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Will Satan be saved?


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#1 Justin Farr

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 11:21 PM

I have read that God is so loving that the demons and even Satan himself can be saved, even if it was insanely unlikely he would ever repent and such.

Is this true? If so, that's is pretty cool. I mean, that truly shows how loving God is...

#2 Deacon Jonathan

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:14 AM

There are a number of Church Fathers who write about hope in universal restoration: St Gregory of Nyssa, St Issac the Syrian, Origen (but then Origen wrote a lot of things, and some aren't accepted by the Church), and St. Silouan the Athonite. These speak primarily about the universal restoration of man, and are an expression of hope, just as the prayers at Pentecost for those in Hell are also an expression of love and hope. As an aside, I don't think any heterodox churches publicly pray for those in Hell as the Orthodox do, often teaching that once you're in Hell that's it; another example for the compassion and practical love in the Orthodox faith.

Anyway, that's universal restoration of man. Of the Satan and the demons, St Issac the Syrian in particular did write about hope for the salvation of the entire cosmos (which I think would include fallen angels).

"I am of the opinion that He is going to manifest some wonderful outcome, a matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator, with respect to the ordering of this difficult manner of Gehenna's torment."

Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia relates a story about having to go on a long journey with a bishop, many years ago before he was ordained. He decided to stimulate debate and conversation for the journey by asking the bishop what he thought about the idea of Satan's restoration: could Satan be saved?
As the journey started, the young Kallistos asked his question: "could Satan be saved?" The bishop replied without hesitation: "Mind your own business."

God became man, so that man could become God. Our salvation, and so the restoration of the natural world, is dependant upon Our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan is not human, his fall was seperate and before Adam's, and so his restoration and relationship with God is not really our concern, being more than likely beyond our ken. Satan's relationship with us is more important, and in that he is our oppressor and opponent.

Well, I hope the above doesn't sound like I'm criticizing your question - I have no authority to do that, but these are the things that I've been taught. In addition they are just my thoughts and are very certainly open to correction.

But one thing I am very sure of, what we do know of God is that His compassion is infinite.

#3 Father David Moser

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:09 PM

One fact that "complicates" this issue is that Satan is not a man - Satan is an angelic being. We don't really know anything about the angels or their ability (or inability) to repent and so whenever we talk about Satan repenting, we are really anthopormophizing Satan and thinking of him as a man like us (which he is not).

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#4 Nina

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:56 PM

One fact that "complicates" this issue is that Satan is not a man - Satan is an angelic being. We don't really know anything about the angels or their ability (or inability) to repent and so whenever we talk about Satan repenting, we are really anthopormophizing Satan and thinking of him as a man like us (which he is not).

Fr David Moser


Yes. Elder Paisios used to pray for the Devil, until one day Elder Paisios saw him laughing outside in a distance from his cell and I think ridiculing the Elder. From that day the Elder stopped praying for the repentance of the Devil, since he understood that it was futile.

Edited by Nina, 04 February 2008 - 05:35 PM.


#5 Moses Ibrahim

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 04:14 AM

Yes. Elder Paisios used to pray for the Devil, until one day Elder Paisios saw him laughing outside in a distance from his cell and I think ridiculing the Elder. From that day the Elder stopped praying for the repentance of the Devil, since he understood that it was futile.


Yes, the demon was making funny faces and mocking a monk who prayed to God to save the devil and his demons. The monk realized that God would save the devil if only the devil and his demons would repent.

Christians however, try to get up when they fall into a bottomless pit of sins. God sees this and that is why He will find any excuse to save His people, for God does not wish to destroy His creation but to save it. And any act of repentance among His people,the Lord Jesus Christ will use as a means to justify in front of His Heavenly Father and remit the sins of even the worst and wretched sinners. And this is why many Saints and Fathers tell us that many people are saved on their deathbeds. (i.e. St. Dismas the wise thief on the cross) this is not my own teaching but those of the Holy Fathers of our Church... forgive me if I mis-represented the Fathers of the Church and to those who know what is Truth please correct any mistakes I made.

Edited by Moses Ibrahim, 09 February 2008 - 12:08 AM.


