Do You Feel Bad For Demons?
Have you ever wept for a demon? Of course not. Demons are the enemies of your body and soul, and are bent on your total and complete destruction. They want your destruction because they want God’s destruction, and you bear the image of God. There is nothing good in them and nothing to redeem. They are sold over, seared, and all consumed by every form of evil. And this is what you will be if you die in your sin.
One of the common notions and questions that Christians have is how they will have unmitigated joy in heaven while knowing that loved ones are in hell. There are a number of ways to answer that. Very quickly we can say that we will be like God and know his holiness and righteousness in a way that accords with how God knows it. So just as God is not broken and agonizing about people in hell, so we won’t either. Additionally, angels do nothing but rejoice at the judgement that falls upon the wicked and this also is an indicator that they are seeing things differently than we do now.
But the answer I would like to focus on is what happens to people when they are sent to hell and how we will know them in a new way. There are a few preliminary realities to remember. First, they are judged perfectly for all their sin. Every single sin ever done or thought will receive a just accounting. Every factor of upbringing and experience and circumstances will be fully and perfect weighed. This will be a truly perfect judgment. Which is why Capernaum will have a hotter hell than Sodom. Capernaum had more light and more opportunity, which means their rejection has a higher culpability (Matt. 11:23-24). And just so the whole universe is sure, the final act judgment will be a double check that their name is not found in the lamb’s book of life (Rev. 20:12). They will see the blank spot in that book confirming that they rejected the grace of God and chose to bear their own consequences. Secondly, every sinner will receive a resurrected body. This will be a body that can bear the full wrath of God forever. Unspeakable agony will never be stopped by a failing body.
But what about the heart and soul of this condemned person? What will they be thinking about? What will they be doing? Will they be partying with their friends? That is a definite no. But will they be regretting everything? Will they be repenting of sin and crying for mercy? Now that they know without doubt Jesus really is Lord will they worship him? Many said in life that they would worship him if they knew he truly was God. Will the worship begin now that this is clear?
None of this is going to happen. Why? Because for any of that repentance and worship to happen it takes a work of grace upon the heart and there is no grace available in hell. There was grace given in a partial way while that person was on earth. God was lavishing the world with common grace that allowed them to recognize some evil and turn away from it. God’s grace gave them rain and harvests that provided them a measure of thankfulness,(comma) though they never fully directed it toward God. God’s grace allowed them to show some mercy, some generosity, some patience, some kindness, some selflessness and more.
But grace is what is no longer available in hell. Revelation 14:10 says they will “drink the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of his anger…” That means God’s wrath is not mixed with one drop of mercy or one drop of grace. It is only justice, justice, justice. Righteous anger now is what fuels and directs God’s actions toward them.
Without one stitch of grace and mercy, what happens to people? Romans 9 speaks of people as clay that can be made either into a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath. But what about clay that is left on its own? We can say that the clay in hell, completely separated from the mercy of God, will harden completely. It will become totally sold over to sin and evil. Without the restraining grace of God that protected and preserved them all their life on earth, they will now be consumed by hate. Their conscience will be fully and actively condemning them relentlessly, but it will do no good. It will only enflame their fury as they agonize in moral and physical torment.
In essence they will become like demons. Hell was made for Satan and his horde (Matt. 25:41). And the fact that people are also sent to the same place means they now have the same nature. They become unredeemable, the same way that demons were from the moment of their fall.
I believe this is another reason why we will not agonize for our lost family and friends while we are in heaven and they are in hell. While we are still alive and on earth, we do agonize over them. They are partaking in the grace and mercy of God. They are still redeemable. They can see and recognize some features of God’s goodness and beauty. God himself loves them and is sustaining them and calling them to salvation; God takes no delight in the death of the wicked. But once death has happened, once they have rejected grace one last time, they are given completely over to sin and God is right to have nothing but anger for them. They have become like demons. In heaven we will know them as those completely separated from God and conformed to the grotesque and horrific vileness of total evil. We will recognize the full extent of evil, and how our loved ones now are totally given over to it and consumed by it. We will also recognize the rightness of condemnation. We don’t feel bad for demons and we won’t feel bad for family members.
But at the same time we will recognize the shock of grace. We deserved hell. We should have been given completely over. But we weren’t. God snatched us for no reason that we can see. He didn’t give us over to evil, he gave us to his Son as a bride and now we are offered back to God as a people for his own name sake. What amazing grace! What amazing mercy! May we hold that forth zealously to a world that needs to be saved from themselves.