If 'Once Saved Always Saved' Is True, Then What about Judas?

If "once saved always saved" Is True, Then What about Judas?

    "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas BY TRANSGRESSION FELL, that he might go to his own place (hell)."  Acts 1:25

How did Judas fall away from the LORD? Can we let the One he fell away from answer that important question? "Judas BY TRANSGRESSION FELL." Note here that Judas did not fall because he was predestined to fall by some divine pre-selection, but because he made the delib erate and ongoing decision to live in sin against a holy God. The idea, as supposed by the Calvinistic mindset, that the Almighty chose Judas to transgress and betray the Son of God is obliterated by numerous Scriptures, including James 1.

    "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:13-15

This statement clearly and forever established that the LORD never leads a person to sin. He may turn them over to be deluded, but that is only after they have intentionally lived in contempt against His holiness (2 Thess. 2:10-12). The priceless grace of God, provided through Christ's sacrifice, is not a license for sin. Divine grace is rather the blessing of God to His people to enable them to fellowship with Him and to please Him fully and be fruitful in His harvest. His grace is sufficient for those who truly choose to love and serve Him.

Judas was not pre-chosen to betray the Son of God, but rather was one of Christ's twelve, chosen to love and to serve Him. Judas was pre-selected to be one of only twelve men Christ would pour His life into (during His 3.5 year ministry on earth) in order to lay the foundation of the New Testament Church. I believe that it is highly offensive to a holy God for any person claiming to be His to indict Christ for purposefully bringing into His ministry a man who was a devil (originally, when chosen). The fact that Jesus "knew from the beginning who....should betray him" in no way alleviates the fact that Judas never lost the divinely-given freedom to continue to choose whom he would serve.

    "But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him."  John 6:64

"Jesus knew....who should betray him." Such divine foreknowledge does not affect the moral agency He granted to every man to exercise himself for or against the LORD (Rom. 6:16). Faith is always a choice and a privilege. There are those who believe and those who "believe not."  In each individual case it is a choice. Those who exercise their faith toward the LORD please Him and those who don't, displease Him (Rom. 1:16-18; Heb. 11:6). In the case of His twelve, eleven chose to trust Christ through much tribulation and one who freely chose to betray Him.

    "Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve."  John 6:70-71

Of Judas, Christ told His twelve: "One of you is a devil." Was Judas a devil because God created him to be a devil or because he "by transgression" became a devil?  Nowhere does the Word tell us that Judas was from the beginning a devil but rather that Christ knew from the beginning (in His divine foreknowledge) that Judas would betray Him. Jesus says here that "one of you is a devil."  At the time of this statement, Judas had begun to betray Christ in his heart and was a "devil". The fact that he was a devil at that point does not mean he was always a devil, otherwise Jesus would never have elected him to go forth and do His ministry  (Matt. 10).

Such divine foreknowledge (God knows all) does not affect the free moral agency he granted to every man to exercise either for or against Him.

How could Judas always have been a devil if he was Jesus' "own familiar friend" and sent forth to represent Him in ministry? Satan entered Judas at the end of Christ's ministry which proves he was not always an agent of the devil or a devil from the beginning.

Let's peek into the scenario on the very night before our Jesus was crucified and observe how things unfolded:

  • "Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. THEN entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude."  Luke 22:1-6

"THEN entered Satan into Judas" - It was only "then" - after the religious leaders sought to kill Jesus that Satan entered into Judas.

Here's the same account from the Gospel of John:

    "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;"  John 13:1-2

Judas' betrayal of the Son of God was a process. It came through hours, days and months of unbelief which hardened his heart. Such unbelief gave way to the infiltration of Satan (Heb. 3:12-15).

    "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."  John 13:2

Please re-read the above verse and ask the essential question who is was that put into Judas' heart to betray Jesus. Was it God or Satan? Note: ".....the DEVIL (not the LORD) having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." 