#6 Isaac Crabtree

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:02 AM

While I am certain that God saves those who repent, and forgives unto the uttermost, we should not use this as an excuse for laxity. St. John Klimakos mentions something like this, calling the thought of God's ineffable mercy (as a temptation prior to a spiritual fall) a "cur" that we should not heed. Likewise the thought of God's inexorable judgment was not good for the thought-life of someone who had just fallen.

Won't it be about our hearts, anyway? Yes, our deeds help to change us and actualize our faith, but doesn't God see the heart? If I fast twice a week and tithe everything I have but I condemn others, then nothing I have done is doing me any good. Likewise, if I have fallen greatly but offer sorrowful, humble repentance and pledge to do better with His help, I will go down from the temple justified, by the Lord's own promise.

#7 Evan

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 01:54 AM

Although I am aware that certain of the Fathers have speculated otherwise and thus feel uncomfortable taking an unequivocal position on this point, we have it on good authority that it is not with the angels that God is concerned, but with the seed of Abraham. I find Tertullian's articulation of the importance of this distinction, and its negative consequences for the devil and his angels to be quite compelling:

"But Christ, they say, bare (the nature of) an angel. For what reason? The same which induced Him to become man? Christ, then, was actuated by the motive which led Him to take human nature. Man's salvation was the motive, the restoration of that which had perished. Man had perished; his recovery had become necessary. No such cause, however, existed for Christ's taking on Him the nature of angels. For although there is assigned to angels also perdition in the fire prepared for the devil and his angels, yet a restoration is never promised to them. No charge about the salvation of angels did Christ ever receive from the Father; and that which the Father neither promised nor commanded, Christ could not have undertaken."

From "On the Flesh of Christ"

In Christ,
Evan

Edited by Evan, 28 March 2011 - 02:34 AM.


#8 Jesse Dominick

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 12:56 PM

my understanding is that the angels and demons exist in aeonic time, which is not like our time. they have free will, but it has been stabilized ever since the fall of the angels - the angels are stabilized in serving God and the demons are stabilized in fighting against Him. St. John Climacus said the angels cannot fall, and the demons cannot repent. i think if we posited the possibility of repentance for the demons, then we would have to posit that more angels could fall at some point too.

#9 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 02:52 PM

Metropolitan Kallistos tells the story how he once asked a Greek archbishop about the possible salvation of Satan:

If it is possible that the devil, who must surely be a very lonely and unhappy person, may eventually repent and be saved, why do we never pray for him? To my disappointment (for I could not at the moment think of other topics of conversation), the archbishop settled the matter with a sharp and brief rejoinder: "Mind your own business." He was right. So far as we humans are concerned, the devil is always our adversary; we should not enter into any kind of negotiations with him, whether by praying for him or in other ways. His salvation is quite simply none of our business. But the devil has also his own relationship with God, as we learn from the prologue of the book of Job, when Satan makes his appearance in the heavenly court among the other "sons of God" (Job 1:6-2:7). We are, however, altogether ignorant of the precise nature of this relationship, and it is futile to pry into it. Yet, even though it is not for us to pray for the devil, we have no right to assume that he is totally and irrevocably excluded from the scope of God's mercy. We do not know.


One thing I do know: prayer for the devils is beyond me personally. I am too weak, too vulnerable. I must leave such prayer to the saints.

#10 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 03:32 PM

Great quote. Thanks, Father.

#11 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 04:13 PM

Oh brother, not this again is all I can say. What does Holy Scripture say is the end of the devil and his minions? Is it not clear? Is there not a place that has been prepared for the devil and his angels or is the Bible just a fairy tale? This nonsense of praying for Satan is just nonsense. Do you not see how ridiculous it is? Our Lord Jesus Christ, who could have prayed for the devil, whose prayers God the Father would have most certainly heard, DID NOT pray for the devil. Nor did our Lord Jesus Christ ever once instruct his disciples or Apostles to pray for the devil. Nor do we when we enter our most Holy House of prayer, when gathered at the Divine Liturgy and mystically ascending to Heaven with the saints and in the presence of the Holy Trinity pray for the devil and his demons.

