The righteous angels have no need of salvation because they never sinned against God. Satan and the angels that followed his rebellion have sinned. Can they be saved?
The Bible only speaks about the salvation of man. Scripture does not teach of pardon for the evil angels. The purpose of the Bible is not to answer every question we may have about spiritual beings so it says very little about angels. When God’s Word speaks of the fate of Satan and the fallen angels it points to an inescapable judgment.
The Bible is most specific about the fate of Satan. He has no chance of redemption. Revelation 20 describes Satan’s final judgment. After Satan is released from his thousand year imprisonment, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Satan will be eternally tormented in the lake of fire. If Satan were saved the prophecies of God would be untrue and God would be a liar.
Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. In the second letter from the apostle Peter God says He did not refrain from bringing judgment on the fallen angels. He cast them down from their position in heaven and holds them captive under condemnation. (2 Peter 2:4) The letter from Jude speaks of certain angels reserved for everlasting judgment. (Jude 1:6) The two passages are parallel. They both speak of the same subject using very similar language. Peter and Jude are speaking of all angels who sinned. They were all cast out of their position in heaven and are being kept by God for everlasting judgment. God does not offer salvation to the fallen angels.
Other passages in Scripture lead to the conclusion that the rebellious angels are confirmed in their unrighteousness. The fallen angels have no chance of redemption because Jesus did not become an angel and die in their place. Salvation is only possible through another bearing the consequences of sin in place of the sinner.
The nature of man’s sin allows for a single substitute to act in place of all mankind. Essential to the Biblical doctrine of salvation is the truth that all men sinned in Adam. Because all mankind was found guilty Adam it is possible for men to be justified by Christ. Jesus is able to stand in the place of each man because He stands in the place of the human race.
The fallen angels sinned individually in themselves. They sinned with Satan but not in Satan. An angelic forefather did not commit the first sin and corrupt all his descendants. Every fallen angel chose to reject his perfect nature and rebel against God. Jesus did not take on the nature of angels. (Hebrews 1:5-8) Jesus was not made the substitute to bear the angels judgment in stead of them, consequently no angel can be saved.
The angels knew the glory of God. They saw His perfection and holiness in all His heavenly glory. Those who rejected God to pursue their own proud desires will not be forgiven.
Most people who ask about alien life are not talking about microbes, bugs, flowers or animals. Most people are talking about intelligent alien life. What if a space ship landed on earth and a Cygnutian stepped out wanting to meet with earth’s leaders? How does the Bible teach us to think about such a possibility? While I am willing to grant the unlikely possibility of non-sentient life in outer space, intelligent life is an entirely different matter. A Biblical worldview would seem to strongly suggest that humanity is the only intelligent race in the universe (not including angelic creatures, which are not material beings and not properly of this universe).
The most compelling reason intelligent life is impossible has to do with morality, sin and redemption. Intelligent creatures must also be moral creatures. The capacity to think involves the capacity to understand right from wrong. In my estimation this is part of what it means that man was created in the image of God- God gave man the ability to reason and the ability to chose between right and wrong. As mentioned in a previous article, all creation has been cursed by man’s sin. Not only are inanimate objects and non-sentient life froms affected by the church, all moral creatures in the universe must also be under the curse of sin. They would suffer death and sorrow because of man ‘s sin. Cursed, moral beings of a race other than humanity have no possibility of redemption. For example, Satan and the angels that rebelled with him cannot be redeemed because Christ did not die in their place. When Jesus died on the cross He took on Himself the nature of humanity and took mankind’s place in punishment. Jesus’ is the Savior of men because Jesus took upon Himself humanity and bore the penalty of sin in His own human flesh.
Why couldn’t Jesus take upon Himself the essence of alien beings and suffer their punishment? This possibility is removed by the singular nature of Jesus’ death. Hebrews declares most emphatically that Jesus died only once for the redemption of all men and all creation. “For Christ was once offered to bear the sins of man.” His single sacrifice is sufficient for the salvation of all mankind. Because of His sacrifice, He will redeem a people to Himself and will restore creation to it’s original perfected order. The Bible makes much of the fact that Jesus died once for all sin. His death was only for the redemption of humanity. If there were any alien races they are not redeemed by the death of Jesus.
If there were moral, sentient beings elsewhere in the universe they would suffer under the curse of sin with no hope of redemption. Such a fate is in direct opposition to the mercy and grace of God so plainly revealed in the Bible. This has nothing to do with an arrogant anthropocentrism that imagines man to be the center of the universe. Rather, it has everything to do with the Biblical statements of God’s special creation of mankind, the effect of man’s sin on the entire universe and the results of Jesus’ redemption.