Saturday, March 7, 2009

Salvation For Satan?

I have been discussing the idea of salvation by faith and not by works a lot lately. It seems that each time the topic comes up, a LDS person has to ask, “If all I have to do it believe, why then are the demons and Satan not saved when the Bible says that they believe in God?” I think this is such a strange question for them to ask. Let’s take a look at it and answer it from the LDS perspective.

From the LDS point of view, you don’t really even have to get into the discussion of Faith vs. Works. The answer is very simple. They (demons and Satan) are actually not eligible for salvations no matter what they do.

In the Pearl of Great Price you will find the Mormon account of our “pre-mortal” existence. It tells of a grand council in Heaven before the world was created. At this meeting, two plans were presented to God. The first was from Satan who had a plan that provided a way for everyone to be redeemed and not one soul would be lost. The cost of his plan would be our agency to choose for ourselves and he would take all of the glory for himself. The other plan was from Jesus who offered himself as a savior, leaving our agency intact and giving the glory to Heavenly Father.

God chose Jesus’ plan and Satan rebelled, becoming the devil and a war started. Satan managed to lead 1/3 of the host of heaven away from God and they were all cast out of heaven, becoming demons. Once they were cast out, they lost what is called their “first estate”. In the October 2006 General Conference, Elder L. Tom Perry said the following about the first estate.

“We first heard about the plan of salvation before we were born, in what the scriptures call our first estate (see Abraham 3:26). What occurred in this first estate is dimly understood, but we do know that we lived there as spirits, children of our Heavenly Father, and we made certain steps of advancement to prepare for the opportunity of housing our eternal spirits in earthly bodies.”


He goes on to say,

“We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before we were born on this earth. We were not, however, like our Heavenly Father, nor could we ever become like Him and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys without the experience of living in mortality with a physical body.”


As Elder Perry pointed out, those who have been or will be born on this earth kept their “first estate”. Once Satan and his followers were cast out of heaven, they lost their “first estate” and they were no longer able to be born into a physical body and learn to be like God. No amount of works or faith can change their eternal fate and they will never experience salvation.

If this is the Mormon answer to the question and under their own doctrine, such salvation is not possible for Satan and his demons, why then even ask it? By asking it, they unwittingly poke a hole in their own argument of why “faith alone” is not true because their alternative is not a possible solution.

Do Satan and his demons believe in God? They certainly do. They are part of the unseen spiritual realm which I think has access to both the spiritual world and ours which is something hard for us to comprehend because we only have visual access to our world (with very few exceptions). I imagine this takes them out of the faith category and puts them into the knowledge one. They KNOW who Jesus is and that is why they fight so hard against what God is doing for and through His people. Unfortunately for them, Jesus came to save the human race and they are not part of that.

I have heard it said that Satan cannot be saved because he will never submit himself to God’s will which is part of being “born again”. Knowing what I do about his character and goal, I would say that this statement makes perfect sense to me.

11 comments:

  1. Jesus died not for all men or for demons, but for the elect only. His death is effectual to provide all that God requires for salvation.

    The elect are regenerated, that is given a new heart and will, and then believe and are saved.

    It is impossible for satan to be saved as he is not a man. Also his sin was presumptious and not done in ignorance, hence unforgivable.

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  2. I agree with what pops shared -- Jesus did not die for all men, but for those who "believe in Him". John 3:16.... that is not to say that God does not love the world - of course He does, He does not want one to perish. But , unlike Mormon doctrine , that believes in a general Salvation, salvation/eternal life is only for those who are born again, and who confess with their mouth and believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord. ( Romans 10:13, John :3)

    When I came to the Lord after leaving the mormons, I realized that their who view of "salvation" is incorrect. There is no such thing as a "general salvation". Over and over again Jesus taught that one must believe in Him, to receive eternal life.

    The LDS teach that based on the teaching that all who have a body "kept their first estate" must therefore receive some degree of glory is erroneous.

    The bible clearly does not teach this, but teaches very clearly that it is a sincere and heart belief in the lord Jesus that saves us.

