2000-05-25 - Judgment of Fallen Angels
The Judgment Series, Part 4
Jude 6-7 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. 7 Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (NAS)
One of the saddest parts of the Bible for me is the fall of the anointed cherub, Lucifer. He was given as much as any created being would ever have in beauty and position. The only being that Lucifer was accountable to was his Creator. We might say, he had it all. Somewhere inside him, it was not enough. He aspired to more than what he was. The only thing left was to become more than was possible. In his pride he rebelled in a futile attempt to overthrow God. Isaiah 14:13-14 records the five "I will..." statements that fueled the pride of this splendid angelic being. But he was a created being none the less. Ezekiel 28:15-19 records the original state of Lucifer, his fall and God's expulsion of him and the severity of his punishment.
Revelation 12:4 makes a statement, "And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven …" referring to the dragon that symbolizes the fallen rebel and his followers. Whether it was a third of the angels of heaven that followed the enemy or not, there were sadly those convinced that a created being had a chance to overthrow his omnipotent Creator. Some number joined him in his rebellion and were cast out of heaven. Just like Adam and Eve when they rebelled against the instruction of God, the angels entered a fallen state of broken fellowship with God.
There is a difference between the angels and humanity. The angels were created as glorified, eternal beings. Adam and Eve were prevented from eating the fruit tree of life to keep them from living forever in a fallen state. If that had happened, the human race would have been damned with no hope of redemption. Because angels were created as they were, they have no opportunity for redemption. In Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4, the angels that "left their own domain" and cohabitated with women (Gen 6:1-4) were immediately confined because of the gross sin that they committed. No opportunity for repentance, but swift and severe judgment.
1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-- things into which angels long to look. (NAS)
Read back a few verses here and you will quickly see that the things the angels long to look into are the salvation and grace that are extended to humanity. They are not things that have ever been extended to their race and is a mystery to them. They stood ready to come to the defence of their Captain as He hung on the cross of Calvary. But the call never came. They did not understand He had come to die for sinful man to break the chains of sin and to crush the power of death and hell over us. This incredible love that is beyond our comprehension is apparently beyond the understanding of angels as well.
1 Cor 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life? (NAS)
The time is not specified, but is probably after the millennium, nor is the place of judgment specified. But we are told that we will participate in the judging of these fallen beings. What we will see could have been the fate of each one of us. These creatures will be judged by their actions, by their rebellion against the Lord. Each one will come forward, one by one. And one by one they will be found guilty and sent from the presence of God into Hell. Without the redemptive work and love of Christ, this would be the bleak, terrible future for each of us. But because Jesus came and paid the price the law required, we have been freed and the door to Heaven has been opened. It is now somehow up to us to respond to the call of grace and mercy offered to us. All we have to do is give up the tattered life that we can not keep, for the victorious life Jesus won for us. The work was completely finished on the cross. All we have to do is repent and accept the salvation Jesus provides.
Lord Jesus - as we see the hopeless future that awaits the angels that have rebelled against You, we see a picture of the judgment we have been saved from suffering. It is just one more example of how much has been done for us, of the unimaginable debt we owed that You paid. It also shows the power of Your salvation and the depth of Your grace and mercy. Thank you and keep us mindful so that we can be more grateful. Amen.
Grace & Peace,