Judas, in Heaven or Hell?

There is much discussion surrounding Judas, what he did, what kind of a person he was and whether he ended up in Hell. He is a tough character to understand, and the Bible is not altogether clear in a definitive answer, but if we look at a number of scriptures, we might be able to draw some conclusions about him.

First, Judas was called by the Lord to be his disciple, and as such, worked with Him for His entire ministry, so he knew the Lord. In fact, in Matthew 10, verse 4 he is identified as one of the 12 who were sent out to preach the Kingdom of God message. They were given supernatural powers. Look at the first verse. It says that they were given the power over unclean spirits and were able to heal every disease and sickness. This power could only be given to believers, since Christ stated that the devil cannot cast out devils. I refer to the situation in Matthew 12 where Christ explains that He cast out demons by the power of God, and that it could not be by the power of Satan because a house divided against itself cannot stand. Satan cannot cast out Satan. Some may argue that Judas was a hypocrite and not a true believer----but to have been given that power by the Lord, I don't think so.

Secondly, I do think that Judas was one of the very few in the Bible who did not have a free will, and was destined to betray Jesus actually from before the foundation of the world. John 13:18 has Jesus quoting Psalm 41:9 regarding the friend who eats bread with him has lifted up his heel against him. Zechariah 11: 12 speaks about the 30 pieces of silver and the potters' field. John 13:27 states that Satan entered into him after Jesus gave him the sop---not before. I think this is significant because it fulfilled what Jesus had just said about the one to betray him. The Greek verb, "entered," is in a rather unique tense, and one that is not readily translated into English. It is called the "purclelear aoirst" and can mean "for a particular moment or time"---not necessarily permanently. Could this indicate that Satan entered Judas for a short time to perform this predicted betrayal? Again, it does not mean that Satan permanently possessed him. It is impossible for Satan to possess a true believer, and for Judas to have performed miracles in Jesus' name, I think he was a true believer.

Now, in John 17, 12 where Jesus is praying for his disciples, and he says "none were lost but the son of perdition," we must be cognizant of the other meanings of the words. "Lost" can just as truly be translated, "rendered useless." This is much like Paul who said that after he has run his life, he would not be a castaway---useless. And although the word, "perdition," carries with it the sense of hell, it can also be translated, "destruction," which is a much milder meaning and one that indicates the destruction of Jesus' life and reputation.

Let's, with that in mind, explore Matthew 27: 3. When Judas realized that Christ was condemned, he REPENTED himself, went back immediately to the high priests saying "I have sinned, betraying innocent blood" and went out, so crushed by his sin, and hanged himself. The Lord always forgives a repentant heart, and there can be no argument about that. You will hear people say that Judas was never saved, and that this is remorse and not true repentance. How do they know? They do not. The early King James version (1599) uses the word "repented."

Finally, in Acts 1, we have some interesting language. It is after Pentecost, and the disciples were meeting to get a replacement for Judas. Verse 16 indicates that the Holy Spirit was responsible for the fulfilling of the scriptures in Judas' act of betrayal. Verse 17 affirms that Judas was one of theirs in number and fellowship with ministration. In other words, Judas worked cooperatively and in concert with the other disciples. There is no mention of his not being a good and faithful member of the group. So, they chose Mattthias to take Judas' place. Note verse 25. That he may take the room of the ministration and apostleship from which Judas has gone astray to go to his own place. Now the big question is, where is Judas' own place???? The term, "place," means a space set aside, and the word, "own," means a person's possession. In my humble opinion, I think God has given him a special place in heaven because he has served to fulfill a rotten job ordained by God to do so. What do you think?

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