What is the fate of the devil?


#1

I wonder if someone could answer the following question:

I know that the devil is condemned forever.
Does this mean he is condemned to hell forever or will he be destroyed one day?

Thank you.


#2

[quote=LawStudent]I wonder if someone could answer the following question:

I know that the devil is condemned forever.
Does this mean he is condemned to hell forever or will he be destroyed one day?

Thank you.
[/quote]

This seems to boil down to asking what damnation entails.

The NT metaphors - they can’t be called direct descriptions, since Hell is not a reality of this world, but of the next - seem to emphasise the finality of Hell: that there is no future in it. The vale of Hinnom, which gave its name to Gehenna, which is a name of Hell, was where the rubbish of Jerusalem was thrown away and burnt, and where the corpses of criminals were disposed of.

So it seems that to be in Hell, is to be “remains” - whether of men; or, as in this case, of angels. Basically, they are trash - they have no future, and nothing can “be made of” them. They are the ruins and left-overs of wicked angels & wicked men - and what this means, can only be glimpsed by comparing them to what the blessed are in Heaven.

“Destruction” suggests total annhilation. If that is meant, that is not quite what the NT seems to be driving at. If by “destruction” we think of complete and total disintegration of the personality (whatever that may amount to for a non-human being such as an angel), perhaps we are not so far from what the notion of damnation involves.

BTW: damnation is not happening “now” - it’s not in time. We need no more feel pity for the damned than we would for the ashes and dust of a corpse. The people destroyed by the A-bombs are pitiable - their ashes are not. It is pitiable that any of us should freely choose eternal death instead of life in Christ in all its fullness; but what we become once we are damned is not pitiable. Which is why the distance between what the devil was before his fall, and what the devil is “now”, is not pitiable. At all events, he has chosen himself rather than the God Who created him - and so he has what he wanted: which is Hell. For Hell is simply the enjoyment of our own way for ever, without God “interfering” - and that is the most self-destructive state we could ask for; because we are not designed to be joyful and alive except in God. God is the vocation of man - and of the angels: to miss that vocation, which cannot be done except by our own deliberate fault, is to be eternally frustrated. So the ruin we call satan is living (not that “living” is at all the right word) a lie.

Only God knows what Hell really involves - our business is to heed Him when He warns us. His doing so, is an act of great love - the true horror of sin (the real enemy, for that is the reason there is a Hell at all) is proved by the fact that nothing less then the Blood of God was required to wash it away. If sin requires so great a price - what must Hell be, to which death in sin leads ?

C. S. Lewis is the man to read - see his “The Problem of Pain”.

And Hans Urs von Balthasar - see his “Dare we hope?” ##


#3

Hi there.

Many thanks for your detailed reply to my post.
It is much appreciated.

God bless.


#4

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