God cannot be tempted with evil."  James 1:13

The enemy was able to "put into the heart of Judas....' to betray" Christ due to Judas' choice to live contrary to Him. The same potential remains true for all.

Like every believer in the Son of God, Judas was predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ and to be glorified with Him, yet his free moral agency was never removed (Rom. 8:29-30). One of the erroneous beliefs of Calvinism is that it elevates and aggrandizes Romans 8:29 above Romans 8:13.

    "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live....For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."  Romans 8:13, 29-30

God loves all people and has predestined each to be washed in the blood of and conformed to the image of the Son of God and to be glorified with Him eternally. Yet, He leaves that ultimate choice up to the individual. The God who is love has provided sufficient and glorious grace for each to love and obey Him and to overcome. His grace truly is sufficient to those who exercise their faith in Him. Every blessing of the saint was provided through Christ's one and perfect sacrifice on the cross (1 Cor. 1:30-31; 2 Cor. 1:20).

Just because a father desires and leads his son or daughter to become a doctor, does not guarantee that such will happen. The fact that the LORD, who is love, desires for all those created in His image to be with Him eternally, does not guarantee that will be the case (Matt. 7:13-14; 25:41).

    "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15

The Reason Hell was Created

Those who choose to believe Him and are doers of His Word will be with Him eternally in Heaven. We are all the servant of the one we choose to serve (Rom. 6:16). Those who freely choose to betray Christ as Judas did by not loving and serving Him in deed and in truth, will spend eternity with the rest of His enemies in a place called hell which will ultimately be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10-15).

    "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."  Matthew 25:41

The original divine intent for this horrid place called "hell" was for the devil and his angels (those who departed from the LORD due to their iniquity). The original purpose for hell did not include one precious eternal human soul spending forever there. Yet, because men have free moral agency and some will choose to live contrary to the divine Judge, they must be imprisoned eternally as rebels.

There are a few different schools of thought in the Calvinistic camp. Some tout the teaching they call 'the perseverance of the saints' while others term their belief 'once saved always saved.' In each case those who have been taught these doctrines of mere men violate the biblical truth that men have free will and never lose the free will to choose while on earth. Any time one removes the Bible truth that God never forces men to do His will, they inevitably err.

"All Scripture" Must be Considered

    "All (not some) scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine...." 2 Timothy 3:16

The ones who believe in and teaches a no-responsibility salvation, does not adhere to "All scripture", but rather isolates a certain verse or two here and there to make his point, which is the way all heresy and false doctrine in propagated in the church world. All Scripture must be taken in context with the whole of the Word of God in order to apprehend the mind of Christ (2 Tim. 3:16; Isa. 28:10; 1 Cor. 2:13).

Judas, a man selected by the very Son of God to hold the highest office in the Church (Apostle), and promised an eternal throne, "by transgression FELL." See Matthew 11:28. The Bible tells us that Judas was a man who was Chris's ""own familiar friend, in whom I (Jesus) trusted." (Ps. 41:9) Jesus not only chose Judas as one of His 12, but "trusted" him so much so that He made Judas the treasurer of His ministry. Dare we insinuate that Jesus Christ, the very Righteousness of God, chose an evil man to be part of His ministry? Judas was originally fit for the ministry and a man of God, before He chose to turn from Christ. Judas Iscariot is now in "his own place (hell)" because he chose to live in disobedience to the clearly known will of God. Judas, like all believers, never lost his ability to choose life or death (Josh. 24:15; Deut. 30:19; Isa. 1:19-20, etc.).

