How can I answer Bill Maher's question from his documentary: If God loves us, why doesn't he just destroy the devil?

By November 20, 2014 37 Comments

Full Question

Have any apologists seen the Bill Maher movie “Religulous”? In it, he asks why God wouldn’t have already destroyed the devil to protect his children. While I understand how ridiculous this question is, I’m having trouble eloquently phrasing an answer.


Without having seen the film, it is obvious from what you write that Maher is confining God to the limitations of the human situation. He judges God as if God were only a bigger version of him. Without faith, he can’t think outside of the human box. What for some appears to be sophistication, for those who believe appears a rather sad naiveté and anger that is expressed in sarcastic humor and sometimes bitterness.
That God loves us in an infinite way is impossible for us to fully grasp even with faith. It is only when one considers God’s willingness to join us in our human situation and allow himself to be tortured and put to death on our behalf that we get a handle on how much beyond our feeble minds his infinite love extends. Certainly, not everyone is privy to this. To have faith, one must have a humble awareness of one’s inadequacy and need for it.


  • Thomas R says:

    I’m quite Catholic, so I’m worried about saying this, but that didn’t exactly answer the question did it? I mean maybe it’s the hour or I’m not thinking clearly enough.

    • God doesnt destroy any soul he created because he loves them.no matter the choices they make it’s the soul that rejects him not vice versa

    • God do not destroy the devil because he is an intelligent and spiritual creature that failed in his test of faith and for that reason condemned to hell as we do if we failed, but because of his mercy he do not destroyed him, as we are not destroyed if we are condemned, the fact of being condemned is better than the fact of disappear from existence.

    • K. Semyonov says:

      I agree. The answer skirted around the subject of faith but nothing was said about the question. On larger scale we mustn’t worry about what Maher or anybody else is saying. Our own faith is what’s important. God uses people like Maher to test it. Let’s be strong!

    • Betty says:

      After reading this, that was my exact same response. I’m not even sure about what point was being made in the answer.

    • Abraso Cruz says:

      I guess God has His own reasons on why He did not destroy the devil. Whatever the reason we humans can only speculate.

    • You a right, the question ha
      sn’t been answered correctly. Perhaps the old church fathers have the best answer: “If it wasn’t for the hatred of the of the executioner, we wouldn’t have the patience of the martyrs” . Satan is a mere instrument of sanctification, another color in the pallet of God artist.

    • Arnel Bustillo says:

      God allows the devil (thru temptations, trials, and sufferings) to test our faithfulness in HIM. If we are able to endure the temptation just like when he was tempted by the devil, the ultimate reward is eternal life. The Lord grant blessings also far more than we can imagine in this earthly life. Life here on earth is a combination of joy and sorrow which is what Jesus experienced.

  • Gian says:

    The answer provided is more of a criticism on the question Bill Maher made, not necessarily on why God did not destroy the Devil. Let’s be honest here. We don’t know God’s plans. But we have faith and we that believe that God has his reasons for doing so. This is not something we can simply explain and answer because we have human and worldly limitations.

  • johnny mc says:

    the devil is only on a leash,god uses the devil to help correct us,we have to earn our way into heaven and go thru thr tribulations that satan throws at us to achieve our eternal life with the good lord!

    • Lars says:

      You cannot earn your way into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 specifically states, “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    • Visuca Mazo de Hopley says:

      I think you’ve got it, Johnny: my thoughts in the matter run parallel to yours; I hope we are right. To this end, I implore of God his Grace for me to understand his ways and… I wish I were Solomon!

  • Abel Francesco Gregory says:

    God doesn’t destroy what he creates……..thats all


  • adanze says:

    This question was not answered. Why indeed has God not destroyed the devil, i can only ssy that there has to be a bigger plan or picture after all only God knows the future if the best thing to do was to destroy the devil He would have done it, we can only trust him to do whats right for His children no one loves us more than He does. But sometimes the dificulties, disappointment, pain, heartbreak, depression, betrayal, hurt, grief make us doubt and wonder why…… So instead lets pray for Bill Mahner, he may have expressed or seen something that painful that makes him doubt. No matter what lets not lose sight of Gods love for us.

  • Mark says:

    The question was never answered. Please address the question directly please.

  • amaliababaran says:

    someday,bill maher you will fall on your kness aknowledging GOD and beg for HIS mercy.its too bad people like you use GOD an issue to gain attentions and get even for just a second minutes of fame..

