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THE GREAT PRETENDER
Intro: Our text today deals with a man named Judas Iscariot. He is, without a doubt, the most notorious and most vilified of all the disciples. His name appears last in every list of the disciples, except in Acts 1, where his name does not appear at all. Every time he is mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God reminds us that he is a traitor who betrayed Jesus to His death.
Judas was a failure as a disciple. He was exposed to the same teaching the others heard. He saw the same miracles and was involved in the same ministries. Yet, Judas never came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Judas spent three years with the Lord Jesus Christ and he died lost. The others were converted during their time with the Lord; Judas only became spiritually hard, calloused and hateful.
The other eleven disciples were used of God in amazing ways. Their lives demonstrate the truth that common, ordinary people can be used of the Lord in extraordinary ways. Judas, on the other hand, stands as a stark warning about the dangers of wasted opportunities, hardness of heart, wicked lusts, and spiritual carelessness.
While Judas was a failure as a disciple, he was the most successful hypocrite of all time. He played his part so well that no one but Jesus Himself knew that Judas was a fraud and a pretender. He was as common and as ordinary as the rest of the disciples. He was so ordinary that he never stood out from the rest. He hid behind the camouflage of hypocrisy and no one but Jesus ever realized it.
This passage reveals Judas as he hatches his plot to betray the Son of God into the hands of his enemies, Ill. The Context. We are going to take the opportunity this text offers us to get to know Judas Iscariot a little better. We need to hear and heed the lessons that come from the life of this tragic character.
Dr. John MacArthur reminds us that Judas and his life teach us two basic truths.
1. It is possible to be near Jesus and to associate with Him closely and still be hardened in sin.
2. Judas is a clear reminder that the purposes of God stand sure. No matter what anyone may do, they will never thwart the plan of Almighty God. God always accomplishes what He determines to do, Isa. 46:10-11; Eph. 1:11.
With those thoughts in mind, I want to preach about Judas Iscariot today. I want to reveal some of what the Bible teaches about this man we will call The Great Pretender. I want you to see Judas And His Personality; Judas And His Privileges; Judas And His Problem; Judas And His Plan; and Judas and His Punishment.
It is my prayer that the Lord will use the lessons from this man’s life to cause us to look deep within our own souls; lest we also be found to be pretenders. Let’s consider The Great Pretender together today.
I. v. 10 JUDAS AND
(Ill. We really do not know a lot about Judas Iscariot from the biblical record. He is mentioned 20 times in the Gospels and twice in the book of Acts. He speaks on just two occasions. He is an enigma and he is a mystery. Yet, from what the Bible does say about him, we can learn a few important truths about this man and his life.)
A. Consider His Designation His name is Judas. It is the Greek rendering of the Old Testament name Judah. Judah was the son of Jacob and the father of the largest and most dominant of all the tribes of Israel.
The name has two possible meanings, “Jehovah Leads or He Whom Jehovah Praises. This name suggests that his parents had hope for his future. They were probably a deeply religious family, who hoped that he would be led by God and that his life would bring praise to the name of the Lord. Little did they know that their son would only be led by, and bring praise to, the devil.
Judas stands as living proof that having a godly heritage is not enough to save the soul. Having Christian parents cannot guarantee the salvation of the soul. There must be a conscious turning from sin to embrace the Gospel message by faith. There must be a life-changing, soul-saving encounter with Jesus Christ.
B. Consider His Dwelling His surname was Iscariot. This name tells us something about where Judas came from. The word Iscariot is derived from the Hebrew. Ish means man. cariot refers to the town of Karioth. Thus, Judas is called man of Karioth. Karioth was a humble farming town located 23 miles south of Jerusalem.
We are told that his father’s name was “Simon, John 6:71; 13:2, 26. Simon was a very common name in that time period. Nothing more is known of his family. Judas was a common man from a common family in a common town in Judea.
C. Consider His Detachment Since he was from Judea, Judas was the only one of the twelve not from Galilee. The rest of the disciples were from the northern part of the nation. Many of them knew one another. Some were brothers. Others were coworkers and friends before they came to know Jesus.
