Why did God not just kill satan?

Question:

Why did God not just kill Satan, then we wouldn’t have to worry about sin?

Answer:

When Lucifer, one of the covering cherubs who stood the closest to God in heaven, turned against God, God could indeed have destroyed him.  But let’s look at the situation and see whether this would have been a good idea, seeing that the character of God is love.

1 John 4: 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Given below are some of the passages that describe Lucifer’s thoughts and actions.  He imagined that he could be in the place of God, and started to spread lies about God.  In this way he created unrest and uncertainty amongst the other angels in heaven.  He was so persuasive that he convinced a third of the angels that he was right.  After trying unsuccess-fully to persuade the angels that they should change their thoughts and attitude, God cast them out of heaven.

Isaiah 14: 12 “ How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:  ‘ I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;  I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Ezekiel 28: 12…..“ You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14 “ You were the anointed cherub who covers;  I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.
16 “ By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within,
And you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.
17 “ Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.

Revelation 12: 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Now let us imagine for a moment what would have happened if God had destroyed Lucifer soon after he had started spreading his lies.  One day the other angels wake up to find Lucifer gone.  Upon inquiry God tells them that He had to destroy Lucifer, for the good of everyone else.  What would the others think?  Maybe Lucifer was right after all, and God was harsh, unjust and cruel.  And ever afterwards God would be served out of fear, and not love.

So God took the long and painful way, in which the devil was given the opportunity to spread sin.  We who live in a sinful world have seen the consequences of sin, and know that it brings death, sorrow, pain, violence, sickness, mourning, etc, etc.  And when God finally clears the universe of the devil and his demons, together with sin and all those who have chosen to oppose God, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that God is right and just.  In this way all the saved will forever serve God out of love and gratitude, and not out of fear.

I hope that this explanation makes sense.  God bless as you study these Scriptures!

Got your own Question?
Ask a Pastor!

Are you wondering what the Bible has to say on a topic? Maybe you are at a crossroads and don’t know which path to take next.

Whether you want to know why there is suffering in this world or you want to learn how to save your marriage. We will do our very best to bring you sound biblical answers. Completely free, ask away:

Find more answers

What is temptation?

See the answer

What is Salvation?

and how do I get it?

See the answer

Why do bad things happen?

Can bad things happen to me (like losing a loved one) because I didn’t pray enough?

See the answer

Do we have to confess our sins publicly?

Or confess those sins to others?

See the answer

My girlfriend and I had sex…

And we’re trying to figure out what to do about it now.

See the answer