Can angels be saved? Whilst Colossians 1:20 might seem to indicate that fallen angels will be reconciled, doesn’t Hebrews 2:14-16 imply that angels cannot be saved through Christ?
That whole Col. passage is pretty strong. The “all things” (in heaven, on earth, visible, invisible, whether thrones, powers, authorities, etc.
The Hebrews passages seems to be concerned with the the whole ‘embodiment’ question. Because we are embodied, he too shared our embodied state. THIS aspect of the incarnation has nothing to do (presummably) with whatever arrangement there might be for angels. But it doesn’t obviously exclude there being opportunity for angels to be reconciled. It just wouldn’t be tied to the embodiment requirement.
Just a thought.
When I read the Heb passage, it seems to me to be speaking of the present day church–the angels will not be part of the church of this age.
In Eph 3, Paul says: …NIV - Eph 3:10 -
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
Which seems to go along with the idea that the church will judge the angels. (Where is that written?) So I get the idea that part of the work of the church will be to bring the fallen angels into the fold.
I tend to agree with TGB, although there’s actually quite a bit of scriptural testimony hinting at the embodiment of rebel angels (previously and/or eventually).
It should be noted that Hebrews starts out of the gate with a nod to the eventual restoration of rebel angels as loyal servants of God, when the author quotes Psalm 97:7 in verse 1:6. The author’s point is that the Son is so much greater than the angels, but the actual verse is about how those who worship graven images and idols should be ashamed because those gods themselves shall worship YHWH–apparently after YHWH burns them up (as His adversaries, literally as His satans) with His presence! (This is one of the many places where the Hebraist, especially in chapter 1, identifies the Son as YHWH Himself while still clearly distinguishing between the persons of the Father and the Son–a distinction not found in Ps 97 which is only about YHWH.)
Sonia’s answer is particularly good, too; yes, somewhere in the NT (maybe a couple of places) it talks about us judging angels eventually, though I’m too busy catching up at work to hunt the reference right now.
I wanted to add that the Heb 1:6 / Psalm 97 combo is a great punch against annihilationists who consider the notion of evildoers being destroyed by the presence of God (as in Thessalonians) to be annihilation: obviously those “wholly ruined ones” are going to be worshiping God afterward (and as sons of God, too!–per the Hebraist’s application of the verse in Greek.)
How can salvation for angels be tied up in Christ? If it is the Blood of Christ that redeems us, seeing our blood is tainted with sin, then how can that Blood be applied to incorporal beings?
Well, seeing as I don’t think we’re saved from sin by means of a literal blood transfusion, having our blood replaced by Christ’s physical blood, I consequently don’t think incorporeal beings are (in that way anyway, if at all) shut out from salvation by Christ.
As Jesus reassured His disciples, after (rather intentionally) grossing out His religious opponents at the Capernaum synagogue shortly after the Feeding of the 5000, with in-their-face claims about having to eat (literally munch or chomp!) His body and drink His blood in order to be saved, “It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63, NASB 1977)
That being said, as I noted previously there are also hints scattered throughout scripture about the previous and/or eventual embodiment of the rebel angels, too. I’m not altogether sure what to make of those references, but I strongly suspect that embodiment will in fact eventually be part of their own salvation.
The point to Heb 2:14-16, so far as I understand it, is a rhetorical contrast, not between rebel humans and rebel angels, but between entities subjected to death in relation to sin (specifically rebel humans are in view) and entities who aren’t. Loyalist angels (who are quite capable of bodily manifestation in various ways) haven’t been (or at least aren’t) subjected to death in relation to sin, and so don’t need for Christ to reach down to lift them up (per the physical metaphor being used in Heb 2 nearby.) Rebel angels imprisoned in/by hades are, and have been, in some sense subjected to death in relation to sin, just as rebel human spirits have been.