Thursday, January 12, 2006

Judas is in hell

I say that with no joy or glee.
Every now and then I encounter somebody who says Judas may be in heaven.
They may claim he was forgiven because he was just fulfilling his role in God's plan.
Some say he got a second chance.

Others say that only God knows the heart, and who knows what happened before he died. The thief on the cross who repented in Luke 23 is invoked as proof death bed confessions are possible. And I believe that thief is in heaven, because in verse 43 Jesus tells him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

So if people believe Jesus that the thief is in heaven, why don't they believe Him that Judas is in hell?

In Mark 14:17 Jesus tells the disciples one of them will betray Him. One by one they ask, "Is it I?" In verses 20-1 Jesus answers, "It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

Catch the part I put in bold letters-
"It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."
How could it be better, (or even good as some translations say), for Judas to have never been born than to be in heaven? It isn't better to never have been born than be in heaven.

But, it is better to never have been born than to be in hell.

In John 17:12 Jesus calls Judas the "Son of perdition." What does perdition mean? It can hell or damnation.
Judas was the son of hell, or damnation.

So why do I bring this up?

In the news today is a story about Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Science. He is spearheading a move to clear Judas' name. Now this is not an official Roman Catholic postition, and many Roman Catholics oppose him. But it is making news. It will affect how people view Jesus and the gospel. It affects how we see sin. Taken seriously their arguments do away with consequences of sin, if we can show they are part of God's plan. It ignores our responsibility for our actions.

It's also a form of universalism.

It also casts doubt on God's Word, as one of his sources is the apochryphal "Gospel of Judas."

And those are just some of the ramifications.

For more on the story, here are some links-
Judas Iscariot to get Vatican makeover
A Jewish perspective


Blogger Joel said...

You have to remember a couple of things when you evaluate something like this. First, as you pointed out, the fact that Catholic theologians are examining the question doesn't mean the Church has a position onn it, or even that it ever will. A controversy usually has to go on for an awfully long time before it's ruled on dogmatically, if it ever is.

Second, the Church never states dogmatically that any specific person is in hell. Heaven, yes; that's part of canonization. But she never outright denies anybody's eternal salvation. (So when you say "Judas is in hell, you're implicitly claiming a certainty beyond that of any pope or council. Wow!) :)

Since Judas is unlikely to be canonized, the question will always remain open. The relevant scriptures allow different interpretations (although I personally agree with yours), so we'll only find out when we get to heaven and see that he isn't there.

(I have to admit I'd rather be wrong. I've always felt a little sorry for Judas; any pardoned sinner ought to. There but for the grace of God...)

11:41 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

As I stated right of the top--I had no joy in saying Judas is in hell, but scripture is clear on it.
Unless you deny Jesus said what those things, are a Universalist and/or have some esoteric explanation-Jesus' statements mean Judas is in hell.

All those who argue Judas is not in hell ignore the verses I cited or explain them away on an emotional basis, not a scriptural one.

The fact it was a Roman Catholic who is cited in the news story is incidental. This sort of view has been cited by many in a variety of groups, denominations, chuches etc.
I only brought it up at the end to cite my sources.

As I do not recognize the RCC's authority, what they say about a person's heaven/hell destiny is not very important to me.

You wrote-"(So when you say "Judas is in hell, you're implicitly claiming a certainty beyond that of any pope or council. Wow!) :)"

The certainty I express is not rooted in myself, but in the Word of God.

12:34 AM  

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