The Devil Repents In Venice Beach (The "What if…" of all "What ifs")

What if…

What if the devil repented?  He said that his reign of rebellion was all false.  The angelic host he influenced through devilish propaganda false.  Corruption of humanity and all of God’s creation – a mistake.  Would he and the demonic forces of evil have a second chance?  This is a question I’ve often pondered, which was recently echoed by Mason Slater.

The Bible seems to indicate that one of the settled matters of reality is that God has determined that the powers of evil will remain hell-bent on rebellion until the consummation.  The difficult part of this question is that the Bible is a bit ambiguous on the idea of Angels / Demons in general.  There’s plenty we know… there’s even more that we don’t know.

This past week I was on a trip to the Los Angeles area for a Seminary class.  One evening was spent in Venice Beach.  While enjoying some pasta, an odd sight (which isn’t irregular at Venice) emerged:

Taken with my iphone at Venice Beach

Apparently this man is a novelist who has written a book called “The Devil Repents.”  Here is a summary of the plot:

After eons of evil atrocities, the devil finally takes us into his realm of raw ungodliness that he daily sows in mans hearts and minds. But why?..Has he finally come to his senses? Is the universes first outlaw willing to put up a white flag and cut a deal a deal with, God, in exchange to put an end to evil on earth, and bring, Jesus,’ prayer of Matthew 6:10 ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

Will God even except a deal from the devil? If so what are the terms and conditions of the deal? Can God trust the devil? No one knows what’s in the devils heart because the devil is a liar. And can not hide from the words of Revelation 12:12 long written down,“For the devil knows that his time is short.” So is the devil trying to stitch together a last ditch plan of salvation to save his sin sodden soul from being ‘bound and cast into the bottomless pit.’  Are his intentions genuine? Can the devils intentions ever be genuine? Truth or lie, either way, what thread would the devil use to stitch his crazy plan of salvation together?..

This is where the world’s most famous horror fiction writer, a mega famous, A-list personality and stanch atheist gets sucked into a confluence of unfortunate events, that is not a plot, or a story, or a tale, but a situation, his real life situation, where his art imitates it, and where his real life imitates his art, with the lines between the two blurred by the devil himself. The devil delves deep into his bag of deceptions and revels his most guarded secrets to this superstar on how he deceives us humans. But no longer, because the people of the world will gain an insight on the devils modus operandi which is important because now the tables are turned on the devil and he shall deceive us humans no more.

This is were you, yes you, the ‘regular cups of coffee people’ of the world could possibly get involved along with this famous writers real life situation and voice your opinion. So get ready and gather your evidence against he chaos king, because the time is long over due to bring the Lords prayer from Matthew 6:13, to pass, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” Who is no other then Satan, the great dragon of old, the serpent, the evil, a.k.a. the devil himself.

Whatever you may think about this novel, the advertising campaign is quite compelling… a man dressed like the devil, carrying a cross… the best attention grabber I’ve seen in quite some time.  Sacrilege… yes, that should probably be said as well :-)   My mention of the book is NOT an endorsement.

That said, could the devil ever choose to repent?  Is his history set in stone?  If repentance is possible, would this contradict what’s revealed in the New Testament about the devil’s end?  What are your thoughts on this “what if” of all the “what ifs”???

 

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  • Rene Kruger

    “The only unforgiveable sin is sin against the Holy Spirit.” Kinda think that ship has sailed for ole Nick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doulos05 Jonathan Bennett

    Set in stone by God? No. Set stone by the fact that the devil lacks, or has destroyed through centuries of constant and habitual sin, what imago dei he had at the beginning? I believe, yes. Absent from the image of God in your life, I believe it’s impossible to repent. Here, I agree with CS Lewis and his assessment of what hell is. Honestly, I’d almost argue Satan is ‘in hell’ right now, bound by a pride that long ago consumed all else in his soul to a decision he must regret (assuming he’s rational. I mean, no rational person chooses to continue a battle when to fight is to die and to surrender is life and restoration), yet refuses to reject because it has literally become all he knows.

  • http://www.gentlewisdom.org.uk/ Peter Kirk

    The devil tried to cut a deal with the Son of God once before, Matthew 4:1-11, but Jesus would have none of it. When your enemy is on the run, don’t offer him any concessions. Only unconditional surrender can be accepted, from the devil just as from us.

  • http://www.theology21.com jonathan Keck

    This all cuts at the heart of election and free will. You are not the first to ponder these questions nor the last I would guess. Origen was convinced that Satan would eventually fall to his knees, confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and ask for forgiveness. But he was the first “universalist” theologian—so we are told. 

    The Reformed position teaches that Lucifer was created for the very purpose of what he is—to be evil, a liar, and to lead people to Hell. 

    I find this unsatisfactory. I believe we all have volitional will. And if we all have volitional will, then Satan must as well. If Satan doesn’t have a choice, than God (in my mind) is responsible for authoring evil. No, he chose to not follow God. 

