What is the end of Satan? If the imprisonment and restraint of Satan for a thousand years is the beginning of the end, what is the end? We find this, perhaps not surprisingly, in Revelation 20:7-10: “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” It is striking to note that this account is very similar to one of the passages we read when we looked at the beginnings of Satan, in Ezekiel 28:18-19: ““You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.” ’ ””
The end of Satan is not something therefore that is a new or surprising thing. We see the same pattern listed in two passages and surely Satan is aware of his destiny. Such a destiny, moreover, cannot be thwarted. Whatever second chance exists for other beings in the Great White Throne judgment, there is no chance for Satan. And yet it does not appear as if knowing he is doomed changes Satan’s reflexive hostility towards God and his desire for trying to deceive humanity. Indeed, as soon as he is released from his imprisonment his first job is to try to deceive humanity at the end of his time just as he did in Eden. This passage is one of the cases where the Bible shows a chiastic structure, ending as it begins, with an attempt by Satan to deceive humanity and thus lead it astray. And quite predictably, when Satan succeeds at deceiving the hordes of humanity in Gog and Magog, the result is an attack on Jerusalem to try to overthrow the Millennial kingdom, with predictable results of death and destruction for those rebels and the punishment of Satan.
And yet if those results are predictable, why is another course of action not chosen? What is it that prevents repentance and remorse? If one knows that rebellion against God and hostility towards humankind will lead to judgment and destruction, why is Satan unable to change his ways? How does the experience of failure when it comes to thwarting God’s will not lead to a change of behavior in ceasing to stop trying to thwart God’s will? What makes Satan think that things will be different this time when they obviously are not different than they were before? And so we end our discussion of Satan in a similar place where we began, reflecting on his deceptiveness and his hostility to God as well as his ultimate fate, a fate that he nowhere shows any interest in thwarting through repentance and changing his ways. Let us not be like him.