The life of Judas is a nemesis to those who pervert, twist, and maul the true grace of God revealed in Holy Scripture. The grace corrupters are forced to downplay the apostleship of Judas and his relationship with Jesus in order to make their unconditional eternal security teaching palatable. For this same reason, they must overplay the prophetic fulfillment of the son of perdition, not acknowledging that such a divine foreknowledge did nothing to remove Judas' free moral agency. Concerning this, Wayne Jackson writes:

    "Another important fact that must be recognized is that foreknowledge does not demand predetermination. God foreknew that Judas, exercising his own freewill, would betray his Son. These passages, therefore, reflect Heaven's foreknowledge, but not a predetermined action over which the betrayer had no control. Even Presbyterian scholar Albert Barnes, in commenting on John 13:18, wrote: 'It does not mean that Judas was compelled to this course in order that the Scriptures might be fulfilled...'" 

    A further illustration of this principle is seen in the fact that Christ was delivered up to death by the determinate counsel and the 'foreknowledge' of God (Acts 2:23), and yet the ones who were involved in the Savior's crucifixion were held accountable for their evil deed (23b; cf. 36-38).

    The frequent rationalization, 'I can't help what I do; I was predestined to do it,' is a false notion, but one that finds ready acceptance in a modern world that seeks to escape from personal responsibility. The Scriptures teach that men will give an account on the day of Judgment for their own conduct (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10) - not for actions thrust upon them by God. The very idea of such is an affront to the Almighty." (Notes on Luke and John, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954 Edition, p. 320).

Judas made volitional decisions. The LORD sovereignly created man with free moral agency -  the ability to choose his way. Judas made choices to deny Christ and betray the Son of God. There was no divine influence whatsoever upon Judas to make him sin.

    "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."  James 1:13-15

The unchanging, eternal God had nothing to do with Judas turning away from Him and to sin. God is love and God is holy and He leads no man into sin and to imagine such is to lie against the truth (James 3:14). The Almighty told us that He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet. 3:9)

Of God the Word tells us:

"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:4

12 Not 11

It is undeniably on record that Jesus Christ promised Judas an eternal throne in Heaven.

"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 (not 11) thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."  Matthew 19:28

It is irrefutable that the Son of God promised his "twelve", not eleven, eternal thrones in His heavenly kingdom. Judas, who was one of the "twelve", was promised an eternal throne, yet "by transgression" fell and went to hell. Judas kissed the very Gate of Heaven, and turned and went to hell, given over to and driven by demons he ended his own life.

Judas was chosen by Christ Himself as one of His very 12, yet Judas wasn't hell-proof. Judas wasn't 'once saved always saved.' Judas was not given a spiritual asbestos suit.

Judas is now in hell and yet was once a disciple of Christ - promised by the Son of God an ETERNAL throne in Heaven (Matt. 19:28).

In Matthew 10 the very Son of God sends Judas and the other 11 forth to cast out devils and do ministry, then He tells them that only those who endure (remain faithful to Him) will be saved (Matt. 10:1-22). Jesus sent Judas to cast out devils which can only be done by the Holy Spirit of God indwelling a person further proving Judas Iscariot was right with God till he turned away (Matt. 10:1-8; 12:2-29).

As we see in the life of Judas, there is a qualification to the promise of God, friend; initial and continual faith "to the end."

Did Christ pray all night and knowingly bring an evil man (Judas) into His ministry? Or, did Judas become evil by choosing not to love and obey Christ and to rebel and live in sin? The answer is obvious to the honest and noble student of Holy Scripture. As is the obvious case with all human beings, Judas retained the choice to go on serving or not serving God with his whole heart (Deut. 30:19-20; Joshua 24:15; Isa. 1:18-20).

"Ye are Clean, But Not All" 

In John 13, we are given insight into the differences between Peter and Judas. Such is a fascinating study and lesson. The differentiation between what both of these men chose to do holds eternal consequences. We must not miss this eternal distinction! Though both were equally divinely chosen as part of the original twelve, Peter chose to be humble and obedient while Judas chose to be prideful and disobedient. Peter wisely elected to answer the call of Christ to be initially and perpetually washed "Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."  Unlike Judas, the one Christ refers to here when He asserts "but not all (are washed),"  Peter answered the LORD's call to be washed initially and continually. Could this not be said to be the difference between Peter and Judas? Is this not the reason that only one of these two men is in Heaven and the other is in eternal damnation?

