I was reading on here that the devil and his angels suffer the pain of being seperated from God and how much sorrow they feel, but why don’t they just decide to come back to God? And love God again? I’m sure our loving merciful God would welcome the devil with open arms wouldn’t he? Like the story of the man with his son. What if for example we came to contact with a demon, and instead of attacking him, we pray for him and tell him to stop being rebellious and to repent and love God? What would happen then? Do they (demons) have the free will to understand and repent and ask for Gods mercy And forgiveness?
This is my understanding, and if someone who is more educated than me about correct Church teaching, please chime in.
St. Thomas Aquinas taught that when all the angels were created they were given a test.
They are far more intelligent and powerful than we are, and could see at a glance what the outcome of what their choice would be, knowing it was irrevocable. About 1/3 of them rebelled, through the sin of Pride.
No, there is no repentance for Satan and the fallen angels. It’s their free will choice, which condemned them.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called “Satan” or the “devil”. The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.”
392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This “fall” consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter’s words to our first parents: “You will be like God.” The devil “has sinned from the beginning”; he is “a liar and the father of lies”.
393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.”
As I understand it, satan and the demons retain their nature as Angels, albeit fallen ones. The intellect and knowledge of the angels is far superior to that of human beings. When the angels who followed Lucifer in rebelling against God did so, they did so in the full knowledge that God exists and what His will was. They were fully aware of what they were rebelling against and what and Who they were rejecting.
Human beings on the other hand can rebel and reject God i.e. they can sin. But human beings do not possess the angelic intellect. Some human beings may not believe in God, or they may believe in God but lack a fully and properly informed conscience or they may be immature, weak or have some kind of a faith in God but one that is not very strong. Human beings are made of dust and for all his genius, man still has very limited knowledge and intellect compared to angels; God knows that and is therefore very lenient and merciful towards us.
We can behave in a way that amounts to a rebellion against and a rejection of God but we do this without full and certain knowledge of God and His existence.
Angels were fully aware that God existed, what His will was but despite this they still rebelled and rejected Him. Their choice was made and fixed. I am sure that God would forgive satan and the demons were they to ask for forgiveness. But I very much doubt they would ever seek forgiveness.
The above site has a lot about the angels.
As Asia53 noted from the Catechism, it is impossible for Satan and his demons to repent, just as it is impossible for the souls in Hell to repent. This is not the result of God placing a limit on them, or somehow forbidding it; it is the result of their natures as angelic beings.
When they made their choice to not serve God that was a perfect decision. I don’t mean perfect as in good, but rather, perfect as in complete. They had full knowledge of what this choice meant for them unto eternity. They cannot change their mind because there is nothing about their decision and its consequences that was unknown to them when chose. You can’t say, “Oh, by the way, if you keep this p you’ll suffer for eternity,” and expect it to change their mind because they already knew that going into it, and still chose their own pride over God.
While we are still alive, humans have the ability to change because we have do not have perfect knowledge of the consequences of our actions. We can learn new things which bring about conversion and repentance. Once we die, we face God and the decisions of our lives (the way we’ve shaped our souls), is made permanent. If we died having rejected God in life then that rejection carries over into death, and we chose to be separated from God.
I agree with the Catechism that Asia53 quoted, but I thought I would also share the following that I believe may also help.
I hope this has helped
God Bless You
Thank you for reading
Angels are quite different than humans in the nature of their decisions. Unlike humans whose will can change, once an angel decides something, their will doesn’t change.
Satan (former angel of God) will always be an enemy of God. He has made the decision to commit the sin of pride and turn away from God, and he cannot reverse that decision. His demons suffer the same fate.
Luckily, God has given us the power to change our will. Otherwise, we would all be doomed. So give glory to God for this great gift.
The reason why Satan and his demons will never repent is the same reason why Heaven and Hell are eternal. Decisions made in eternity last for eternity.
I doubt very much that what they feel is sorrow, which implies feeling regret and guilt. As angelic beings they were well aware of what their decision to turn from God would meant and they did it anyway. They may be tormented in their separation from God, but that’s not the same as sorrow.
So, satan and the other demons maintain their free will in the spiritual realm, but humans do not…??
How exactly can the gift of free will be ‘taken away’?
I have no idea where you got Satan and the fallen angels maintain their free will.
They made a choice ---- that choice is irrevocable. See CCC 393.
Thanks for sharing, Josh.
Satan and the angels choice seems so confusing. Why would they do it, if they knew the outcome was so terrible?
Probably they thought that being in Hell was preferable to obeying God, and having to endure him loving humans more than them.
As John Milton said “Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.”
Thats exactly why I think there is more to the story of God and Satan and his fall…I think it goes much deeper than we can comprehend and the story in the bible is just something humans can understand, there is something awry though, a super intelligent angel who KNOWS God personally, and knows how powerful he is, would NEVER in a million years try to rebel as the story goes, not to mention, he was able to convince 1/3 of Gods angels of the same thing…CMON…he would know he does not stand a chance.
Pride is not an explanation either, Im sorry, but even the most ignorant human criminal knows what he can and cannot get away with, if he knew FOR A FACT, he was going to be caught in something, he would NOT do it.
This is the one thing I don’t get about Satan and his angels.
If indeed angels are supernaturally intelligent and know the penalty for pride and disobedience, why would they do what they did?
Even if they were selfish and cruel, wouldn’t they realize that what they did would be basically suicide? They will after all be tortured for all eternity once the world ends ( though they are tortured now to some extent.)
I have heard that neither Satan nor his demons are in Hell yet instead they just roam the earth. Does that mean that the damned souls are more just tortured by Hell’s flames rather than the demons themselves (making all those renaissance paintings… exagerrated at best:rolleyes:)
I do wonder what the war in heaven itself was like. Did Satan really hope to defeat God and take his place on the throne? It is a fascinating story, but the how and why of it… I still do not understand:blush:
Since you desire to understand better I highly recommend Peter Kreeft’s book “Angels and Demons”.
It is in question and answer format, easy to understand, and even has some humor in it.
These are the exact things I ask myself!! The bibles explanation just doesnt make sense…pride? Cmon, they are way above our intelligence, and pride is not enough for them to attempt such a thing, they still would have known the outcome, also considering they exist in a realm without time, they would have known this before they even attempted it, so…??
Ive come to the conclusion this is just one of those things God does not see fit for us to have the complete knowledge on, he has told us we only know a small part of a much larger ‘puzzle’, so its pretty clear there is a lot we just dont know or understand and there is probably a good reason for this.
So out of hell there is no redemption for human souls ? would those in hell make it? don’t think so & they wouldn’t want too, so reformed into their demonic Hell, they’re in a 24/7 24/7 diner 365 days a year 24/7, no sleep, no alarm clock, same screeches, same old, move over, no place to move, I’m tired, no night, no day, too bad…weeping & gnashing of teeth, they are satans now, no desire to reform, & their will for good is gone, like satan +++
I’d add to this recommendation Who is the Devil by Nicolas Corte.