We know that demons have been active in the world from the first temptation of Adam and Eve until today. But has God started to punish any of them for what they have done to Him and to His creation?
The instant judgment of fallen angels
Some of the angels who followed Lucifer in his heavenly rebellion seem to have already been cast into hell by God to await their eternal judgment:
God didn’t spare angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, where he has secured them with chains of darkness and is holding them for judgment. – II Peter 2:4, GW
And the angels who did not keep their own domain, but rather having left their own habitation, He has kept with everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. – Jude 1:6, EMTV
Old testament prophecies of Satan’s future judgment
We don’t understand why God instantly bound some demons in hell and allowed others to run loose in the earthly realm. But as God revealed spiritual truths to His Old Testament prophets, He revealed the future judgment of both Lucifer and other evil spirits:
Hell from beneath is excited about you, to meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, all the chief ones of the earth; it has raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. They all shall speak and say to you: ‘Have you also become as weak as we?
Have you become like us? Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you.’ How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! – Isaiah 14:9-12a, NKJV
On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the LORD of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders. – Isaiah 24:21-23, ESV
In the first verse above, Satan (Lucifer) will be mocked by unbelieving human rulers who have already died before he himself is cast into hell. In the second verse, the host of heaven refers to fallen angels. At the time of Jesus’ second coming to reign on earth, they too will be thrown into the pit.
Demons can still be sent to hell at any time
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He came into contact with a naked, violent, demon-possessed man who lived among tombs instead of a house. The spirit inside the man ‘cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” … Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.’
Instead, the demons asked Jesus to cast them out into a bunch of pigs. He obliged the thousands of evil spirits, but after they went into the pigs, “the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.” (Luke 8:27-33, ESV)
They thought they were going to at least have a body to stay in for now, but who knows where they ended up. No matter what, they knew that Jesus could send them to hell instantly if He wanted to.
Hell was prepared for demons, not humans
Hell was never meant for humans. God wanted an eternal personal relationship with all of mankind, but because Satan turned humans against God, people who refuse to renew that relationship to God in this life face the same fate:
Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. – Matthew 25:41, EMTV
So we see that eternal punishment was originally prepared for the devil and the fallen angels who followed in his heavenly rebellion.
God still loves us and sent Jesus to die in our place–if we would only believe. He wants us to turn to him while we still have breath or before the return of Jesus on earth.
Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” …The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. – II Peter 3:3,4,9, ESV
Demons don’t have the opportunity to repent and avoid eternal hell, but we do! God’s promise that Christ will return will surely happen. But He has been patient to give us a chance to believe in Him before that happens. Will Christ return in our lifetimes? Who knows, but no matter what, you will physically die at the end of your lifetime. Do you want your soul to join the demons for all eternity or would you rather enter into peace and joy beyond your wildest dreams?
It sounds like this series is over, but not quite. There is one last article: Understanding demons Bible-style, XII, Satan’s two last stands.
If you missed some articles in this series, start from the beginning: Understanding demons Bible-style, an introduction