A Question I Was Asked: Will Satan Finally Die?

The Questions:

I have just read your article about Satan's original fall. Now, I have this question for you please: Which will be Satan' s punishment of condemnation, will he die eternally or will he be tormented for ever in the flames of the lake of fire along with all his demons? Revelation 20: 7-10. Matthew: 25: 41.
Secondly: cannot Satan and his demons repent themselves and look for the forgiveness of God? Isaiah 55:7, Ezekiel 18:23-24.

Thank you so much for your help and bye, bye, for the moment.

UK Apologetics Reply:

Matthew 25:41 states this:

This is speculation: If Satan was condemned to go on playing the same role at other times/other places/even other universes, whilst always knowing he is doomed to fail and always knowing that he is fully serving God's purposes, that could indeed amount to eternal punishment for our adversary.

"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.'"

So we see that "eternal fire" is prepared for the devil and his angels (demons), this however, is almost certainly symbolic, an anthropomorphism for the benefit of us (humanly speaking, we see no escape if going straight into fire; its results are permanent). Now let us look at Revelation 20:

'...But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.' (Revelation 20:9b-10).

Right at the end of the Church Age, Satan will attempt to go on a vicious rampage against God's people, but he will be defeated by the returning Christ.

The main point in these Scriptures is that Satan will never again be allowed to have any access to, nor influence over, the saints. He and his demons will be permanently removed from the domain of those saved ones who inherit Eternal Life in the New Heavens and New Earth.

My enquirer then quotes two biblical texts in wondering if Satan (and his demons) could finally repent:

Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Isaiah 55:7).

'Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? "But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die."' (Ezekiel 18:23-24).

The main problem there is that both Scriptures are referring to people, not to Satan or his demons.

The Bible appears to teach that spirit is an eternal entity, therefore while Satan can certainly be restrained or restricted by God, he will not be permanently destroyed. Plainly, if it is possible for Satan to be, '... tormented day and night for ever and ever.' (Revelation 20:10b), he is alive and not destroyed. I do realise that some teach that to be permanently destroyed is, indeed, to be 'tormented day and night forever,' I find their argument unconvincing. The point here is that Satan will receive punishment and ongoing restriction.

The Following is Speculation...

The next part of what I state is speculation, please recognise it as that. As I have stated in the past, there is nothing wrong with speculation as long as one clearly points out that that is what it is! The above is biblically-based, what is below is speculative, only for those who are well-seasoned in the Faith:

Can we restrict God? God dwells in eternity. We tend to think in terms of a human life span, circa 70 years, we also tend to think in terms of human history, just a few thousand years. But Our God is truly Eternal.

Why would God restrict Himself to just performing a work of redemption upon this one planet in one small corner of the cosmos if He has limitless eternity at His disposal? - and He does have it at His disposal! Many believe that the universe is without limit, therefore there will be countless planets entirely suitable for human life - just like this earth. So our God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, could be working out other plans of redemption elsewhere and this could go on constantly. In this, Satan could - I say could - have a permanent part to play. Why do I say that? Well, it seems that the ideal sons and daughters of God who go on to inherit Eternal Life need to be exposed to evil in order to fully learn that it (sin and evil) must always be resisted. That is to say: only by being exposed to true evil, but then choosing to resist it, can we fully inherit the godly character we are going to need as true sons and daughters of God! Perhaps - I say perhaps - this is why Lucifer fell; because there was no true evil before he succombed to pride and vanity. If Satan was/is condemned to go on playing the same role at other times/other places/even other universes, whilst always knowing he is doomed to fail and always knowing that he is fully serving God's purposes, that could indeed amount to eternal punishment for our adversary.

So the above paragraph is speculative, it is not part of the divine revelation delivered to men and women at the present time. It is, if you will, Christian philosophy. So let us recognise that, but I think the argument therein has strong force. It goes beyond the biblical revelation but it is, I think, based on true biblical principles. One day we will know...

Robin A. Brace. September 26th, 2012.

I have also written about the above speculative possibility here.