by Note Fleurie
Satan’s power is limited or controlled by God
|To get right to the point, Satan is a being that was created by God and he does have more power than us but he only has as much power as God allows him to have. So he really cannot promise anyone anything since at any point in time God can limit him. Being ‘in league’ with or ‘connected to’ Satan can bring a temporary gain but it does cause danger to your immortal soul. |
But Satan is smart and manipulative. He does whatever he can do and needs to do so that he can cause people to die and go to hell. This is why it is necessary to know the truth about hell and Satan.
“To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining ‘separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called hell.’ (CCC 1033). “Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’” (CCC 1035). “On the day of judgment (when they die) all men will appear in their own bodies before Christ’s tribunal to render an account of their own deeds.” (CCC1059) With all the suffering that one would experience in hell, [because of eternal punishment (CCC1038)], why would anyone make a choice to go to hell? Hell is an ‘eternal death’ a ‘very sad and lamentable reality.” (CCC 1056)
Every soul undergoes 2 judgments: one is the particular judgment at death and the other at the last judgment or universal judgment. “At the end of time, the kingdom of God will come in its fullness.” The resurrection of all the dead, ‘of both the just and the unjust,’ will precede the last judgment. This will be ‘the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of Man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” The evildoers will go to ‘eternal punishment’ and those that have done good will go to ‘eternal life.’ (CCC1038)
But there is hope! Only those who continue ‘a willful turning away from God, persisting in it till the end will go to hell. God predestines no one to hell. Hell, like Heaven, is a choice one makes.
It doesn’t seem likely that anyone would say, ‘hey, yes, I want to suffer hell forever and ever.’ However, Satan who is a cunning and masterful deceiver causes people, usually gradually over time to ‘fall away’ from grace by various temptations. He makes them hate God and themselves and eventually they reject the all-loving God who continually calls them. God wants everyone to be happy with him forever in heaven.
What we know of Satan from the earlier traditions going, ‘back to Gregory the Great’ was that ‘the devil, as the first creation of God, [was once a part of the] angelic hierarchy as the highest of the angels (either a cherub or a seraph) who fell far, into the depths of hell, and became the leader of demons.’ (Google) Because Satan was disobedient to God by sin of pride, showing a lack of humility, and was disobedient, Satan was cast into hell by God. With him were 1/3 of all of the angels, consisting of angels from all of the choirs / ranks who were satan’s followers and thus were cast to hell with him. Hell was given to them because they rejected God and his love. They chose to not be with him.
The ‘fall of the angels’ as it was called, ‘consisted 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 [Adam & Eve]: “You will be like God.” (CCC 392). This temptation still rings out today and Satan uses it to ensnare souls through a number of different tactics.
Often St. Michael responds to satan’s temptation when Satan says, ‘You will be like God’ then St. Michael responds, ‘No one is like God.” St. Michael has power over Satan even though he is an Angel from a lower rank than Satan came from because by his obedience, faithfulness, and humility at all times God gave him the power to cast Satan into hell.
Satan and all the devil and the demons combined do not have the power to exceed or equal the power of God. God is All-powerful and Almighty. They are mere creatures and God is their creator. Their power is limited by God. They can only do what God permits them to do. And we cannot do more than God permits us to do. God is infinitely more powerful than us. Only God can save us. We can ‘work out our salvation’ or ‘participate in it’, but without God there is no salvation. God sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in him might be saved. Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. Even secular historians from that time recorded those events. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead proves that he conquered death. Even if someone attempted to kill every believer of any faith all over the world, God would still be alive and he would still offer salvation to every soul. And as far as his church is concerned, Jesus also promised Satan will not defeat the church, ‘“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
Every soul must decide to be eternally happy in heaven with God who loves you or to suffer the pains of hell eternally with Satan who hates you. It is really that simple.
by Jacqueline Ghawaly
August 31, 2023