Many people may be interested to know why doesn’t God exterminate the devil sooner? They may ask: Can God defeat Satan? Today we shall find the answers from the bible.
Can God defeat Satan?
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” (Eccl 3:11) “The secret things belong to the Lord our God but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” (Deut 29:29) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways.” (Isa 55:9) The above question concerns “secret things.” However, the Bible does give us some insights concerning the timing of God’s judgment of the devil. It reveals that:
1. God’s perspective of time is different from ours.
“For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). These words indicate that what we may perceive as a delay may not be so for our eternal God. His perception of time is such that 6000 years of human history appear merely as days. Moreover, we need to appreciate that He has His own timing for everything (Eccl 3:17; Acts 1:7).
2. God is waiting to reveal His power.
From the Book of Exodus, we learn of God’s dealings with Pharaoh who, in many ways, symbolizes the devil. God told him, “Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Ex 9:15–16; cf. Rom 9:17). God allowed Pharaoh to resist to the end in order to reveal the full extent of His power. In the same way, God is waiting to manifest His power over the devil.
3. God is waiting to reveal His wrath:
The Bible states: “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” (Rom 9:22). The fact is, God is now storing up His wrath. In the future, He will unleash it upon the devil through His righteous judgment.
4. Satan knows his time is short:
When Jesus confronted two demon-possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God. Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Mt 8:29). In other words, they realized Jesus had an appointed time for judging them. From the Bible, we know the everlasting fire has already been prepared (Mt 25:41), and the devil knows “the time is at hand” (Rev 22:10). Therefore, elder James says that the demons are trembling even now ( Jas 2:19).
If God can defeat Satan, what is the fate of Satan?
1. Has been cast out from the presence of God.:
The Bible records: “Therefore I [i.e. God] cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God” (Ezek 28:16); “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (Jn 12:31); “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (Jn 14:30).
2. Has been defeated by Jesus Christ.:
After Adam and Eve sinned, God told the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen 3:15). These prophetic words were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross and overcame the power of death belonging to Satan. Hence, Paul says, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Cor 15:55).
3. Will be judged.:
“And when He [i.e. the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…of judgment, because the ruler of this world [i.e. the devil] is judged” ( Jn 16:8, 11).
4. Will be thrown into the lake of fire.:
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev 20:10).
Is there any possibility for neutrality between God and the Satan?
God and the devil are as different as light and darkness. There is no possibility of a compromise or truce. Moreover, we need to be aware that, with regards to our affiliation, we belong either to God, or to the devil (1 Jn 3:8–10; 5:19). There is no middle ground.
When God comes again which He has promised He will, He will defeat Satan and cast him into the fiery lake for eternal condemnation.
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