Spiritual Warfare Forum: do Catholics know fallen angels can't turn back to God?
do Catholics know fallen angels can't turn back to God? QUESTION from Elissa Maltzan on November 13, 2002 I've read some of the Catechism, and it is written in there that fallen angels cannot turn back to God. How do Catholics know this? More specifically, what verses in the Bible support this belief? Thanks.
ANSWER by Mr. Joe Meineke on November 19, 2002 Dear Miss Maltzan,
Thank you for your question.
First, let me say that this is not an answer that involves Catholic versus protestant theology. As far as I am aware, all major Christian denominations hold to this belief. Although I have heard of a few small groups that claim otherwise, I can assure you that their theology is based on subjectivism (feelings, emotions, self-proclaimed divine guidance, etc.) and bad interpretations of scripture. These groups can safely be ignored.
As for scripture references, there are no direct quotations that say, Demons cannot be saved or something to that effect (the opposite is also true - there are no passages that say that they can be saved). Rather, what we know about demons is given to us through theology. An example of something similar is the Trinity. The word Trinity cannot be found in the Bible - nowhere in scripture is it mentioned directly. Rather, it is theologically derived through other texts. In the same manner, the theology of the eternal demonic decision is derived. If you are interested in these theological conclusions, I would recommend that you visit the Legion's recommended reading list. The first four entries that you will see on the page are books on the theology of angels and demons. You may want to consider purchasing some or all of those titles.
The following passage in Matthew comes close to asserting the eternalness of being Satan or one of his angels: Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41). I know that this is not the smoking gun that one might hope for as it does not simply and plainly state that demons cannot be saved. However, taken with other texts that deal with the nature of angels, it is certainly compelling.
I will not go into detail on the theology of why demons cannot be saved, but I will quickly summarize (in my own words) the conclusions that can be drawn from solid Catholic (and in this case Protestant) theology: The angels that fell from heaven and became demons made their decision with perfect will and perfect clarity. Their perfect choice involved rejecting God forever. Perfect rejection of God can be nothing less than eternal rejection of God. Imperfect rejection, on the other hand, would have resulted in the possibility of redemption (as was the case with mankind). Angelic creatures are incapable of such an imperfect decision.
One final word that I think is well worth mentioning: Often times we are left with uncertainties about what to think and what to believe in terms of theology. I would like to remind the reader that ultimately the Church has the final say in matters such as these since She, not our private interpretation, is the Pillar and foundation of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Only the Church has the authority to interpret Scripture. She has spoken on the matter and it is final - Demons cannot be saved.
I hope that this helps.
God bless you,
Joe Meineke Assistant to Bro. Ignatius
Spiritual Warfare Catalog Back to Index Page