Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Eternal Security: What about Judas Iscariot?

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.  Ephesians 4:30 NLT









Whenever the truth of eternal security begins to be explored you will find many objections raised. It's always this way when the Good News is espoused. Tradition can't grasp the concept that God is a Good God. They can't wrap their minds around the truth that God is a loving, and merciful Father, who is always good. 

 When the eternal security of the believer is taught, one objection that many bring up is what about Judas? Judas was a follower of Jesus. Did he not work signs and wonders in Christ's name as the other's had? Wasn't he separated unto ministry as the other disciples? Yet he betrayed Jesus. 

 So the objection goes, Judas was a Christian and minister of the Gospel and yet he fell away, sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. He surely is proof enough a believer can fall away. A believer can renounce Christ, and be lost. Judas is all the proof we need.

 The first problem with this objection is it is not coming from a place of understanding the New Covenant. When Jesus walked the Earth, He was still abiding in the Old Covenant. Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension and coming Holy Spirit ushered in the New Covenant in its fullness. My point? Judas, nor any of the other disciples and followers of Christ were born again. 

 To understand what I am saying, we need to look again at what it means to be born again. When one receives Jesus, they become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). They are now the Righteousness of God in Christ ( 2 Corinthians 5:21). The Spirit of God comes and dwells within them (1 Corinthians 3:16). They are accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6). They are sealed with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). They are forgiven of all their sins forever (Ephesians 1:7). They are now the children of God (1 John 3:1). All of this occurs at the New Birth.

 So here is the million-dollar question, was all this possible under the Old Covenant? Any reasonable, honest minded person can clearly see no this was not possible under the Old. First, how was forgiveness of sins obtained under the Old? Truth is the sins of the people weren't forgiven once for all time under the Old. They were merely covered or atoned for once a year by the high priest. 

 The once for all forgiveness Christ's death purchased is exclusive to the New Covenant. Secondly, the Spirit never dwelled within those under the Old Covenant. The Spirit would fall on individuals for works of service to God. 

 If there was no Spirit of God given to indwell those under the Old how could they be born again? Scripture affirms that the Holy Spirit would only come after Christ was glorified. 
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:39 NKJV

 So it stands clear to the reasonable minded, that before the Cross and resurrection there was no way possible for anyone to be born again. So the concept of saying Judas was a born again believer who then lost his salvation is false. Judas was a Jew abiding under the Old Covenant and not a New Covenant born again child of God. 

 Under the Old, the children of Israel were known as God servants. In the New Covenant, those who've received Jesus are the Children of God. There is a major difference between a servant and a son. This difference is enough to show there is a distinction between Old and New. Yet with all these truths some still try to use Judas as the one person they claim lost his salvation.

 That's just disingenuous and more so coming from a place of Biblical ignorance and not the truth. However, some may concede that Judas wasn't born again in the strictest New Testament sense. However, they cite Judas as proof of how someone who has walked with Jesus can walk away later.

 Again a poor example to try and upend what Jesus fully accomplished on the Cross, that is the eternal security of the believer. Why? Because Judas never had a heart for the ministry of Jesus.

 Judas loved his fellow Israelites, that's not in question. So of course when Jesus commissioned all the disciples to work miracles in His name, it is possible Judas could've been used this way. However, Judas was under pride and not love for the World. 

 What do I mean pride? 
Likewise you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. Yes, all of you be submissive one to another and clothe yourselves with humility, because
“God resists the proud,
    but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5 MEV


God declares that He resists the proud but gives Grace to the humble. Why? The prideful want to do things there way and not God's. They don't see their need. They have it all together, it's the rest of us that don't. Judas didn't want the type of kingdom Jesus did. He wanted the yoke of Roman tyranny off the necks of the Israelites. He wanted deliverance for the Nation of Israel not the salvation of the World.

 What always accompanies pride is self-righteousness. After Judas betrayed Jesus what was his response to his sin? Judas went forth and hanged himself. Peter and Judas both sinned greatly that day. Yet we see two distinct and different responses. Peter wept bitterly, and after Jesus arose He sought the Lord. Judas punished his own sin instead of allowing Jesus to deal with the sin. Judas hung for his sins, not accepting the truth that Jesus would hang for all mankind's sins that day. 

 So, back to the objection, is Judas a good objection to the eternal security view? Absolutely not. The truth is we who've received Jesus are secure forever.

 Jesus is for us not against us. Jesus is faithful when we are faithless. When we seem to try and distance ourselves through our actions He is right there with us putting us back on the right path. No matter how many times we fail or falter or fall, Jesus is always there encouraging us, reminding us of who we are, and bringing hope to hopelessness. We are forever secure in His loving hands.

 The eternal security of the believer is part and parcel of the Finished Work of Christ. He forgave us once for all time. He sanctified and set us apart once forever. He sealed us with the Holy Spirit as the guarantee we will be saved forever. His perfect shed blood purchased perfectly our eternal redemption, eternal not temporal, and not conditioned on our conduct or faithfulness. 

 In summation, rejoice in the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You who've received Jesus are forever saved. You who've trusted in Christ are forever secure in His hand. No matter how far you've fallen Jesus is there bringing help, healing, hope, and restoration. Forget the objections tradition ruled Christians form and fashion designed to usher in eternal insecurity and hopelessness to the believer. Embrace His Grace, and rest in this uninterrupted eternally secure salvation. 
Image by falco from Pixabay

No comments: