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Why wasn't Satan punished with death?

Submitted: 8/18/2008
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Question: Dear sirs, if bodily death was a punishment for sin on the human race, then why didn't God also punish Satan with death. Instead he let Satan and his evil hosts continue to exist to harm man and woman until the end of time. Isn't it a bit unfair that man died as a result of his sin, but Satan escaped death. If death was a punishment on Adam and Eve, isn't it true they would still have died even if they had not sinned because they were mortal. Surely the fact that they had to eat food proves they were mortal beings subject to death at some stage. Take this situation for example. If they had not sinned but had to eat food, and say one of them choked on a piece of food, wouldn't their death have been caused by the fact that they were mortal and not due to any sin they had commited?

Answer: First of all, death was not God's punishment for sin; it was the consequence of sin. The punishment God brought upon Adam and Eve was pain (see Genesis 3:16-19). Keep in mind that the purpose of punishment is to correct wrong behavior.

Second, Adam was mortal from the beginning, but he had the opportunity to eat from the tree of life, which would have given him immortality (see Genesis 3:22). Sadly for him, he chose to eat from the wrong tree.

Third, in Genesis 2:17 God said, 'But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.' Furthermore, Romans 5:12 says, 'Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned....' The Bible states emphatically that the reason death is in the world is because the first man disobeyed God. This means that the only reason anyone could choke on food and die is because one day a long long time ago, Adam sinned.

Finally, the reason God did not destroy Satan immediately is because he had a plan of redemption that required an opposing force operating in the world of man. But this is only temporary. The day will soon arrive when Satan will get his just desserts. Revelation 20:10 says, 'The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.' That will be the end of Satan.

As for why man died quickly and Satan did not, perhaps it is because even though Satan is the instigator of sin, man is the perpetrator, which is far more destructive.

We caution you about accusing God of malice. God is perfect in all His ways, even though we sometime do not understand them. He is always good and has never mistreated anyone. Please be careful.