This week a question came in that really goes along with last week’s Faith Fix, so if you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so. Here is a snippet of it for our connection to this week: “I will tell you as a fact, it is dangerous as a “believer” to justify our sin, when we sin and we constantly try to point to scripture as to why it’s ok. The scripture never teaches us that it’s ok to embrace sin. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite.“
This week a question of whether or not Judas was saved came up because there are some arguments on both sides of the coin. However, there is plenty in scripture to point to the idea that he was not saved. We know that Judas walked with Jesus in the flesh. He was one of the original Apostles and witnessed first hand the many miracles in His lifetime. There is a point I believe at which we are responsible for what we know. It’s so important that we never underestimate the effects of sin. We know God is a loving God, but He never gives us liberty to live in darkness and still walk with Him.
Let’s look at John 6:64 (NIV), “Yet there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.” This scripture points to the idea that Judas actually did not believe. Though he appeared to walk with the Lord, his heart was never with Him. Think about that in light of your own walk. We can look the part but never make Jesus the Lord of our lives. That should be a sobering thought.
Now, some might say we don’t know what was in Judas’ heart but we can know a lot according to scripture. Did Judas reach the point of no return? Did he never believe in the first place? Let’s look at what Jesus had to say in John 17:12 (NIV), “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.”
Usually this phrase is translated “son of perdition” which is referenced also in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring specifically of the Antichrist, lumping Judas in the same category. Besides this, there is a direct connection here to John 6:39–40 (NASB), which says, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” Jesus was aware that He was able to save all the apostles into eternal life, except for one, Judas, the son of perdition.
Now look at how the ESV translates Matthew 27:3 (ESV), “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.” In my study a certain note says the word used for “remorse” or “changed his mind” is not the same as the one for repentance. Changing his mind because he screwed up is not the same as repenting. I’ve personally witnessed many people who were sorry they sinned but they weren’t repentant. There is a huge difference. It seems to me that the Bible makes a pretty clear case for Judas not being repentant, using rather strong language like “the son of perdition”.
Hebrews 10:26-27 gives us a really important truth to remember, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment…”What we must take away from the account of Judas is the importance of a true change of heart. Without repentance (change) we will not fulfill His call. Judas never went on to serve the Lord. We know that Judas was impacted by the consequences of his actions but we also know that the Lord knows the inner intents and motives of our hearts. This is to say something we have always tried to preach, that it’s important to always check our motivation behind what we do or do not do. Serving the Lord isn’t about works. It’s not about being perfect. But it is about a heart that strives to be right before the Lord because we love Him.
Pastor Jeff and Pastor Renée