Since Christ our Lord never prayed for the devil and his demons, and in fact resisted the devil for 40 days rebuking him and leaving that place victoriously, then proceeded to defeat him in hell for all eternity and wrentched the keys of death from his wicked abode and possession, then we must follow our Lord's lead and consider his fate sealed - period. We should not contemplate or ever consider praying for the devil and his demons. To suggest such, to plant such erroneous concepts into the mind of a believer in Jesus Christ whose enemy is the very devil himself, (meaning the devil is our Lord's enemy as well as ours), or to even subtly imply that the matter of the fate of the arch-enemy of our Lord Jesus is still somehow uncertain, is misleading and deceptive.

I look forward to that Day when our Lord casts the devil and his demons into the place of utter darkness where weeping and gnashing of teeth will occur. I have no sympathy for the devil though some of you may join in with the Rolling Stones if you wish.

#12 Cecilie Nielsen

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 04:59 PM

In my humble opinion I would like to add that the one who tries to pray for the devil and the demons will be doubly persecuted by him and go through unnecessary trouble. Isn't life full enough of challenges as it is? He will ridicule, mock and bother that person. I think it's more profitable for our own salvation and that of our fellow human beings if we concentrate on just that: our own salvation and that of our fellow human beings. :)

#13 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:08 PM

The problem with online discussions is that people come at them from all levels — some weak, some strong; some knowledgeable, some not; some serious, some not so serious. Pardon me for not taking this particular thread very seriously.

#14 Kosta

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:48 PM

That demons will be saved is anathemized by the 6th ecumenical council.

#15 Mediterranean

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

I have read that God is so loving that the demons and even Satan himself can be saved, even if it was insanely unlikely he would ever repent and such.

Is this true? If so, that's is pretty cool. I mean, that truly shows how loving God is...


Who wants he will be saved.
Devil does not want to be saved.

#16 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

I look forward to that Day when our Lord casts the devil and his demons into the place of utter darkness where weeping and gnashing of teeth will occur. I have no sympathy for the devil though some of you may join in with the Rolling Stones if you wish.


I am sorry to say that I am not so exalted as to look forward to the day when any being is cast into the place of utter darkness. If I can gleefully anticipate it for even the Devil, it would be too small a step to also gleefully anticipate it for my fellow man. I have not the level of perfection and discernment to avoid that possibility were I to take that risk.

#17 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 07:44 PM

I am sorry to say that I am not so exalted as to look forward to the day when any being is cast into the place of utter darkness. If I can gleefully anticipate it for even the Devil, it would be too small a step to also gleefully anticipate it for my fellow man. I have not the level of perfection and discernment to avoid that possibility were I to take that risk.


Bryan,

Exalted? To look forward to the Day when the devil and his minions get their just retribution, when God's reckoning comes upon them is an attitude that corresponds with Holy Scripture. This is one enemy in whose final destiny we can rejoice in. Satan has destroyed millions of lives, has been the cause of sin, disease, death, and untold suffering. He is the enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ and as such is our enemy. There is no salvation for Satan.

It is a distorted comparison to suggest that if one rejoices in the destruction of the devil that one must also rejoice in the destruction of his fellow man. The two do not even come close. And furthermore, to think that as you say, it is "cool" that Satan could be saved is utterly distorted.

#18 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:38 PM

Distorted or not, there is more than one sainted opinion within historical Orthodoxy on the issue, and there is no "official" dogmatic position held by the whole Orthodox Church on the subject. If someone thinks that satan can be saved, they will not be denied communion because of it AFAIK.

Herman the somewhat distorted Pooh

#19 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:48 PM

It is a distorted comparison to suggest that if one rejoices in the destruction of the devil that one must also rejoice in the destruction of his fellow man. The two do not even come close. And furthermore, to think that as you say, it is "cool" that Satan could be saved is utterly distorted.


Please quote specifically wherein I stated that it was "cool" that Satan could be saved. You are willing to put words into my mouth and make false accusations against me. Why should I take you, then, as a spiritual elder, an example to emulate in gleefully anticipating that any being at all be damned?

#20 Rick H.

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 08:53 PM

Bryan wrote:

"I am sorry to say that I am not so exalted as to look forward to the day when any being is cast into the place of utter darkness. If I can gleefully anticipate it for even the Devil, it would be too small a step to also gleefully anticipate it for my fellow man."

This is a valid point. Yes a very small step.




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