Is Satan Redeemable
Part Eight - Is Satan Redeemable?
Last week we learned that Satan and his angels are destined to spend all eternity in torment in the Everlasting Lake of Fire. We also noted that there is a temporary prison in which some fallen angels are chained because of the vile sins they have committed against God’s sovereignty and design.
This week I want to take this matter to the next logical step. The eternal destiny for fallen angels is the same destiny that all unbelieving humanity will suffer because of their sins. Taking this into consideration, let us note what Jesus has to say in John 3:17-18.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
When God became man to live and die on the cross, He did not do so with the purpose of condemning people to hell. Through Adam’s sin, all men are born with a fall nature and thus sin against God. The moment we sin, we are condemned immediately to the everlasting lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever and ever with Satan and his demons. To do nothing with Christ is to choose to spend eternity in hell. However, Christ made the way of escape, a way to be rescued from eternal condemnation and to receive life everlasting. All we must do is put our full trust in His promise that if we repent of our sins and ask Him to rescue us, He will do so.
It become apparent that there is one key difference between the eternal judgment of man and that of Satan and his angels. Man’s condemnation can be reversed through the work of Christ on the cross. Satan and his fallen angels have no way of reversing their condemnation. So this leads us to ask the question why then did God create a way of salvation for man, but not for sinful angels? Since the sin of the angel is no different than the sin of man for it is all rebellion against God, why then is man given the privilege to escape and angels are not?
To answer this question we must start with the Word of God. The Bible does not tell us why God t choose not to redeem angels. I know of no verse that mentions or alludes to this matter. Therefore, in an effort to try to answer this question we must note that the best we can do is speculate about God’s reason. Only when we see our Lord will the answer to this question be available. For whatever reason, God did not see the need to communicate this information to man at this time. However, let us make a few possible suggestions.
1) God may not have offered a way of salvation because the angels were given more intelligence and information in making their decision than was given to man. The Bible does indicate that the angels are greater than men. In Heb. 2:7, 9, the writer tells us that when the Second Person of the Trinity became a man, He lowered himself to become less than the angels in order to become human. Possibly the greater potential or attributes of angels gave them an advantage when making the decision of either following or rebelling against God.
2) God may have decided not to offer a way of salvation for angels because He knew that they were so locked into their sinful ways, that even if offered to them, they still would have refused it. It may be, and I am really speculating here, that Christ paid the price for all sin, human and angelic, but because of the hold that sin has on these fallen angels, there is no possible way that they would seek redemption from God. The Bible does say that in some cases, after unbelieving men have refused the light of God’s Word and the convicting work of His Spirit, that he hardens their hear so that they will never be able to be saved. This is clearly presented in Romans 1:21-25 where Paul writes,
Rom 1:21-25, “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen . . . For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. . . And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting . . . who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
3) God's decision to offer salvation only to man may have something to do with the difference in the way angels and men come into existence. All angels were created at the same time, they all witnessed the creating work of God (Job 38:6-7), and they all individually had to make the decision of whether to follow God or rebel against Him. They did not inherit a fallen nature from an ancestor but each chose a fallen nature for themselves. Man on the other hand is born dead to God and destined to sin (Eph. 2:1-3) because he inherits the fallen nature from his parents when he is conceived. This being the case, we are born without the opportunity to make our own decision regarding following God or rebelling against Him. We are born to disobey God and only through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of His Word, are we give the freedom to make that decision for ourselves. Therefore redemption was necessary if each man was to be given the freedom to make his own decision. Possibly because we come into existence through reproduction, God made a way of salvation so that every man would get the same opportunity to choose to obey or disobey God as was given the angels.
Having wrestled with one tough question based on the eternal judgment of angels, there is a second question that comes to light. If Satan knows that He is going to spend all of eternity in the Lake of Fire and there is nothing he can do to stop it from happening, then why does he continue on in his warfare against God? It would seem to me that I knew I could not win and I only had a short time in which to enjoy life, I would stop making war and starting enjoying what little time I have left. Or, I would seek to try to patch things up with God, if nothing else, at least try to lessen the judgment that awaits me. So why do such intelligent beings continue to fight a ware that can’t be won?
Once again the Bible is silent on the answer to this question. No verse states or even alludes to an answer for this question. Therefore, all we can do is theorize or speculate what might be the reason.
4) Satan being a fallen creature, does not have the ability to fully understand or grasp what the Scriptures foretell about his doom. In other words his sin nature has cloud his understanding to the truth. This could, I suppose, be a possibility yet I find it hard to accept. With his intelligence, direct access to the Lord, access to the preaching and teaching of God’s servants and the Bible, one would think that he understands well what God has said about his demise.
5) Satan continues his war because his fallen mind has convinced him that he will some day defeat God in some way. After all, all that he has to do is defeat God once, even in the minutest manner and he will have won the war. Sometimes people tell a lie so much that they begin to believe it. Even when the truth is placed before them they can only accept their lie. Possibly this is where Satan is coming from.
6) Satan continues his war, in spite of the outcome, because he hates God so deeply, that even if he can not win, he will do all that he can to inflict as much pain and trouble upon God as he can. When people hate someone, they often do things that will be detrimental to themselves if it means they can cause the object of their suffering great pain. Take the suicide bombers who are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to inflict pain and suffering on their enemies. Take Sadam Hussein who contrary to his own best interests, boasted he had weapons of mass destruction. He knew that eventually he would be invaded but he determined he would make life as hard for his enemies as he could. This is like the old adage, “if I going down, I am taking everyone with me.”
I believe that after thousands of years in the Everlasting Lake of Fire, if men or angels were given the opportunity to leave it and its suffering for the blessings of the Saints of God, they would still turn down the opportunity. The reason is that they would have to submit to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and this they will not do. It is like what we read earlier from the first Chapter of Romans 1, verse 25. “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” . Their hatred toward God is so great that they would rather suffer then to submit to God's love and mercy. As Isaiah wrote almost 3000 years ago,
"But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You"
We are not angels and as such we have the opportunity to reverse the eternal judgment for our sins by trusting in Christ alone for salvation. We should thank God that He made that way of escape and has offered it to all men. Have you chosen to trust in Christ as your Savior? If not, why not do so today!