"Not all (are washed)" - as it was among the original twelve, so it is today in the church. Some have been initially washed and remain washed to this hour, yet some who were initially washed are not submitting to the lordship of Jesus and are not receiving His ongoing washings from their sins. Do you wash your clothes only one time? No, you buy that article of clothing and then you wash it. You then wash it repeatedly after wearing it - to keep it clean and ready for use. Right?

    "....Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."  Ephesians 5:25-27

Why did Jesus give His very life for His Bride? "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot (stains of sin)....but that it should be holy and without blemish."

God wants His children "without blemish" and such is only possible by humbly submitting our lives to the LORD to be cleansed.

Through the preponderance of data available to us in holy Writ, it must be concluded that this villainous character named Judas, was chosen and chose to be initially elected and initially washed by Christ, yet did not like Peter choose to be perpetually washed and cleansed by Jesus.

    "He (Christ) riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash (clean) my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."  John 13:4-10

"If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." - Did you hear the definitive nature of Jesus' words here? Christ speaks of initial and perpetual washings. Peter is no different than each and every child of God - we need to be initially and continually cleansed of our sins. This cleansing must be willingly submitted to and is not an automatic process as we see here with the reference to Judas - "ye are clean, but not all."  Eleven of the twelve original apostles of Christ elected to be initially and perpetually washed by the Master sin cleanser. One didn't.

As we behold in this very important passage in John 13, Jesus Christ is the initial and perpetual cleanser of our hearts, hands and feet. We must first be apprehended by Him, receiving "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost."  (Titus 3:4-7) As Peter learned and we are taught here, in John 13, every child who is initially washed, must then submit to the lordship of the Washer. As Peter learned, so the Bride of Christ must learn to be perpetually washed by Christ's precious and holy blood and "the washing of water by the word."  (Eph. 5:26)

According to 1 John 1:7, we can know when we are walking in His light as we are being honest towards Him who sees all, and humbly acknowledging (not hiding) our sins and experiencing the ongoing cleansing of His precious blood.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now (do not yet understand); but thou shalt know hereafter."  "Hereafter" or here forward and after you have walked in (been obedient to) what I am showing you here, you will understand. Those who choose to live in obedience to Christ are the ones He chooses to give understanding. In the divine economy, we must first obey in order to be granted understanding. "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine...."  (Jn. 7:16-17)

Lucifer Chose His Own Path

Lucifer like all the angels of God, was given a choice. If such were not the case, how would one-third of the angels have departed from the LORD and two-thirds freely chose not to become apostate?  From this we know the angels, a distinct class of God's creation, have free moral agency also. See Revelation 12. Lucifer was in the grace of God, holding one of the higher offices in Heaven, until he volitionally chose to sin.

    "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee"  Ezekiel 28:15

Judas, chosen by the LORD and promised an eternal throne in Heaven (Matt. 19:28), wasn't faithful to the end, so he fell away into sin and is now in hell (Acts 1:25).

Sin Separates - God Is Holy 

    "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas BY TRANSGRESSION FELL, that he might go to his own place (eternal hell)."   Acts 1:25

The wages of sin is still death (separation from the Lord - Rom. 6:23). Even before Adam and Eve fell by their own transgression, the angel Lucifer, who apparently held the highest office in Heaven among His angels, was cast down for his sin of pride (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:11-19; Luke 10:17).

Was Judas' sin forced upon him by the foreknowledge of God? Or was it volitional?

