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Did God Choose Judas Iscariot For Salvation?
In Christendom today, majority of the saints will speak of Judas Iscariot as if God ordained him to be the one who will betray Jesus Christ. It had been pre-determined, and nothing could change it even if God wanted to. We have forgotten the testimony of God who said, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but He is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance..” (2Pet.3:9)
God chose Judas to be numbered amongst the twelve apostles, and that command was given to Christ after He had labored in prayers all night. (Lk.6:12-13) Jesus Christ said of the Mission His Father had given to Him, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father does: for what things so ever He does, these also does the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that Himself does: and He will show Him greater works than these that you may marvel. (Jn.5:19-20, 30)
We find this statement in 2Pet.3:9: “The Lord . . . is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Whom does God not will to perish? Most folks will say it is the entire human race. Look at the pronouns in this verse: us, any, and all.
To whom do these pronouns refer? (Antecedent) In verse one of this chapter, they are called “beloved”, and the book as a whole is addressed in chapter one and verse one to, “Them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Since this second epistle is written to the same people as addressed in the first epistle, they are those who were, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” (1Pet.1:2)
Who is it then that God is not willing that they perish? It is clearly those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord. To try to make this verse say that God is not willing that any member of the human race perish is simply poor scholarship.
God is not willing that any of His people whom He foreknew and loved should perish, but will by His sovereign power bring every one of them to live with Him in glory (Jn.6:37, 6:44, Matt.1:21, Eph.1:1-10 and Roms.8:9) There is an opposing force in thee word “perish”, and if any is willing to perish even after God has stated His will, it is okay with that person, and perish, he will.
The choice of Judas Iscariot was from the Father to His Son. God loved Judas for he too was a son of Abraham. Let us considered how God really loved this man called Judas Iscariot that had been painted evil by the past, present and future generations.
1. He was chosen to be amongst the twelve who will continue after Jesus Christ had gone to heaven.
2. He was given the role of a Controller in Jesus Christ Ministry, and he became the accountant.
3. He was trusted above the twelve, and this position of trust was given to him.
4. He sat in the presence of Christ, and absolved His Ministry, fully aware of the presence of the Spirit of God around them as Christ ministered to the needy according to the power of the Spirit of God that was upon Him. (Matt.3:16b)
5. He received of the Spirit of God in power upon his life when the 12 were sent on a spiritual industrial exercise to preach the Gospel, a foretaste of the events to come.
6. He was amongst the twelve who came with the glowing report of victory over Satan and the works of darkness. (Lk.9:1-11, 10:17-22) Christ was commending them, and Judas was in that number when He said, “Rejoice not that the spirits of the enemy were subject to you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” How did a man who received such commendation in the midst of others turn out to be so vile and evil?
God will do all that it will take to change a soul from a child of darkness to a child of heaven and light, but the child must be willing to take God’s words and actions for themselves, and appropriate them fully in his life. It reminds me of a song that says, “God does not compel us to go His way, He only makes us willing to go.” He may have done all within His power, but if we are not willing to with Him, He will not force us to go against our will. This was the story of Judas, the son of Iscariot.
He was enlightened, and tasted the heavenly gifts with the power of God to cast out demons, and brought tremendous healings to mankind. He was made partaker of the Spirit of God, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and yet he was not willing to go all the way for the glory of God and the blessing to humanity. (Hebs.6:4-5)
Hebrews chapter 11, vv.6-8 was the divine commentary on such a life-like Judas Iscariot. He had such brilliant and powerful opportunities to go with God, but he loved the pleasures of sin, and it consumed him. He committed suicide, and died a death like the individuals who never knew God.
The life of Moses was a sharp contrast to the life of Judas Iscariot. The word of God said of him, “When he came to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter: choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebs.11:22-26)
At a certain point in his life, he switched gears, and opted for the pleasures of sin, and this caused him greatly. Had Judas gone all the way with God, and all the opportunities he had, who would have betrayed Jesus Christ? Remember that it was predetermined that Jesus Christ would suffer and die. There could still have been other ways to fulfill this prophecy. The scripture says, “It was determined.” (v.22a)
By now, the die was cast, and the Rubicon is crossed. Satan had found his way into Judas Iscariot’s heart, and besides, he had taken the sup from Christ’s hand. (v.3, 17-20) There was no turning back, and as scripture say, “It is impossible for those who were once enlightened to return, and follow God’s ways, if they fell by transgression again. The dog is turned to its own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to its wallowing in the mire.” (Hebs.11:4, 2Pet.2:22)
So was the story of Judas Iscariot, even though God was not willing that any should perish, but to come into the knowledge of repentance. This brings the writer to the conclusion, and he has a word for himself and the saints of God in the 21st century, and beyond. He who thinks that he is standing must take heed, lest he falls. However you may rise in God, know one thing: you can easily fall if you do not watch yourself. Satan is cunning than you think, and he is our adversary, roaming and running around, seeking whom he may devour. We must cast all our cares on God, and leave none behind us. God cares for us all. Therefore, we must be sober, vigilant because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. The word of God admonishes us to resist him steadfastly in the faith, knowing the same afflictions are accomplished in your brothers who are in the world.” (1Pet.5:7-9)