In the early hours of October 16, 1946, ten condemned Nazi war criminals were hanged for crimes against humanity. None showed so much as a trace of remorse. No final regret or last-minute apology was uttered from the scaffold. On the contrary, Julius Streicher, whose relentless and incendiary attacks against Jews fueled mob violence and anti-Semitic persecution, shouted “Heil Hitler” as he ascended the steps to the platform where the hangman solemnly stood (Manchester Guardian, 10/17/1946). These ten were rebels to the end.
The higher the creature, the greater its capacity for evil. A madman is to be feared more than a mad dog, and a fallen angel is to be feared more than an evil man. While Hitler and his unrepentant henchmen were guilty of plunging the world into a bloody, six-year war, Satan and his army of demons have been waging a full-scale attack against God and His people and, for that matter, all of creation since the fall of mankind. All instances of suffering can be traced to Satan. His fingerprints can be found in every cemetery, prison, abortion clinic, crime scene, drug cartel, pornography studio, and wherever human degradation is found. He wields considerable influence in every nation’s capital. He holds a seat in many corporate board rooms. He serves as a regent in most of the world’s colleges and universities. He knows his way around a movie set, a newspaper editorial board, a back-alley drug deal, and, regrettably, a growing number of church pulpits. Satan is relentless, and Scripture teaches he will fight until the end.
Why doesn’t God forgive Satan? Satan does not want God’s forgiveness. He has no desire for divine mercy. Satan’s singular goal is conquest; his chief ambition is to rule the whole of creation (Isaiah 14:12–14). His methods and ploys are many:
Based on the prophetic teachings of the Bible, the worst is yet to come. During a tumultuous time known as the seventieth week of Daniel (commonly referred to as the tribulation period), Satan will install a puppet ruler, the Antichrist, who will bring temporary peace and prosperity before plunging the world into the bloodbath known as Armageddon (Matthew 24; Revelation 16:12–16; 19:11–20). Thankfully, Christ Jesus, our conquering hero, will soundly defeat Satan’s army, thus ending Antichrist’s worldwide reign of terror. As to Satan, he will be bound and held captive during the Lord Jesus’ one-thousand-year reign over the earth from His throne in Jerusalem (Revelation 20:1–6).
There have been human lawbreakers who repented of their crimes and became followers of Jesus Christ while in prison. The loss of one’s liberties and the harsh realities of incarceration have motivated many to accept our Savior’s forgiveness. Because of His boundless mercy, the Lord Jesus has never turned away a repentant convict, regardless of the magnitude of his or her crime, yet, like the ten notorious Nazi war criminals, the hardness of their hearts has and will cause many to resist the Lord until the bitter end. Even after a thousand years in chains, Satan will refuse to wave the white flag of surrender; on the contrary, he will be eager to resume his battle against God and His people:
Why doesn’t God forgive Satan? Satan is repulsed by the concept of mercy and will continue his doomed plans for universal conquest until the end. Satan’s heart is perpetually fixed on evil; he cannot be mended, only destroyed.