    I also had a rude awakening when I studied the bible and found out that satan was not who the LDS pictured him to be -- he is not the son of God, he was an angel, who in his pride was removed from God's presense. LDS doctrine teaches that satan is Jesus' brother..... that just isn't so... and as a result most in the body of Christ will point to that single mormon teaching as grounds to say that the LDS are truly worshipping a different God/Jesus.

    My heart aches for the lost in the LDS church - they are a good people, for the most part, but "good" does not cut it to get to heaven..... no, only the blood of the lamb, is what paid the price for us to inherit eternal life.

    May God help them and open their eyes to see the real Jesus, crucified on Calvary for their sins........

    Gloria

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  3. Mormons believe some pretty weird stuff. And this business about Jesus and satan being brothers is about as weird as it gets.

    I think that mitt romney might have been the president today if he hadn't been mormon. It seems that the more people know about mormonism the less attractive it is. It's kind of like scientology: They don't want you to know about xenu and the volcano until you've been in it long enough to be pretty brainwashed.

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  4. I visit you every once in a while because I love studying sociology of religion and religious history in general. In comparative religion, it has been helpful for me to adopt a less binary thought process. Black and white thinking overlooks the shades of gray that exist in the human condition. Fundamentalists engage in black and white thinking and quickly see those who are different as 'other' quite quickly. Instead, I have been trying for a "both, and" approach that helps me to preserve the right to search for truth wherever it exists. In the years I have spent looking at religions/philosophies/ideologies, my opinion is that all have truth and err (truth is God's domain and is not bounded by the walls of any one church/school of thought) and that religions are not monolithic. All are made of imperfect people and all have strains that border on the left or right extremities. In other words, to say that "Mormons" or "Christians" or "Muslims" believe so and so, or do so and so is not really seeing the lived experience of individuals. All are involved in interpretation, reimagining, struggling for understanding and balance. To foster religious tolerance (not tolerance of evil done in the name of a religion) it is helful for me to not argue the untenable. Matters of faith are so personal-and life experiences too. Don't forget we are all God's children whatever label we seem to have. One church may be a better fit for one than another depending on so many factors--I enjoy studying them all. Do you have any plans to study other traditions like Buddhism, or do you plan to stick with comparative studies between Mormons and 'non-denominational'(which seems to be a label for those who don't like labels :) Christians. I would like to hear your thoughts on other traditions touching the same topics of faith, grace, salvation etc.

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  5. Hey Soy Yo, where'd you go?

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  6. I don’t think there is any doubt that you are “fringe” in a Mormon culture largely based on groupthink, but I like that. The pressure to conform and give up my uniqueness for the sake of the group was something I was never comfortable doing and I still have a hard time seeing others loose sight of who they are under the pressure to act, think and be a certain way. I don’t think true freedom can exist under those conditions.

    I admire your strength to speak your mind despite what others might think. It took me a long time to get to that point and I don’t see myself going back to the way I used to be. Life is too short to worry about pleasing the masses.

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  7. I think freedom for me is knowing I am not unique--no one is more or less valuable, more or less perfect, more or less 'unique' than another. Religious wars begin first by people lumping a group into a faceless lump--easier to treat them as less than. I hope that's not where we are headed. My specific gifts and talents are only as valuable as I use them for the good of the collective. And I know that you are using yours to help others as you see best. Good luck with everything Doug. Say hi to Amy for me.

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  8. Mormonism is a lie and a delusion. Nothing good can come from being a part of it. By being a part of mormonism one is helping to perpetuate a lie. Not good.

    Bravo to you Soy Yo for coming out and having the courage to expose it.

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  9. Pops,
    While I agree with you on many points, I don’t think that kind of comment does anyone good and it tends to just turn away those who need to see what I write about.

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  10. John 3:5 says you must born of "water" and of the "Spirit" to be elligible for salvation. The reason Satan and demons are not elligble is because "Born of Water" means just that. Humans were physically born (humans are compose greatly of water OR humans are in "water" as in the womb and are born from it.) Satan and his demons were never human and are henceforth utterly inelligible for Jesus Christ's grace.

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  11. David,
    That sums it up nicely.

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