Was Judas Iscariot saved?

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. Judas was the one who sold out Jesus to those who wanted to kill him. When thousands of people abandoned Jesus because His words were too difficult to believe, Judas stayed with him. He was a theif who stole money that was given to Jesus. Judas traveled across the region of Judea preaching the message of Jesus to the Israelites. While a disciple of Jesus, Judas probably performed miracles. Judas obviously believed something about Jesus or he would not have devoted over three years of his life to following Him. The combination of committed disciple and greedy betrayer causes many people wonder whether or not Judas was actually saved.

The evidences for Judas’ salvation are not conclusive. Jesus said specifically that that doing miracles is not evidence of true salvation (Matthew 7:21-23). Belief in the existence of God is not enough, for even the devils believe. (James 2:19) Judas’ actions as a disciple are not necessarily proof of salvation nor was Judas’ betrayal of Jesus proof that he was unsaved. Peter denied Jesus (though he did not sell Him for money), but Peter later repented of his denial.

When Judas betrayed Jesus he felt great remorse. Matthew 27:3 says that Judas repented himself, yet Judas’ repentance does not seem to have the hallmarks of saving repentance. His response seems to be an emotional sorrow, not a rejection of his sinful actions or choices. He was sorry that Jesus was going to be put to death, but not necessarily sorry that he had betrayed Jesus. The remorse of Judas did not lead him to repentance but to suicide.

The Bible never gives a definite statement about the salvation of Judas, but Satan’s possession of Judas seems to strongly imply that he was not saved. (John 13:27) Many Christians are agreed that a genuine believer can never be demon possessed. It seems extremely unlikely that God would allow Satan to take possession of one of His children. This is even more telling in the case of Judas when he contrasted with Peter. The evening before the crucifixion Jesus warned Peter, “Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat.” But Jesus tells him, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.”(Luke 22:31-32) Satan was actively working on Judas, but Jesus gives no indication of praying for Judas. Would the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep neglect to protect one who was truly His own?

Scripture gives no compelling reason to believe Judas was saved. Some have said we do not know the reality of a person’s heart, so we should not say if one was saved or not. While the compassionate Christian will be careful to avoid being overly dogmatic about the state of another’s soul, the Bible gives specific evidences of salvation. The evaluation of the Biblical evidence leads me to conclude Judas was probably not saved. My conclusion does not condemn him to hell, nor do I wish for Judas to burn in hell. A comparison of Judas’ life and choices to the Biblical evidence of salvation leads me to believe he was never saved. If Judas had of repented of his sin, the grace of God is great enough that even the betrayal of Jesus could have been forgiven.

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