Dear Ministry Partner,
Is God fair to everyone? Does everyone
truly have a chance for salvation? What about the "ones who
never hear about the Gospel" in remote parts of the earth?
And why isn’t there salvation for fallen angels?
Can it be understood?
First of all, when Adam and Eve sinned,
God did not owe them anything. He had warned them that in the
day they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would
die. That tree was their only real choice of sin. They owned everything
on the earth at that point, so they couldn’t steal, and
there was no one else around to covet their possessions, or to
lie to. There was no one else to commit adultery with, and they
surely had no real temptation to murder — because who else
would they marry? So eating of that tree was their only real knowledge
of a viable choice between good versus evil (or sin). It could
have been called "the tree of conscious choice between
obedience and sin." That tree did not impart real knowledge
implied, except for the knowledge of the consequences of sin.
You know the story, they yielded to disobedience and ate. They
did die that day — a very real spiritual death. Death is
separation. And their spirits that day were separated from God
— the source of life — and therefore their physical
bodies started dying from that point on. Because of their perfect
environment, and God’s wonderful design of the human body,
it took a long time to finally expire. But no one is self-sufficient
and without need for God’s involvement.
At the point Adam and Eve sinned,
God could have just ground them back into the dust of the earth
from whence they came, and forgotten about the whole human experiment.
But God had a purpose for creating mankind. God has always created
His beings with a totally free will. If you were God, you would
get really bored with created robots after a few hundred years!
And if you were as powerful and intelligent as God, you would
not feel insecure or threatened by creating beings with a free
will. In fact, creating everything with a free will is really
the only fair way to run things. And the dynamics of everyone
with a free will — as complicated as that is — would
be the only challenge of sufficient complexity to truly keep God
God originally created beings we
It appears from scripture that God organized them under three
These are the only three angels who are really named in scripture.
The rest of the angels appear to have been divided into thirds
under these three arch-angels (Rev. 12:4). After all, it was God
who inspired 1st
Cor. 14:40, "Let all things be done decently
and in order." Lucifer appears to have been
in charge of the worship of God. He eventually became selfish
and prideful, knew he had a free will, and rebelled against God
14:12-17). But even worse, he worked to persuade the other
angels to rebel also. After a long period of using subtle methods
of planting the idea (like Absalom
under King David
Sam. 15:1-6), he knew he had his subordinates (one-third of
the angels) under his sway. Lucifer evidently miscalculated that
he could get at least one of the other two arch-angels to side
with him in the "brave new world" which Lucifer was
going to run — where everyone would be unconstrained by
obedience to God (sounds close to home doesn’t it?). Thankfully,
wisdom and obedience once again prevailed (as they always do in
the long run) with Michael and Gabriel refusing to participate
in the rebellion. Thus Lucifer and his followers were cast out
of Heaven and confined to the earth. Even though these angels
had sinned, they had no invisible being to tempt or deceive them.
They had lived with God in Heaven,
and knew fully what they were doing with an enormous amount of
time for mature thinking and fore-thought. So there was no salvation
plan provided for them by God. What they sowed, they would reap.
But God is never defeated or at a
loss. How would He replace the worshiping angels of Heaven? He
could just create an equal number and command them to worship
Him — or else they could end up cast out like the last bunch.
No, that would be forced worship — hollow and artificial.
God could avoid taking a risk at creating more beings with a free
will, and create worshiping robots — but that would not
be real worship. If God had real faith and ability, He could create
a race of beings right on earth in the midst of Lucifer, now called
(which means adversary). This race of mankind would be given a
totally free will like the other beings, but made even more in
God’s image than the angels — someone He could even
fellowship with. But with an older and wiser tempter already present
on earth, God fore-knew man would disobey and sin. But in His
love, grace, and mercy, God would already have a plan in mind
to offer redemption,
forgiveness, and salvation
13:8). It had to be a plan so giving and self-less that Satan
would not fully anticipate how it would work and what all it would
But by being rescued from the very real Lake
of Fire which rebellious mankind deserved, those men and women
who did repent of their evil ways and were saved — would
truly worship God in Heaven from a heart of eternal gratitude!
And given the fullness of time, there would be enough of mankind
saved to replenish the ranks of the missing worshiping angels
of Heaven. Certainly not all of mankind would repent, perhaps
not even a third. But with the passage of time, enough souls would
be saved to equal the number of angels who rebelled (perhaps two
or three billion?). God would not end up at a loss, and He would
not have reacted in fear or anger. His mercy and grace would be
apparent to all the other angels, inspiring them to eternal loyalty
But what about the sinners who did
not repent? God does not owe them anything. It is a testimony
to His grace and mercy that He gives sinners even 70 or 80 years
on earth to continually reject His offer of forgiveness. God created
in every person’s heart the awareness of God, and a conscience
to convict them of right and wrong (Rom.
1:18-32). He has plainly warned of His coming judgement in
the heart of every person no matter where they live. Every person
has had the opportunity to cry out to God in repentance
and ask for the forgiveness which He has offered. But statistics
show that the vast majority of mankind reject God, ignore conviction,
and cling to their unbelief, sin, and carnality. Only a "remnant"
repent. Jesus said narrow is the way to life and few who find
it, but broad is the way that leads to destruction (Matt.
However, if a person is repentant
and wants to be saved — God can get salvation to a person
like that. God certainly prefers to send laborers to share the
Good News, because of the many benefits of personal contact and
discipleship. But He can work supernaturally also. As an example,
I recently received an email from Reza
Safa, author of Inside
Islam, who is based in Tulsa and ministers
to Iranians. His wife Ellie just reported that their phone rang.
She answered, and an Iranian man named Firouz in Ahwaz, Iran,
was on the phone. He said this number was on his cell phone as
a missed call, and he wanted to know who he had just returned
the call to. Ellie explained they had not called him, but he had
reached a ministry to Iranians based in the USA. Firouz was amazed,
and was desperate, and immediately prayed to accept Jesus. Six
others in his family got saved over the phone including his mother
who said, "We were very poor, we had to move to another
town, and we were desperate. I prayed and that night I had a dream
of Jesus crucified on the cross. I fell on His feet and cried.
The following morning when I got up, inside of me I didn’t
feel poor any more and since then our lives are much better!"
She also said her brother had several dreams about this Jesus.
The problem on earth is not that
there are lots of people who are living right and want to be saved
but don’t know how. The problem is there are so many people
who are not living right and don’t want to be saved. I remember
one time Judi and I were passing out Gospel tracts on a college
campus, and I gave a tract to a young man. He looked at it and
said, "What’s this?" I said, "It
tells you how to get to Heaven!" He looked me right
in the eye, said "I don’t want to go to Heaven",
then he dropped the tract and walked off. But Judi and I have
been responsible for distributing over 40,000 tracts. If we sow
enough seed, we can reap a large harvest. People can be persuaded
to repent. But we need to do the work of God while it is still
day. For "the night cometh when no man can work."
Working while we can,
Dale & Judi Leander