How much access to heaven does Satan have? Why does God allow Satan to enter heaven at times?
The Bible speaks of Satan's rebellion against God (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14) and Jesus said He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18). If Satan was cast out of heaven, why does the Bible record Satan appearing before God at times in heaven? Does he still have this ability today?
The key biblical passage in which Satan appears before God is found in Job 1 and 2. In this context, we find Satan in God's presence: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them" (Job 1:6). He requested permission to attack Job and it was granted. It is at least clear Satan had access to God at that time. No explanation is given for why Satan was given this access. However, it appears to have been limited and by God's clear purpose.
But does this mean Satan can still appear before the Lord today? Scripture is less clear regarding this question, but likely this is still the case. It seems Satan will have some access to God's presence, as God permits it, until Christ returns to earth at the end of the tribulation. At that time Revelation 20:2–3 prophecies, "And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while." After that time, Satan will experience a release and engage God in one final battle before being condemned eternally to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
However, it is also possible Satan will be completely removed from access to heaven shortly before this time. In Revelation 13, it appears Satan will be kicked out of heaven and will be fully engaged in the destruction of the earth during the final three and a half years of the tribulation period. Even so, this means Satan currently has access to heaven and a similar ability to access God as he did in Job 1 and 2.
It is also interesting that the access Satan currently has with God is different than how Jesus describes the access unbelievers in hell have with God. In Luke 16, Lazarus and a rich man both die. Lazarus goes to "Abraham's side," a term used to describe being in God's presence (where Abraham dwells), while the rich man was in agony. The rich man was able to see where Abraham was, but was told, "between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us" (v. 26).
Believers have greater power over Satan through Christ (1 John 4:4), but Satan has many opportunities to attack people still today, just as he did with Job. However, his power is limited, and his time is limited, as God has already declared the future doom of Satan in the end.
Copyright 2011-2021 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.