Question: "Is Satan in hell?"
Answer: At the moment, Satan is not in hell. Rather, Satan roams the earth, seeking people to tempt into sin and thus separate from God. First Peter 5:8 states, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” In John 14:30, Jesus called Satan the “prince of this world,” and the apostle Paul referred to him as the “ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2). Satan does not live in hell; he lives and works on the earth and in the heavens circling it.
Satan is the “father of lies,” and he influences and rules the world right now. Satan desires worship (Matthew 4:9), and he uses deceit and distractions to draw man’s focus to himself. The world worships Satan in one way or another, except for those who are of the Kingdom of God and are therefore called out of the devil’s deceptions. If a person is not a child of God, he is by default a child of Satan (see John 8:44; Acts 13:10). First John 3:10 tells us how to distinguish the two: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” James 4:4 explains that anyone who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God. The children of God must come out of the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17).
This is important to know, because soon Jesus will return to earth and collect what belongs to Him. He will defeat the followers of Satan and claim His elect for Himself. Ultimately, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). Afterward, Jesus will judge unbelievers according to what they have done during their lives. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life is thrown into the lake of fire where Satan and his minions will be by that time (Revelation 20:13, 15). Hell and death are also thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14), so, technically speaking, at no time does Satan reside in hell. But he will be confined permanently in a very hot place that could be called a “hellish” location, to be tormented eternally.
The key takeaway for each person is to ensure that his own name is written in the Book of Life so that he may have eternal life in heaven, rather than eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.
© Copyright 2002-2013 Got Questions Ministries.