    And if he chose to not follow God, he can certainly repent. That being said, would repentance from an etherial creature matter? Not really. God became man to pay the penalty for the sin of humans. He did not become an angel…so Christ’s blood would not cover non-humans. Or is his sacrifice universal in the sense of covering the sins of all possible life? (WOWZERS, a HUGE question—especially if there is life is intelligent life in other parts of the universe). 

    Ultimately, we can be confident that God knows all that will happen and Revelation is clear that the Devil and his demons will be thrown into Hell. This is not a possibility—this is actuality (in my opinion and according to my hermeneutic). 

  • Stephen G. Parker

    I have not read the book – and probably won’t – so I have no idea what kind
    of “deal” it is which the author believes the devil will “cut” with God. But
    there are a couple of places in the letters of Paul which I believe conclusively
    answer the question of whether or not ’the devil” will eventually be “saved”:

     

    Colossians 1:19 and 20: “For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to
    dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself ALL THINGS, whether ON EARTH or
    IN HEAVEN, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

     

    Philippians 2:9-11: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him
    the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE should
    bow, IN HEAVEN and ON EARTH and UNDER THE EARTH, and EVERY TONGUE confess that
    Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

     

    Paul was convinced that “all things” were reconciled to God by Jesus Christ,
    and “every knee” would bow and “every tongue” would confess his lordship to
    God’s glory (and surely God will not be glorified by a false and hypocritical
    “confession of faith” brought about by compulsion but not true conversion). In
    Colossians Paul said everything “in heaven and on earth” were reconciled. In
    Philippians he added another region: “under the earth”. By those terms Paul
    certainly included ALL creation. Whether Satan is among the dark powers in
    HEAVENLY PLACES, or has been cast down to THE EARTH, or is chained in THE
    BOTTOMLESS PIT (UNDER THE EARTH), he is included in the enumeration of ALL who
    are or will be reconciled.

     

    But then, I am obviously an “unblushing, bleeding-heart-liberal universalist” :grin:  ; so probably my opinion won’t count for much among most of your readers.
    It seems to me it was the opinion of Paul also, though; was he also an
    “unblushing, bleeding-heart-liberal”?

     

    The All Wise, All Knowing, Most Gracious, Most Just, and Most Powerful has
    both the knowledge and power to be able to bring everyone back to Himself, yet
    in such a way that the “free will” with which He has endowed them is not
    abrogated or trampled on.

     

    The “fire” of “hell” purifies the person while destroying the evil works; so
    people are said to be saved by fire in 1 Corinthians 3. Mark 9:49 has Jesus
    saying that EVERY ONE will be “salted with fire”. I believe it’s clear that
    Satan also will be purified eventually by the “lake of fire”. All of the evil
    which adheres to him will be burned away, so that the original “image of God”
    will again shine forth in all its glory.

     

    Origen was certainly a universalist – but it seems to me that he was
    certainly not the first of them, and of course he wasn’t the last. 

     
     
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/doulos05 Jonathan Bennett

      Sure, you can glorify something under compulsion (If glory retains it’s Hebraic meaning of ‘weightiness’, so therefore glorify means “to ascribe weightiness to”). You can certainly bow before a lord you don’t willingly recognize and confess them despite your strong revulsion towards them.

      • Stephen G. Parker

        Certainly one can (and many do) ‘bow’ to God as Lord while inwardly hating him. The question is whether God is pleased with this, and considers it honoring or ‘glorifying’ to Him.

        I can’t imagine what the strictly literal meaning of ‘weightiness’ means in such a phrase: “to the weightiness of God the Father”. Strong’s Concordance gives the meaning of the Greek word “doxa” as “dignity, glory [-ious], honor, praise, worship”. And while the Hebrew word is said to mean “properly weight”, it is used “only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness”.

        If God considers it honoring to Him for men or angels to call Him or his appointed Messenger “Lord” while disdaining Him in their hearts, why does He castigate people in this way: “This people draws near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”? Why does Jesus denounce supposed followers with these words: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, but do not do the things that I say”? Why does he say that on the day of judgment many will call him Lord and claim to have wrought wonderful things in his name – but he will tell them to depart because he never knew such people? Does that sound like Jesus or his Father were ‘glorified’ by such false ascriptions of Lordship? Maybe it sounds like that to some people, but it certainly doesn’t to me. :smile:

        So when I read that everything in heaven and earth has been or will be reconciled to God, I believe it. And when I read that everything in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will bow and confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, I “confess” that it sounds very much to me like a unanimous (“with one accord”) ascription of praise to Jesus Christ and the God whom he served. It is the “whole congregation” lifting up its voice “with one mind and one heart”. It is only such heartfelt praise that God finds honoring to Him, and which He will accept. Even though it may take the corrective punishment of “the fire” to bring people and angels to repentance, it will be accomplished. “To God be the glory”.

