Does God love Satan?

Question
Since God is perfect and that which is perfect is love, doesn't God love Satan? What about Matthew 5:44? Doesn't God love his enemies?
Answer
You are correct in that God is perfect (Deut. 32:4; Psa. 18:30; 145:13, etc.) and he is also love (1 John 4:8; 4:7, 16). However, it does not necessarily follow that God also loves Satan. We must remember that God is also holy, righteous, and good (cf. Rom. 7:12) and as such he does not and cannot love Satan (Psa. 5:4; 34:16; Hab. 1:13).

God loved all his creatures that he created before they rebelled and commenced hating him. When God created Satan, a mighty angel, he was not all he is now (cf. Col. 1:16). In the beginning, Satan was created very good. However, when Satan rebelled against God, he became corrupt both in the totality of his nature and all his ways. He now embodies everything that is absolutely evil. He is proud (cf. Isa. 14:12-15); a deceiver (Acts 13:10); a thief (Luke 8:12); the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44); a schemer (Eph. 6:11); the tempter (1 Thess. 3:5); the evil one (Matt. 6:13); the adversary (1 Pet. 5:8) who comes but to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10); and the personification of everything that is the opposite of God. As such, Satan is everything that God hates.

With reference to Matthew 5:44, Jesus does instruct us to love our enemies, but this command is for human relationships in this world. Since Christians love God, we are to love others whom are made in God's image as well (Gen. 1:27). But Scripture does not record that angels are made in God's image. And Scripture does not instruct us to love angels, especially those which are non-elect (1 Tim. 5:21; cf. Matt. 4:9-10; 25:41; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 1:6).

In the “now but not yet” reality, Satan is already a defeated being (Col. 2:15) who will be eternally tormented in an everlasting hell (Rev. 20:1-10).

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).