Why are human beings redeemable, while Satan and the demons are not? In the hour of His suffering and death, the Lord Jesus Christ answered this question for us.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Early in its history, the human race fell into the darkness of blind deception through the agency of an outside influence. In full knowledge of his sin, Adam chose to believe the devil rather than God. “Adam was not deceived” (I Timothy 2:14). However, his choice led him into a blindness toward God and truth passed down to all of his offspring through the ages. “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not” (II Corinthians 4:4). Until we believe, this devilish darkness enshrouds our understanding of God and His ways to the degree that the Lord views us as redeemable, although we all remain responsible for our unbelief and sin.
This is not the case with the devil and his minions. No outside influence led Lucifer to forsake his relationship to God and the unique place given to him in the Divine purposes.
“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee… thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:14-15; 17).
Fallen angels were fully aware of their rebellion. With minds fully cognizant of their sin, Satan and those who became demons looked God square in the face, as it were, and refused to continue in His fellowship and purposes. The “LightBearer” (the meaning of the name “Lucifer”) fell from the Light, while in the Light and fully knowledgeable of his determination. Thus, he cannot be redeemed, nor can those who joined him in his willful rebellion. “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
As we witness and pray for those who do not believe, let us remember that both blindness and willfulness characterize the hearts of fallen humanity. “They know not what they do” declared the Savior as wicked human hands nailed their Maker to a cross of shame, sorrow, agony, forsakenness and death. This same Christ is a Redeemer of those who still walk in darkness, but who are subject to coming forth into the Light if only they will turn their blinded eyes toward the One who enables us to see.
“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”