  • Linette says:

    Lucifer (satan) was one of Gods angel who was cast out of heaven and into hell Because he thoght he was equal or bigger than God no one is.God has proved over and over how much he loved us, he gave us free will to choose our path just as he gave a choice to his angel in heaven when some followed lucifer and finally lovied us by sending and sacrificing his only Son to save us. Satan on the other hand tempts the weak and vunerable, i suppose God could have destroyed satan just as God could have made us all love him unconditioally but here lies the problem God wants us to come to him willingly and so satan stays to lure us and tempt us away from him. This is our test to see how much we love him and also to see if we forsake him .

    • Visuca Mazo says:

      “Freedom is for those who know how to use it” – Linette, I am quoting my father: a Lawyer. He told me this during my formative years and I have never forgotten it because it is SO TRUE and to the point.

  • Michael says:

    Truely the answer does not respond to the question asked. let me try to answer it in my perspective. Lets look at this way, a customer visited a barber salon for a hair-cut and the customer on his way to the barber’s shop saw hungry and depraved people on his way, on getting to the barber’s shop he complained bitterly of his experience and blamed God for it. The barber not knowing what to say, went into a deep thought and at some point came to realization and he did ask this following question
    1. On your way sir you saw hungry and deprave people innate
    2. do you blame God for their state?
    3. Why don’t you start from the victims
    For you to get anything from God, you need to welcome him in your heart in faith , believing he is your only source of solution. sir, the barber went further, you noticed firstly that you needed to have your hair cut then you decided on seeking solution which moved or led you to my shop. Same way sir, the word of God encourages us to seek God in faith. Am not saying in any way that one will not experience hardship or pain in Christ but Jesus Christ said in his word…. my yoke is lighter. Also, remember the scripture in the psalmist word … he that break the edges the serpent will bite… and how do will break the edge? through sin. At the harvest God will judge the satan and his fallen angels. In Africa there is a proverb that say you don’t throw a bath water away with the baby…you need to finish washing the baby before throwing the water. God definitely has a blame for the devil, that is why it is said the end of the wicked one is already known

  • James Mario says:

    John 3:16 crowned it all ,and Jehovah GOD loves us so much that he wants us to Know Him much by not destroying the devil …

  • vu thien an says:

    i don’t think this answer is convincing enough.
    the question was made because those asking that question may have no faith or be skeptical. so what’s the point when the answer is just based on faith?

  • Erica J. says:

    If God were to destroy the devil, then he destroy our free will as well. Our love for him cannot be true if there is no other option.

  • Visuca Mazo says:

    WOW!! Do anyone need MORE answers?!… – Has Maher read ?… “better dead than ‘duffers’ “. – The fact that God allowed us to pitch our brains and strength against the devil and ‘friends’ speaks VOLUMES! Do we strife to STUDY, PRAY, UNDERSTAND GOD, or do we choose to be ‘duffers’?…

  • Jose says:

    We have to understand God is great we cannot compare him to use humans. He doesn’t feed off emotions like people do. Vanishing the devil is something a person would do. God is great and loves everything he created. He’s not going to destroy it cause he doesn’t like it. That is something a human would do

  • Bill Fisher says:

    Well he plans to do just that, but he has allowed sufficient time for the devil and his seed to act out there claim that they can rule themselves indecently of his theocracy and prove successful. From the evidence, they have been proved wrong as man has brought this planet to the point of annihilation. When Jehovah does execute judgement on the devil and his seed there will be no question before all creation as to the right of it.

  • Chris Tersin says:

    God didn’t destroy the devil because there is no god or devil. the story makes no sense except as a human myth designed to keep children and peoples in line. All these replies are variations on, “it must be true and it must make sense because that’s what I’ve been told and what the bible says.” Faith is the refusal to think.
    -Raised Catholic, respect good works, the rest is bunk

    • Joachim says:

      “Faith is the refusal to think”
      To think what? That you can do the same without faith? That you can’t have both faith and thought? That you can settle down a question with “is bunk” as an answer because you started to have faith and stopped thinking about it?

    • Victor Okolie says:

      WOw interesting…..!! But why do you think that there is no God?

  • Victor Okolie says:

    Can you destroy what you didn’t create?Did God create evil? Does evil exist in the sight of God…… Evil is never created, it’s only a deprivation…….. Human creatures were created saints, but we lost it all when sin injured our human nature…. We lost our relationship with God…. But God kept on searching for a way to reconcile us to himself (remember, your existence is out of his love and mercy… He must not have created human if not out of love.. Love made him to make us in his own image and likeness!! If he didn’t love us, why did he not create other creatures out of his own image and likeness? )……….. This is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us and restore healing to our soul…….. Through Christ’s death and Resurrection, Devil was destroyed……. We were freed from sin…. We were given opportunity to be called children of God again….. However, we have our free will, We choose the path to follow ourselves……

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