Why does God Keep Satan Around?

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I recently received this very intriguing question: “Why does God Keep Satan Around?”

To answer this question, it helps for us to know about the story of redemption that God began writing since the creation of the world.

Somewhere in history (presumably at the fall, when Adam and Eve first sinned) Satan was given a “legal right” or “dominion” over the earth.

In Ephesians 2:2, Paul talks about Satan, calling him: “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”  

Certainly, God was still in control. But consider this:

In Luke 4:6-7, Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and tempts Jesus with this offer: “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Emphasis mine.)

I don’t think Satan was lying. If he were, Jesus would have known his bluff, and the temptation would not have been legitimate. But then everything changed! Jesus died and rose from the dead, destroying the powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15). He triumphantly declared, “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18).

Yes, Satan continues to exert power — but without authority. His power is illegal.

So why is Satan still around?

This brings us back to the original question: Why does God keep Satan around? Because a much greater plan is unfolding!

God has given the ministry of building His Kingdom to us, the Church. It’s our role, as His sons and daughters, to live for God and exercise His rule in the name of Jesus. Don’t miss this free Mp3 download of Josh’s excellent teaching on the authority God has given you!

Could God instantly end Satan’s power? Sure. But God is maximally glorified as we, His Church, exercise His authority in our fight against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). All authority has been given to us on heaven and on earth. We can be confidently fervent, knowing the power we hold because of Christ Jesus.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for us, Satan is already defeated! Let’s believe it and act like it.

Satan works hard to blind Christians to the authority they hold over him. The bold authority that God delegates to all believers upon their salvation.

We may likely experience great pain during this intense battle. But let your trials serve to heighten your ability to worship God now, and even more when you finally get to see Him face-to-face!


Matthew Tingblad is a communicator at Josh McDowell Ministry with a seminary education from Talbot School of Theology.

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3 Responses to “Why does God Keep Satan Around?”

  1. Eric Cicero

    I believe that unfortunately ever since the fall, Satan plays an integral role in freewill. Would there be freewill if Satan didn’t exist?

    • Matthew Tingblad

      Hi Eric! You ask an interesting question. It seems to me that free will is bound up in the nature of God who himself was a free agent before Satan ever existed. Although Satan tries to influence our decisions, we are still responsible before God for the decisions we make, and so we are still sovereign over our choices whether or not Satan is there to try influencing them. Also, a lot of decisions we make in our free will are morally-neutral. For instance, we have free will whether to make our toast with Rye or Wheat bread in the morning. All this goes to say that free will can and does exist even if Satan were not around. However, we know that when Christ returns, sin will be destroyed. So free will is going to look much different.



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