    "Then Judas, which had betrayed him....Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood...went and hanged himself."  Matthew 27:3-5

Judas chose to sin and therefore fell from grace. Concerning this matter, Wayne Jackson writes:

    "Some would suggest that Judas was but a helpless pawn, unable to resist the invasion of Satan into his life. That certainly is not the case, as even Judas himself conceded. He never pled: 'I could not help myself; Satan made me do it!' Rather, he confessed: 'I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood' (Mt. 27:4). It is a remarkable oddity when modern man, twenty centuries removed from the event, can profess to know more about the situation than the culprit himself!" 

    SIN SEPARATES - God told His own covenant people:  "But YOUR INIQUITIES HAVE SEPARATED between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."  (Isa. 59:2)

Of His own people who had gone back into sin after being brought out of Egypt (type of salvation through Christ), the LORD said: "And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book."  (Exod. 32:33)

Not only is divine grace not a license to sin, New Testament believers are under greater responsibility to live unto the LORD (who is holy). This is such an elementary truth of Scripture that it boggles my mind that there would be those who call themselves Christian teachers and theologians who will not teach this and in some cases deny that sin separates men from God.

Like Lucifer, Judas is a prime example in all of history that the all-knowing God forces no one of His children to continue to serve Him. Judas betrayed Christ and never repented so went to "his own place" - the place justly and divinely reserved for all who turn back from following the LORD and do not return in repentance. In contrast, Peter betrayed Christ and returned and is now in eternal glory where he will forever reign with His LORD and Savior.

Judas kissed the Gates of Heaven, the very Son of God, then turned and marched into eternal hell, where he will forever be.

Perhaps Judas expected Christ to come the first time as a reigning King. He had errant expectations, which caused his heart to misfire as the Savior came the first time as a Lamb. Christ will return the second time as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Judas failed to discern the difference between the first and second coming of the Messiah. This led to unfulfilled expectations. Like all false teaching, this may have had a profound and negative effect on Judas. Jesus came as a suffering Servant the first time but will come as the conquering King the second time.

Jesus wanted to restore Judas to a right relationship with God. Christ even called Judas His "friend" all the way at the point of being taken to be crucified. Having been betrayed by Judas for a small amount of money, Christ still held out hope of redemption for him, but Judas refused the divinely-extended grace and betrayed Jesus when they came for Him.

    "Now he (Judas) that betrayed him (Jesus) gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore (why) art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him."  Matthew 26:48-50

Jesus called Judas "Friend" all the way to the end. In this perhaps we see that His love will pursue us all the way to hell if we choose not to turn back to Him in repentance. Might this indicate that one is not separated from God's love and the opportunity to repent, until he leaves the earth? Romans 8:38-39 is written to those who are truly "sons of God" and are living according to the Holy Spirit and not the deeds of the flesh. It is only then that we are secure in the love of God and not separated from Him who is love.

Judas' End

    "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas BY TRANSGRESSION FELL, that he might go to his own place (eternal hell)."  Acts 1:25

In the booklet The Eternal Security Teaching, J. L. Stauffer offers these thought-provoking words concerning Judas Iscariot:

    "It should be noted that the statements that our Lord made about Judas being a devil, were made toward the close of His ministry. Note some Biblical facts:

    1. Christ chose twelve apostles, including Judas Iscariot. No intimations are made at the time of choosing the twelve that Judas was not a true believer the same as the others. See Matt. 10; Mark 3; Luke 8. Reference to Judas Iscariot as the traitor is made by several writers of Scripture, long years after the incident of his death to distinguish him from the other Judas. It is a mark of identification and in itself throws no light upon the character of Judas Iscariot when he was chosen by our Lord. We have a similar designation regarding 'Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin,' which throws no light upon Jeroboam's character at the time the prophet Ahijah brought him the message from the Lord. (I Kings 11:26:40.)

    2. If Judas was a 'devil' from the beginning as some claim, then you have the startling fact to face that our Lord chose a devil as an apostle.

    3. Our Lord foreknew who should betray Him from the beginning, but Judas had the same teaching, call, environment, and opportunity to make good as did the others. Divine foreknowledge does not interfere with man's free moral agency.

