Friday, June 26, 2009

Why Does God Allow Satan to Exist

Q. Why does God continue to allow Satan to exist? I know that He gave us free will, and therefore will not force us to do what is right, but why doesn't He cause Satan to become good, without taking away his free will? Or cause Satan to just cease to exist?

A. Well, for starters, He's not going to just kill off Satan. Of course He's able to, but we all know a kinder and more merciful God than that. Ah, Satan, our famous prince of darkness, our fallen angel. He chose that life, he chose to be "the evil one." He used to be one of the good guys, but then ... he wanted more. He wanted the power and control that God had. So he fell, down to a place called Hell where he could rule ... but still under the command of God. Satan still has to ask His permission before setting loose on the world. Everything Satan does, God has allowed him to do.

Take, for example, Job. One of those routine days in heaven and Satan shows up, God asks him where he has come from, and he answers that he's just been "to and fro and up and down" on earth, and God asks him if he's considered Job, "There is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil."(Job 1:8) Then Satan challenges God by saying, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face."(Job 1:9-11) So God gives Satan permission to "stretch his hand against" Job, but not to harm Job himself. And Satan must obey. Later on in the book of Job, God gave Satan permission to harm Job, as long as he didn't kill him. And Satan had to obey.

So really, the question is, why NOT continue to allow Satan to exist? Without the evil in this world, free will would be irrelevant, there would be no other option but good. God wants us to freely choose Him, and if there's no other option, it's not the same. And God is ultimately in control, there is absolutely nothing that Satan can do that God can't prevent if He wants to. God loves us all a great deal more than we can possibly imagine and He wouldn't put anything on us that we couldn't handle with His help.

Hope that answers your question, my prayers are with you,