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Here is proof that initially Judas was called and elected as a Holy Apostle but that he, like King Saul fell from his Holy Calling and election. Judas was one of the twelve that Jesus said would be sitting on one of the twelve thrones in the New Jerusalem. Mat 19:27..Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? Mat..19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus said to them "you that have followed me" He was addressing the 12 which included Judas. Though we know Judas was prophesied of his betrayal, it does not at all mean he wasn't a called and elected Holy Apostle. The point is Judas fell from his glorious calling and the Bible tells us how he fell from that calling. Act 1:25..That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. Here's how the sovereignty of God works. He appoints those who are best qualified at the time. Such as King Saul. Saul was a man that was chosen for his humility. This was revealed when Samuel declared that he had lost his Holy Calling, "when you were small in your own eyes" God made him King. Saul then had a powerful experience where he was filled with the Spirit and the Bible declares he had a new heart. But by and by, pride entered into his heart and he committed serious rebellion, and after which he did not repent but apostatized and lost his Holy Calling. So when they they thwarted God's purpose for their own lives God gave their calling and election to others. Its not as if God was working out his plan of salvation and He says, "Ah whom will I choose to be a bad guy? Ok I will choose this one, and the lot falls to Judas. Poor man you'll wish that you were never born when you realize I created you for this evil purpose. Do you think this is the Nature of God? It wasn't God's divine plan for Judas at all! Judas counted himself unworthy of eternal life when he chose to become a devil. That's why the Scriptures reveal that it was Judas' sin that caused him to lose his election and salvation. If Judas never had a Holy Calling and Election there would be no reason for another to take what was really his. The scripture is very clear on this point, "His office(episkope Greek) let another man take." The Scriptures foresaw the betrayal they did not create it. Jesus also said "I have lost none except" Judas. Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. How did Judas go into perdition "Judas by transgression fell". If you were never saved and never called what could you fall from? His sin was how he lost his election and salvation. Now Jesus' address to the twelve before His death and about the True Vine John 15. It clearly means anyone in Christ that does not continue to abide in Him is cast forth as a withered dried up stick for the fire. Peter told the saints to make their calling and election sure then they would safely enter heaven at the end 1Pet 1. Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John taught, 1Jn 2:24..Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. The conditions are clear and Judas stopped abiding in Christ and his heart became evil by loving ungodly mammon and when dried up God still accomplished His divine purpose with him and then He threw that stick that was once a living branch in Christ into the fire of hell.
Matthew 26:24 "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born." Matthew 26:25 "Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said." In Christ's intercessory or high priestly prayer in John 17:12 he prayed: "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." There is no evidence in scripture Judas ever repented. I believe Christ's words in the previous verse are the most conclusive. ".....none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled".
Mind you, dear friends, that Jesus Himself washed Judas' feet. And that Jesus Himself gave Judas the bread and wine during the Last Supper. Wherever Judas went after his death, it is up to God's decision and not up to our own thinking.
I think we can entertain the possibility that Judas was forgiven for his sin. It is also possible that we may meet Judas Iscariot in heaven. However all this is speculation because forgiveness and confession of sin is a private matter between God and the individual concerned. My opinion is informed by these bible texts Matthew 26:24, John 17:12 and Luke 9:1-6. Based on these verses and more we can establish that Judas was a sincere Jew called by Jesus to be part of His ministry, that Judas like the rest of the apostles had a misconception about the mission of Jesus, they thought that His mission was for relief from the Roman yoke, Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him but still welcomed him into the inner circle. Even though it had been written in prophecy that Jesus was going to be betrayed and sold for 30 pieces of silver, Judas went on to fulfil the prophecy. Therefore to me it begs the question if Jesus knew beforehand that Judas was going to betray Him to a very painful death, even telling him point blank that it was him (Judas) who would betray him, why did Jesus welcome him into the inner circle? It’s possible that God didn’t want Judas to be used by the devil and bringing him closer was a way of trying to keep him out of the devil’s reach. Judas couldn’t say at the end when he realised the gravity of his actions, that he hadn’t been warned. This is probably what drove him to suicide, realizing that after all the warnings, he still went ahead and did it anyway. Mat 26:24 appears to state categorically that the one who would betray Jesus would be very sorry for his actions. It gives the impression that Jesus would be so angry with him that the retribution would be worse than anything we could imagine. However I don’t think that is how God wants us to view Him. Can God be so retributive, vengeful like an angry human being? I wonder. It’s quite possible that Jesus was referring to the mental turmoil that the perpetrator would go through. We need to consider too the fact that Judas was tricked by the high priest and his group. The impression I get is that Judas didn’t really think through the consequences of his actions, he only realised the gravity of it all once the fire was out of control. It reminds me of Eve when she told God “The snake tricked me and I ate” Gen 3:13. In my view Judas was also tricked and forsaken to serious mental turmoil when he realised they were going to kill Him and Jesus wasn’t going to miraculously use His divine power to halt His crucifixion. Given the reward of 30 pieces of silver, today’s equivalent of US$600, it would appear that the transaction was more symbolic than motivated by greed on Judas’ side. His objective in my view was to put Jesus in an impossible situation that would force Him to use His divine power to free Himself, and thus trigger the overthrow of the Romans. One can even consider such a motive as “noble” and not selfish. He planned his act very carefully to manipulate the existing tensions in society. He thought he was cleverer that Jesus, the High Priest and the Romans, that he therefore could manipulate the system and achieve the outcome he wanted. Unfortunately for him it turned out the devil the devil played him. Let’s consider those that nailed Jesus to the cross. As they were driving the nails with fiendish determination Jesus prays to God for their forgiveness because they were not aware of the wider and much bigger picture at play right in front of them. If Jesus could pray for the forgiveness of these people what about Judas? Would Jesus exclude him from this prayer? These people didn’t even ask for the forgiveness. In Mat 27:3, 4 we read actions of a very remorseful Judas on his regrettable actions. The fact that Judas betrayed his Master doesn't disqualify him from grace, or else we also must suffer the same fate as Judas. If we are forgiven so should Judas.
