Would or would not.
And how such a choice by Lucifer or God would have impact on human’s life.
Would or would not.
Edit: I just saw that you label yourself Atheist, so I’ll add that I’m providing the Catholic position.
The key word is if, but it’s kind of like asking if 2+2=5… It’s a bit of a nonsense hypothetical. The angels are beings of pure intellect and will, and they made their choice, and that choice is irrevocable. It’s not just that they couldn’t if they wanted to, as if they are being externally forced into keeping their choice, it’s just by virtue of what they are. They are not beings capable of changing their minds as we can.
330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.
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.”
So Satan will never repent. There is no possibility for a real “if” to squeeze in. But if I were to assume a “fake” if? God would forgive any being that repents.
So their rejection is final? once rejected always rejected? No free will after that choice.
To expand on what I said about angels beings of only intellect and will, that isn’t just me comolimenting them, the way I might say Alber Einstein was an intellectual and willful person. With an angel, that is literally what they are. They aren’t made of anything. They are just intellect and will.
A human being has an intellect and will, but also has a material body, a physical brain, and animal needs. Our thinking is discursive and ratiocinative. This creates thinking in time, having to remember knowledge, maybe making choices withour remembering some things we know. We also have different needs and wants pulling on us from a hundred different directions, and these vary in different times and places.
That is not how something that is only intellect and will would experience. There are no distractions. Nor do they think step by step as we do, or have to recall things in the way we do, or risk making choices on our imperfect thinking processes and knowledge recall. When they make a choice, it’s final.
Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks much better on the topic than I do. See: newadvent.org/summa/1.htm
Chapters 50-60 (they are short chapters)
Their will is free and voluntary. That is what I meant when I said they are not forced by anything external. It’s just by virtue of what they are and how they know and will things that they don’t change their minds. The ability of man to go one way and another is, in some ways, an intellectual weakness of the way we think and learn.
Thinking of them as disembodied, smarter humans is incorrect. They do not think the same way we do. They do not know the same way we do. Their manner of knowing and willing and choosing is something other than the human experience. Their choices are voluntary to them, but there’s no waffling or doubt or such things in them.
To re-iterate, though, as I’m not sure if my tangent is something you were interested in, and let’s just assume for a second that everything I wrote above about the nature of angels is wrong, God would forgive any being who repents. If it was within an angel’s nature to repent, God would forgive him. My quote from the Catechism indicated that the irrevocable nature of their choice is not a defect in God’s mercy, as if, should they ever repent, He’d turn them away.
Yes. He would be forgiven instantaneously.
The question is somewhat paradoxical though, because angels - like God - do not change their minds since they do not exist in time and they have the fullness of revelation. Human beings are temporal and do not have the fullness of revelation and so their attitudes, prejudices, opinions, and approaches change on a daily basis, every second of every day. This concept of existing is entirely foreign to a purely spiritual being. So asking if a spiritual being will repent is roughly analogous to asking “How long do I have to wait until it is yesterday?” It’s non-applicable and non-computable.
If Satan were an angel of Heaven, he would fulfill whatever mission God had (and has) planned for him. Every mission given to a person is centered on 1) Love of God, and 2) Love of neighbor.
This. The answer to the question is “yes”, but the answer is also “that couldn’t possibly happen”.
An absence of free will is not the correct way to look at it.
What you are presuming here is that the demonic has a human intelligence that reasons from a to b to c to d to e and so on. It’s perfectly possible that such an intelligence could eventually arrive at a particular conclusion which it had not envisioned at the beginning and thereby change its mind. This is because our intellect expresses itself through matter.
Not so the angelic. They reason instantly and envision all possible outcomes. It is not possible for them to change their position once their will becomes fixed on it, because there is no new information, no logical process and evaluation, which they have not yet analyzed in coming to their conclusion. They fell knowing full well that they were being foolish. Experience hasn’t revealed this to them: they already knew it.
As one demoniac responded to an exorcist who asked a similar question, “Are you a competent theologian?”
The fallen angels saw the whole picture, and decided knowing what it would entail. They chose to not serve the Lord.
We humans fall, and hopefully get up again. As long as we are on this planet we can repent and return to God, and by His grace can grow closer to Him.
“Theology is not #Mathematics. 2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has to do with #God and real #life of #people…”
Fr. Antonio Spadaro S.J., Jesuit papal confidant and director of La Civiltà Cattolica, considered to be “one of the Jesuits closest to Pope Francis.”
It was a simple analogy that may not apply to all things. As a Thomist, though, I believe that God cannot make logical contradictions, such as a square-circle. Some Catholic theologians disagree, and those are also accepted schools of though (as is the Thomist one). Either way, I think my 2+2=/=5 example was a sufficient analogy for this topic.
Excellent post. Thorough, but concisely stated.
Well according to a private revelation I read if Satan repented hell would cease to exist.
Not for the purely spirit beings. For humans that is not the case.
Unfortunately, Lucifer had his chance and chose Hell. No-one and nothing can cross the barrier between Heaven and Hell.
Luke 16:19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus
19*“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26And [a]besides all this ]between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”
If it is not in the nature of angels to change their mind, if it is not possible, that also makes sense why someone choosing or earning hell is not let out. I suppose.
We don’t have any authorised or God revealed account of how or why exactly some angels refused God and chose ( or made?) to become devils.But one thing is certain- they are really powerful ! The fact that they could exist since millions of years challenging none other than God, is itself a proof to this.Also they enjoy their position and don’t regret.(Note that they could know very well in advance the aftereffects when they decided to refuse God and took the decision consciously).
So now why they should ’ repent’?Anybody told that they are unhappy and want to go back to God? What advantage they get in submitting themselves to God?How free and happy and immune from the wrath of God ,are they now !One should feel envy on them!Even God can’t do any harm to them or annihilate them because they should be there forever in hell supervising its inhabitants, who by all chances will be more in number than in heaven.
An often overlooked aspect of this is the fact that lucifer was able to convince 1/3 of the angels to side with him, I think that is very interesting in itself. I think there is more to this story than we know, or could understand.
The gift of God’s supernatural grace precedes repentance. The time for God’s grace and mercy is over for the fallen angels just as it is for human beings who die in unrepentant mortal sin.
No, their choice is irrevocable.
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."272