    4. If Judas was a devil from the beginning, then such terms as were prophesied of him are hard to reconcile with the other teachings and principles of the Master. 'Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me' (Psa. 41:9). Would Jesus, knowing Judas was a devil, trust in him or call him His 'own familiar friend'? A 'devil' is an adversary and enemy; but if, as some eternal security teachers think, Psalm 55 is a prophetic Messianic psalm of which Ahithophel turning traitor to David was a type of Judas turning against the Lord, then we have a second witness from the Psalms that it was not an enemy that reproached me.' It was 'a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance, we took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company' (Psa. 55:12-14). Certainly this language does not describe one who was a devil from the beginning, as eternal security teachers affirm.

    5. If Judas was a devil, while the other eleven were ordinary men, then you have another contradiction; viz., Satan casting out Satan, because the apostles (Judas included) were sent out two by two to heal the sick, cast out devils, and preach the Gospel. There is no intimation in the Gospel records that Judas was a misfit on this missionary journey. Other emissaries of Satan, when they tried to cast out a demon by the use of the name of Jesus, were not at all successful. (See Acts 19:13-18.) Christ made it clear that Satan does not cast out demons. See Matt. 12:22, 23; Luke 11:14-23.

    6. It was not until at the last feast that the devil entered into Judas, although Christ towards the close of His Galilean ministry (John. 6:6~7) announced that one of the twelve would betray Him. Christ was omniscient and knew all events that would be connected with His life here on earth. Covetousness, greed, love of money, were doubtless the besetting sins of Judas and despite the warnings of our Lord against covetousness and 'the deceitfulness of riches,' these sins got the upper hand of Judas and he finally went to the chief priests, and of his own free will bargained about the sale of our Lord for silver.

    7. John 17 does not say that Christ only received eleven apostles from the Father. He chose twelve at the beginning of His ministry that they might be with Him, and Christ was unable to keep one. Not because of a lack of power on Christ's part, but because Judas was unwilling and this limited Christ's keeping power. - Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them (that thou gavest me) is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.' The literal Greek of part of John. 17:21 is 'And no one of them has perished, except the son of perdition that the Scripture might be fulfilled.' This implies that Judas was once saved with the rest, but not fulfilling the conditions for Christ's keeping perished spiritually. The Scriptures prophesied that there should be a betrayer and God foreknew that Judas would be he, but God did not foreordain Judas to be the betrayer of his Lord. If Judas, against his own will, was foreordained to be the betrayer, then the one who foreordained Judas would be responsible because Judas could not have help ed it.

    8. Last, 'Judas by transgression fell' (Acts 1:16, 17, 25). Judas was a man into whom Satan entered. He was no demon incarnate. If there were no erroneous doctrine to defend, the various references about Judas Iscariot would present no difficulty at all to the eternal security teachers. The Judas episode would be simply a clear case of apostasy from the truth."

    11 Kept - 1 Lost

    "....that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him - 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"  John 17:2, 12

The Father gave eternal life to the twelve whom He had given to Christ. Jesus kept them and they were safe except one who chose not to be kept. The fact that twelve were given Him of the Father and only eleven made it to Heaven is telling.

It is abundantly clear in Scripture that Judas was given to Jesus by the Father (as one of His very own) and then lost due to his own decision to sin in his heart and betray the Son of God (Acts 1:25). Jesus said He kept all except one - Judas. The fact that Judas was one of His and yet was not kept tells us that the LORD doesn't keep everyone who is at one point His own child. Judas was the LORD's "friend."   (Ps. 41:8) We are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Pet. 1:5) Man has his God-given personal responsibility to continue in faith in order to be "kept" by Him.

Saint of the LORD, a study of the life of Judas is a lesson for each of us. We are all predestined to be conformed to Christ's image and to be with Him eternally, but the LORD leaves it up to the individual as to whom he will choose to serve. Such will determine the eternal destination of each person.


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