Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Why Does God Allow Satan To Exist?

Here's an answer to a question I received recently. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Here are the questions;
If God is in control of Satan and is more powerful than God why did He let Satan exist in the first place?

Why does God allow Satan to roam the world destroying lives?

Here's the answer I gave;

Thank you for passing this question on to us. They are valid, and common. I have to admit I've been back and forth on what to cover to help you all. Seriously, there are people who have devoted years of their lives to studying and writing on the topics of Angelology and Demonology.(Demons are simply Angels that followed Satan in his rebellion in Heaven). After spending a couple weeks with this question, I really hope this answer will satisfy and inform. There is a great deal of information about Angels (and so demons) here. To answer your questions I'm going to have to build a bit of a foundation.

You'll need a Bible with you, if you've received this and don't have one beside you visit http://www.biblegateway.com/ where you'll be able to read the passages I reference for free.

Angels worshiped God and served Him before God created Time. Satan also "fell" or rebelled before Time. We are not told why God allowed an Angel who would rebel against Him to exist in the first place but it does seem to be God's character to honor any freedom and/or authority He gives. God, as evidenced by His interaction with mankind, seems to want worship from beings who want to love Him. This by definition leaves room for rebellion, because some of these beings may not want to love Him.

To understand why God allows Satan to continue to exist right now we must understand what happened the moment Satan rebelled, and the demons with him. Satan's fall is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-15, and we also see his foreordained destruction. This occurred in Heaven and Satan's rebellion even made Heaven unclean as recorded in Job 15:15.Heaven became unclean because of sin, and there is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood as we find in Hebrews 9:22. So from before time, redemption had to occur in order for God to have a pure dwelling place.

We know that God purposed for this redemption to happen before He ever created the world. In fact, since God can not lie Titus 1:2 and the things He says will occur Isaiah 46:9-10 when God says something it is as good as having already happened. Thus we see that Christ was crucified since before Time began. We know this because Rev 13:8 says so, and also because God defines how He has shown His love towards us as having given Christ on the Cross for our sins, and that He loved us before Time. 1 John 4:9-10 and John 14:24.

So far the we see that Satan's rebellion made Heaven unclean and that God so planned to redeem His creation since before Time by using Christ's sacrifice as a propitiation or appeasement for all sin as the basis of forgiveness and redemption. There is an incredible book on God's plan for History, with a special focus on future History or Prophecy called "Maranatha: Our Lord, Come!: A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church" This book will explain the concept of a "kinsman redeemer" which is a member of the family who can repurchase land that a person has given away. The Lord Jesus Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer, and the redemption price is His own blood. In Genesis 3 we see the recounting of the History of man giving away the authority and ownership of the world that God gave us to Satan. The Lord had to become a family member (a kinsman) and to do that He had to become a human being, and pay the redemption price in order to "redeem" all of Creation back to Him.

This gets us to the part of your question we experience every time we look around our little world. Why does God continue to allow Satan to exist and cause problems. Is it because God has been overpowered by Satan? Surely not. No, God is a gentleman, and He can not lie.Revelation 3:20 So He will not go against the authority that He has given Adam over this world. Adam surrendered that authority to Satan in the Garden of Eden. In 2 Peter 3:9 The Apostle Peter is answering a question similar to yours about God. See, if God came back today to judge Satan and destroy him, God would have to judge and destroy all of Satan's family. His family is made up not only of the demons who followed him in rebellion, but every single unsaved person over all history. The Lord indicates that the unsaved are part of Satan's family in John 8:44. But as the Apostle Peter explains God is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ. We see that the Lord's current program for the Church will carry on until the "times of the gentiles are fulfilled" in Luke 21:24. God is not going to stop saving Christians until the last one is saved, and then He will be finished and the gate will be closed leaving those who thought they had forever to choose waiting outside the gate. Luke 13:22-30

The reason why God allows Satan to continue to exist and cause so much suffering in the world is actually His incredible mercy. The Apostle Paul tells us that today's sufferings do not even compare to the glory of Heaven. Romans 8:18 God allows suffering now, because suffering fora while is better than suffering for all eternity in the Lake of Fire,which is what would happen to every single unsaved person if God came to judge Satan today. Revelation 20:15 God has also provided for our Eternal Salvation in Christ Jesus, there is no reason why anyone has to live in this life with no hope. God has provided for our Salvation as we read in the Gospel of Jesus Christ 1 Cor 15:1-11 and so anyone who will call on Him can be assured of Eternal Life in a place of unspeakable glories with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Romans10:13

It is the thing that makes very little sense to the world, to people who haven't met Jesus yet, and surely to Satan and his demons. Satan tempted the demons, and mankind with his evil desires. We fell and became guilty. We deserve to die eternally for our own rebellion against God. If God were not the God He is, Satan would have won an incredible victory. He would have stolen all of Creation from God.See, Satan was counting on God being a God of Justice and Vengeance only. And as much as God is those things, Satan never saw that God is Love as well. That God so loved mankind that He sent His only begotten Son to come, humble Himself to the point of taking on our own sins and die in our place on the Cross. John 3:16 Philippians 2 Satan couldn't imagine that kind of humility and love, because he is a self-serving liar.

I hope this is enough of an answer for you to understand that it is God's mercy towards us that stops Him from destroying Satan today.This restraint will not last forever. Judgment Day is coming and you can be absolutely sure that Justice will be served, because God Who cannot lie has said it will be done.

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