Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sympathy for the Devil?

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

"The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy..." 
(John 10:10)

Recently, a friend asked,  "If enough people prayed for Satan, would he be transformed/saved?" The question was buttressed with this comment--"If God is loving and desires all to be saved, then why not Satan?" There seemed to be a tacit sympathy for the devil, and any demons who might be repentant.

My short response to my friend was, "No chance..none."

Before I elaborate, it might surprise some to know how common this sentiment/question is. A Christian author friend, well versed in the bible,  who writes on demonology issues, asked essentially the same question a while back.And others have wondered out loud..... My hunch is that many of us have pondered the same issue.....And no sincere question should be met with calloused dismissiveness.

Let me elaborate on my short negation.Even when you listen to the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy...", they hint at the answer..."I will lay waste to your soul...."

1. From Genesis to Revelation, there is prophesied and sovereignly decreed, the eternal punishment of Satan for rebelling against God and leading His original image bearers (Adam and Eve...Genesis 3) into sin.I don't want to pile up verses, but the bible is replete with references to the triumph of God over the Evil One. The God of Truth predicted and decreed  Satan's certain eternal damnation. For Him to now have sympathy for the devil would make God out to be the consummate liar.

2. One of the primary accomplishments of the atonement was securing the defeat and eternal punishment of Satan.The integrity and perfection of the cross of Christ would be abolished/negated if Satan/demons were "transformed". The NT is filled with references to how Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan (e.g. Colossians 2:15)The cross did not just secure our salvation, but it secured the devils damnation. Hence, any notion of Satanic transformation is an attack on the perfection of the design and accomplishment of the atonement.

3. In Hebrews 2:14-18 are some singularly humbling verses re grace. Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve, and mercy is God NOT giving us what we do deserve.Paraphrasing these verses, Once the Lord freely decided to save humans, God HAD to take on human flesh in order to be a proper substitute for us humans...the God/Man on the cross. However, nowhere are we told that God decided to save the lost angels, taking on their nature, and dying a substitutionary death on a cross for them.They received justice....we received grace and mercy. Please let this sink in. GOD DID NOT HAVE TO SAVE US...AND IF HE DIDN'T, HE STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN JUST. Our misunderstanding of God's love seems to force Him to give us (Satan) a second chance. But that is not is not mercy. It is a deficient understanding of both, as well as God's burning holiness.God freely decided to give His image bearers a second chance....He freely decided to not give Satan/demons a second chance. Justice.

4. We should rejoice in the eternal destruction of Satan..not have sympathy for him. The devil, if he could, would entice you to hell, after he murdered you and your loved ones. (John 10:10) Satan wants to steal what he can from you...he wants to kill you...and to destroy you. Satan has no remorse for his original sin, nor for the countless and unspeakable horrors since then.  He is irredeemable because the notion is noxious to him. It is psychologically impossible for a sentient being to choose to do something they hate.We always do want we want to do (everything considered).

If every person on the planet prayed everyday for Satan's transformation, it would not change a thing. Prayer does change things, but no amount of prayer can change the eternal decree of God Almighty toward His hated enemy, and the enemy of our souls. God hates Satan--hence, he is doomed for eternal torture. No sympathy for the devil. None. We should rejoice in his eternal punishment. The friend I referred to at the outset, agreed after we discussed these and other issues.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.