Rev. 20:7-15).

Angels not only have no savior, but they also don’t have souls. The soul is the central part of the personhood of mankind made in God’s image (Gen. 2:7; cf. Gen.1:27; Jas. 3:9). The souls, or spirits of Christians, go to be with the Lord at death (2 Cor. 5:8-9; cf. Dan. 12:2). As shown above, however, angels are spiritual beings, not human beings; they are immortal (Luke 20:36) — in other words, angels don’t die. When Jesus healed the man in the country of the Gerasenes, the demons (Legion) didn’t ask Jesus if it was time for them to die and be buried. They asked him, “Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29). And they didn’t inquire about death or even ask if they could be saved! Death and salvation weren’t even an option as they knew their next step was their continuous existence in hell. Being smarter than any atheist, they tremble at the very thought of being confronted by God (cf. Jas. 2:19).

Angels are a separate order of beings that are different from human beings (cf. Psa. 8:5-6; Heb. 2:6-7). Angels don't have souls and can’t be saved or lost; they are either elect or non-elect.

Related Topics

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Wasn't hell made for the Devil and his angels and not real people?
How does the soul of a man originate?
Does God the Father have a soul?
Trichotomy or Dichotomy?
Body, Soul and Spirit?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).