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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

08 August 2005

Satan and His Children

Q: Since he is not in the abyss, where is Satan now?

A: We know that Satan is bound through the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. We are not told how he is bound or the exact restrictions. Yet since he is a fallen angel, his essence is spirit and not physical flesh. Thus, the “place” where he is may not be so much a physical place as it is a state of being.

The abyss you mention, normally thought of as hell or a specific part thereof, is exactly where he is. Revelation 20 speaks of his being bound there for “a thousand years. (v. 2)” The “thousand years” is symbolic of the period of the New Testament Church — the time in which we now live. Thus, we say that Satan is in the abyss. We certainly know that his power is diminished and that he is not able to fully and directly attack Christ’s holy Church. Still, remains “a roaring lion” looking “to devour” us (1 Peter 5:8).

Q: What is the disposition of the devil’s children, particularly his evil sons?

A: Scripture says nothing about biological children of Satan. All who deny Christ are his sons, as Jesus told some of the Jews who refused to believe in him and wished to plot His death: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)”

What will happen to those who reject the Christ? They will be separated from God for all eternity and will suffer hell for their unbelief.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.


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