It could be possible that judas was saved, because when Jesus died he went and preached to those that were held captive by death that they might be judged according to those in the flesh giving them opportunity to believe also! When Jesus called judas a son of perdition it was before The suffering of Jesus! Had judgement come then everyone would have been responsible for there own sin debt! Therefore everyone would have been destroyed by death or destruction. When Jesus said have I not chosen you twelve & one of you is a devil he meant judas, but when he talked about his death he also called peter satan so even though judas lost his place on earth doesn't really mean that he lost it in heaven! However let us continue to abide in him as now we are sealed the Holy Spirit of promise!
I appreciate reading the thoughts and scripture references on this subject. I have wondered if Judas, being a Zealot, did accept and believe Jesus was who He said He was. Being a Zealot, perhaps he sought to force or cause Jesus to do what Judas thought Jesus would do, which was call down His Angels and forces of Heaven. Judas may have with great pride (and we know where that gets us) believed he could corner or cause Christ to whip up on Roman rulers. His sin was same as ours, trying to have our will and not seeking God's will in matters. He killed himself because things didn't turn out way he had planned (according to his will and wants).
We can't know for sure but it is possible because he did not commit the unpardonable sin (blaspheming the Holy Spirit). He showed remorse and I believe that remorse is much like repentance. So I believe that he was forgiven but God will have the final say, of course.
Matthew 7:21-23 Many will come before me on that day and call me Lord, and tell me about all there good works. But, they never did the will of my Father in heaven. They say, but Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, we cast out demons in your name, we did many wonderful works, in your name. Jesus says, depart from me I never knew you. Not I did know you and now I don't, I never knew you. Judas was never a believer in Jesus as the savior. He followed Jesus, he probably did all those good works, but he never did the will of His Father in heaven. John 5:24. John 3:18. The thief on the cross did nothing, but believe Jesus was who He said He was, and was saved the instant He believed. Some say Judas was a believer but lost his salvation. It is impossible to lose salvation. John 6:47. Judas was an unbeliever from the beginning. He was the anti Christ. Satan had taken over his body. Even the other Apostles could not tell him from one of them. There are only three who know who has believed on Jesus alone for salvation by grace. The person, God, and Satan. That is why Jesus said, to let the tares, unbelievers grow up with the wheat, believers. We can not tell them apart except for what they say. If you ask an unbeliever how they know they are saved, they will begin to boast in all there good works. If you ask a true believer they will tell how Jesus died paid their sin debt in full so they could go to heaven and receive the free gift of eternal life by faith alone apart from works. Romans 4:5. Romans 11:29. Ephesians 1:13-14. Our guarantee of eternal life. First John 5:13
A majority of commentators say Judas was not saved and “is certainly in hell.” But Judas Iscariot may be portrayed worse than he was. In 1846, William Arthur Darby published, ‘Judas Iscariot, the Argument in His Case, on Scripture Evidence,’ which argued for a different perspective on Judas on which the following is based: Judas believed in Jesus, John 2:11, John 6:47. The words ‘son of perdition,’ John 17:12, do not mean he was not a believer. ‘Perdition’ can be ‘ruined’ or ‘wasted’ as Matthew 26:8. It is the same word ‘lost’ in ‘none of them was lost.’ Comparing this with John 18:8, 9, it indicates that none of the disciples were taken when Jesus was arrested. Judas was lost by not being with the apostles, going on his way of ruin by betrayal. John 6:64 seems to suggest that Judas never believed and was a betrayer from the beginning, but all it says is that Jesus foreknew some disciples would not believe His teachings and that Judas would betray Him. Yet, John 6:69 indicates all the twelve believed. Judas was called the devil, John 6:70, because he would betray Jesus. Jesus did not say he was a devil from the beginning. That Judas was not always a traitor is proven by the fact the authorities only wanted to know where they might find Jesus. The gospel writers designated him as traitor after the fact, Luke 6:16. He must had a reputable character to be sent out as a disciple, Matthew 10:7, 8. He performed miracles and cast out demons. Furthermore, he must have had a high level of integrity to be treasurer. Although Judas was a thief, John 12:6, it is not known how long he had been pilfering, but he could not always have been a thief. If Jesus had picked him knowing he was greedy, His own character would have been questioned. Jesus said Judas was not clean, John 13:10. It does not mean he was damned, but he was defiled, in the act of going to betray the Lord. The woe pronounced by Jesus, Matthew 26:24, did not doom Judas to hell, but was a proverb expressing grief. Some suggest Acts 1:25 means doom, but Judas fell by sin from his position as one of the twelve. Satan influenced Judas’ heart, Luke 22:3, 4, John 13:2, 27. But, Judas was not the only one who was mastered by Satan. Peter was also, Matthew 16:21-23, Luke 22:31. Both Peter and Judas succumbed to temptation. Judas betrayed the Lord; Peter denied the Lord. So, which of these actions was worse? Both grieved terribly and repented. Judas ‘was remorseful,’ and confessed his sin, Matthew 27:3, 4. Peter was restored by the Lord, whereas Judas died before restoration could take place. Jesus predicted all twelve would be enthroned, Matthew 19:28. There is no reason to not consider ‘Judas’ as one of the names in the foundations of the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14. Despite his tarnished record, Judas was saved.
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