  • Matteo

    As I am neither God nor Satan and don’t know Satan’s heart I can’t make a judgement. Any opinion might make me an enemy of God. God does what He want, how He wants, when He wants, with whom He wants and it doesn’t matter what “I” opine.

    I am curious as to where in the Bible it says that Satan or angels have free will? It’s my undertandibg that they do God’s bidding (Psalm 103, Jude 1).

    I have to admit that I simplly do not accept Isaiah 14 as referring to Satan (as Lucifer). Job is pretty clear on what Satan’s role is as God allows. And I think Jesus’ statements about him are pretty clear that his function is to find fault. All that Satan tempts Jesus with is what Jesus us all ready given to him. The fault that Satan tests to find is that Jesus is susceptible to weakness (sin) as we are. God tests, Satan tempts.

  • http://twitter.com/DanMcMonagle Dan McMonagle

    Interesting.    I wouldn’t say Satan couldn’t possibly repent.  I’d say he didn’t, in the future, the past or the present…..

    We are so stuck in our “timeline” way of thinking, we can’t perceive otherwise.  The way I’ve understood it is that, although we’re “in time”, God is outside of our timeline.  The picture of judgment in revelation would be from the vantage of outside the timeline — God is already there, it’s already “happened”, it’s just we’re behind it on the timeline.

    SO….   No, I don’t think Satan can repent…. he’s already refused to repent, even in the future.
     

  • http://www.fatherhoodetc.com David Ozab

    Judging by his pitch, I hope he hired an editor for his book. Perhaps a ghostwriter as well. I have trouble believing he has representation. 
    His poor writing aside, my biggest issue with the premise as stated in his pitch is that the devil would be able to bargain. Repentance isn’t about bargaining. We don’t get to bargain for our salvation, neither should he. So he’s both a lousy writer and a lousy theologian.Otherwise, the premise is intriguing and not unheard of. Origen thought everyone might be saved at the end, including the devil. St. Gregory of Nyssa suggests the possibility as well. In both cases, though, this restoration was going to wait until the final judgement. See Apocastasis for more on this idea.The Catholic Catechism defines the unforgivable sin as final impenitence. This makes sense, and I think it’s the general opinion among Christian theologians (please correct me if I’m wrong). Since Satan had the beatific vision before he rebelled, it’s possible that “the ship has sailed for ole Nick.” (funny line, Rene) But Jesus was speaking to people not to angels and we have no real idea what happened to cause some of them to fall.So not likely, but I’m reluctant to say not possible since, well, we all know Matthew 19:26. I’d pull out a cliché like “when hell freezes over” but according to Dante it already has and the devil’s still there.

    • http://www.fatherhoodetc.com David Ozab

      Sorry for the run-on text. Lost my paragraphs for some reason. Ironic, that I criticize poor writing and editing only to end up with lousy formatting.

  • Tripp

    This is great. If the first fallen creature had the ‘choice’ to rebel–and how could a perfectly good creature who has yet to fall every decide or ‘choose’ to do anything but will the good? As Augustine and Milbank rightly argue, free will is an invention that occurs AFTER the fall, not before–then why would it lack the choice to say, ‘my bad’? Ah, good stuff.

    Anyway, I apologize for such a plug as this, I really do–sort of–but this is just too timely. Just in case this interests anyone at all, check out this forthcoming book: http://amishjihadi.com/the-devil-wears-nada-2/

    Peace, kids!

  • Salem

    Dan McMonagle hit it on the head. He can’t because he wont/didn’t in the future.

    Plus, I don’t think any of us wants to really delve into the internal workings of someone that dark and twisted by pride. I get the impression without exception we would all be shocked by what we would find in the devil’s heart. Scary, disturbing stuff. Aleister Crowley was probably one of the most effectively awful people that history knows about. Satan’s worse.

    The amount we don’t know about how bad a created being can get, probably the better. I don’t know if it’s healthy to spend too much time speculating about this stuff but the question was asked.

    Imagine this, if it’s been thought up or been done by humans at any point in history he probably exemplifies the worst expression of it we can or can’t imagine. I doubt any of us can put ourselves in Satan’s shoes to even understand the amount of hatred and hardness he feels towards God and us.

  • Philipgarbarino

    This is Phil Garbarino…thanks for your thoughts and well wishes, if the devil repents it will bring Jesus prayer,’On earth as it is in Heaven,’ to fruition…read chapter 1 and if u like please grab a copy on amazon…thanks again, Phil Garbarino

  • Michael

    I am a documentary filmmaker currently engaged in a film about the author of the novel. Please support the film and the book on facebook.
    Thank you all for any support you lend. The author is a good friend and the circumstances surrounding his life are intriguing and heart felt.
    http://vimeo.com/45832978

  • Tsk Tsk

    *accept a deal


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