During the times Jesus walked the Earth and Today…I was asked this question tonight by a 7th Grader…Did and Does Satan have free will? Is Satan cut off from God? If so has he lost his free will from the fall of Angels?
Satan had free will to choose to rebel against God as did all the angels. Satan I assume still has free will to choose which people he is going to tempt at any point in time or how and where to do his evil. I don’t think Satan is capable of repenting even if he wanted to now that he is Hell and the same goes for any of the damned. This is an interesting thought though in regards to both Heaven and Hell. If the souls in Heaven are incapable of sin and the souls in Hell are incapable of good then where is the free will. I’m sure that is what the purification process is in Purgatory though where we are purifed from our desires to do any sin and therefore have the free will to somehow never sin at all ever again and be in eternal happiness in Heaven with God. I’m not so sure about the souls in Hell though. I assum the same thing happens but the opposite where total despair takes away and minute amount of goodness from them and they forever are even more evil than they were on earth.
All the angels, both good and bad, have free will. It is part of angelic nature to have intellect and will.
The will of angels, however, works a little bit differently from the will of human beings. Part of this has to do with the angel’s different experience of sequentiality–not exactly in the same way we experience time.
Essentially, when the angels were created, they each made a choice. The choice of each, however, is irrevocable in the sense that his choice lasts for eternity.
While human beings can choose something and then change their minds later (because of the way we experience time here on earth), angels cannot do this.
Thus, Satan had and still has free will, but he cannot be reconciled with God because he has freely chosen to be eternally against God.
THe more I think about this The more it bothers me. I am becoming more and more convinced that it is what god allows instead of him choosing who to tempt.
If Satan Has Free will then why didn’t he just push Jesus off of the top of the Temple? Isn’t Satan in hell? Is there Free will in Hell?
So essentially the choice of an angel ends their free will then if the choice is eternal?
He may tempt whomever he chooses. We’re the one who has to make the choice.
And his situation is a bit more perminate, unless of course god decides otherwise. I’m assuming he could ask for forgiveness but refuses to do so.
Never mind…I get it now. I had to “loosen” my intellect to see it.
Thanks. Still though Do Angels have free will in Regards to actions? Say like Slay Jesus before the crucifixion?
Satan did not push Jesus off the temple either because he chose not to or because Christ did not allow him to do so.
Satan continues to have free will and some influence over the world even though he has been defeated by Christ.
Free will is part of the angelic nature and Satan would become something other than what he is if he lost free will somehow.
As I said before, this has to do with our experience of time being different from the angels’ experience of sequentiality outside of earthly time.
Troublesome at first. But I have the will to grow wings and fly but god has not allowed it…so I do get that one. Isn’t part of Mans Nature Free will too? DO we lose our Free will after death? Or if we choose to be damned is our free will still there but similar to the fallen angels? Also isn’t damnation separation from god? Is free will a gift from god? If we are separated how can we still have free will in Hell?
Yes, part of man’s nature as a spiritual being is to have reason and also free will. What this means is that rather than be determined by material causality (e.g., like a calculator isn’t free to choose which answers to display), man can be determined by final causality (choosing to perform an action in order to accomplish a purpose).
Free will like all good things is a gift from God.
Free will is not lost after death since it is part of man’s nature.
No matter what we choose, the object of our choice is not always possible. Like you said, I can’t grow wings no matter how much I choose to do so.
In Hell, we are separated from God in the sense that we do not have a relationship to him as a person and we do not have Charity, the supernatural love for God. God is still present insofar as he maintains the existence of those persons in the state of Hell.
The state of Hell is eternal in a way similar to the state of the fallen angels. Once we die, we lose our ability to change our minds, that is, to choose a completely different destiny from what we had chosen up to that point.
Back on track now. WOW I have actually answered that very same question I asked you in a similar way you answered me. It is amazing how off track thinking can become. I consider myself a fairly theologically astute person. The minute I read your response about god keeping things in existence. It all came flooding back to me…I just wish it would have come when I was teaching the seventh graders tonight.
The trouble is that we don’t know a whole lot about the angels and how exactly all this works out in practice! I’m sure you did a fine job of instructing the seventh graders.
They can ask some bizarre questions, though.
Yes, but it is oriented and limited to hell and earth. He is now locked into his nature. Being driven by an angelic nature to fullfill his task to perfection, he now focuses on expressing this in evil. He now does everything to achieve an evil end.
“The fallen angels are obstinate in evil,unrepentant,inflexibly determined in their sin. This follows from their nature as pure spirits, for the choice of pure spirits is necessarily final and unchanging.”
As a conclusion, a cute story, not theologically correct, but cute anyway. I don’t know it’s source.
…With the Sign of the Cross, the old monk Abba Joseph trapped in his cell a dark and miserable demon who had come to tempt him. “Release me, Father, and let me go,” pleaded the demon, “I will not come to tempt you again”. “I will gladly do that, but on one condition,” replied the monk. “You must sing for me the song that you sang before God’s Throne on high, before your fall.” The demon responded, “You know I cannot do that; it will cause me cruel torture and suffering. And besides, Father, no human ear can hear its ineffable sweetness and live,
for you will surely die.” “Then you will have to remain here in my cell,” said the monk, “and bear with me the
full struggle of repentance.” “Let me go, do not force me
to suffer,” pleaded the demon." “Ah, but then you must
sing to me the song you sang on high before your fall with Satan.”
So the dark and miserable demon, seeing that there was
no way out, began to sing, haltingly, barely audible
at first, groping for words long forgotten. As he sang,
the darkness which penetrated and surrounded him began
slowly to dissipate. The song grew ever louder and
increasingly stronger, and soon the demon was caught
up in its sweetness, his voice fully lifted up in worship
and praise. Boldly he sang of the power and the honour
and the glory of the Triune God on High, Creator of the
Universe, Master of Heaven and Earth, of all things visible
and invisible. As the song sung on high before all ages
resounded in the fullness of its might, a wondrous and
glorious light penetrated the venerable Abba’s humble cell,
and the walls which had enclosed it were no more. Ineffable
love and joy surged into the very depths of the being
of the radiant and glorious angel, as he ever so gently
stooped down and covered with his wings the lifeless body
of the old hermit who had liberated him from the abyss of hell.
If you look in Job, you’ll see that even Satan has to ask God permission before he can attack one of God’s children. If God doesn’t give permission, Satan can’t do anything.