She was persistent. Hung around. Waited after the service was over. And then (as her mom encouraged her) she asked, Does God love Satan?
Almost 40 years serving Jesus and his wonderful people, but never heard that one.
It's a good question, one of those enigmatic inquiries that demands more than an "elevator" (i.e., 30 seconds or less) reply.
When I asked a ministry colleague this morning the same question, there came a quick "No." But then, a pause. "Well..." and some uncertainty persisted.
My answer goes something like this. Scripture tells us that everything that God created was 'good,' in fact (according to Genesis 1:31) 'very good.' Elsewhere we are told that God's mercy is over all that He has made (Ps. 145:9)
When God the Son brought all created things into being (cf. John 1:1-2), included was the company of angelic beings. Biblical interpreters suggest that the prophet Isaiah, in describing the Satan inspired and empowered King of Babylon, also spoke about the creation and fall of an angelic being named 'the Day Star, Son of the Dawn' (Is. 14:12). The designation "Lucifer" comes from the Latin of those names. If Isaiah's description of the King of Babylon's heart attitude (Is 14:13-14) was a recapitulation of what went on in Lucifer's angelic heart, this beautiful angel sinned against God and was cast out of God's presence.
The result? Lucifer in pride became Satan (the deceiver), along with a host of angels that fell with him (becoming demons). This host of prideful, evil beings has been working to "steal, kill, and destroy" (Cf. John 10:10a) in God's creation, opposing God's purposes and people every step of the way. These are confirmed in their evil, and are destined for what Revelation describes as a "lake of fire" (Rev. 19:20).
So...the answer? "God does love the angel that He created, but He hates what that fallen, sinful angel has become, and what he does to destroy what is good and holy and pure and right. Satan the author of sin and has been lying and deceiving and sinning from the beginning (so says John in 1 John 3:8). There is no hope for Satan's redemption."
Quite a question, no doubt coming from a heart that heard on Sunday (from Jonah) that no one can be too far away from God but that God won't hear and respond. Unfortunately, the evil opposer, Satan, is unredeemable, according to Scripture.
JESUS DIED FOR US...ANY HUMAN BEING IS REDEEMABLE
The writer to the Hebrew believers reminds them, "For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:16). God the Son came to die for the rebellion and sin of human beings made in God's image; he rose from the grave to give them eternal life.
While this question sobers us about the sealed fate of those beings in the angelic world, it also spurs us to think about those around us whose fate has not yet been sealed. Every person we know, no matter how sinful or far from God, can be brought into God's family through repentance and faith.
Where sin abounds, God's grace abounds still more. Such is the message of Jonah, and the wonderfully repentant Ninevites who responded to God's stern warning of judgment.