Being the only real stranger in the group meant that Judas would have been somewhat isolated from the other disciples. They would not have known about his family or his background. It is also true the people from the southern regions of Israel often felt superior to people from the north.
These facts enabled Judas to keep a low profile and helped him camouflage his hypocrisy. While there is no evidence that the other men excluded Judas, he may have felt like an outsider. Thoughts of that nature may have helped him justify his treason against Jesus and his thievery from the rest of the disciples.
We do know that Judas worked his way into a place of trust. The other disciples chose him to be the treasurer for the group, but Judas used that position to steal from the bag, John 12:6. That verse tells us that Judas “...bare what was put therein. The word bare means to take away; to pilfer. Judas was a thief. This is made crystal clear in the Word of God.
(Note: It is interesting to note that in every list that names the disciples, Judas Iscariot is always named last. This illustrates the wide gulf that separated Judas from the Lord Jesus Christ. He was isolated from the rest of the disciples because of his background. He was also separated from them spiritually. He was the only unbeliever in the crowd!)
(Note: This is a clear reminder that you never know the true condition of the hearts of those around you. The other disciples never did figure out that Judas was a traitor until after he had betrayed the Lord Jesus. They always assumed that he was one of them. Perhaps even Judas believed that all was well. Either way, it reminds us that the heart is very deceptive, Jer. 17:9. It also challenges us to be sure that we are in a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:5.)
I. Judas And His Personality
II. JUDAS AND HIS PRIVILEGES
(Ill. A study of the life of Judas reveals that he enjoyed many of the same privileges of the Lord’s genuine disciples. A few of them are mentioned in Mark’s record of the choosing of the twelve disciples by the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 3:13-19.)
A. Mark 3:13 How He Was Called There is no question that Judas was chosen by Christ. He was chosen by Him to fulfill a divine plan.
Three Old Testament prophecies need to be considered right here.
· Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. In John 13:18, Jesus said that this prophecy would be fulfilled in His betrayal.
· Psalm 55:12-14 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. This passage also speaks of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.
· Zechariah 11:12-13 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. This passage was also fulfilled when Jesus was betrayed, Matt. 27:9-10.
Jesus makes it crystal clear that when He chose Judas, He knew who he was and what he would do, John 6:70. Everything Judas did, was part of the eternal plan of redemption ordained by God before the foundation of the world, Acts 2:23.
It is clear from the Gospel record that Judas was chosen to damnation and not to salvation! There is tension here between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. There is no debating the fact that Jesus Christ was foreordained to suffer for sin, Rev. 13:8. There is also no doubt that Judas Iscariot was help responsible for betraying the Lord, Mark 14:21.
While Judas was born to fulfill the ancient prophecies related to the betrayal of Christ, he was not forced to do anything against his will. He was chosen by God to be the one to betray Christ; but Judas betrayed Jesus because he wanted to. So, while Judas was chosen by God for the role he fulfilled in betraying Christ he fulfilled that role willingly.
Some would say, “Is it fair for God to condemn Judas for doing the Lord’s will? This is the same argument Paul both anticipated and answered in Romans 9:19-24, “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? Judas was not condemned because he betrayed Jesus. Judas was condemned long before that because he was a lost sinner, John 3:18, 36.
This begs the question, “Could Judas have been saved? Yes! Had he turned to Christ by faith, he would have been saved. He had every opportunity. The parables of the unjust servant, the man without a wedding garment, and the ten virgins were all designed to speak to Judas and turn him from his evil plans.
However, the Lord knew before he chose Judas that Judas would betray Him into the hands of His enemies. So, while Judas could have been saved, it was never a real possibility for him.
B. Mark 3:13 How He Came When Jesus called Judas, he willingly followed the Lord. He was following Jesus because he believed Jesus would defeat Rome and liberate Israel. He was not following a Savior; he was following a Man he saw as a revolutionary.
C. Mark 3:14 How He Was Consecrated Judas was ordained by Jesus. This word has the idea of training. Jesus took the twelve and made them ready for the mission he was about to send them to accomplish. He was set apart for a special purpose.
D. Mark 3:14 How He Was Connected Like the other disciples, Judas was chosen to be with Him. Imagine that! Every day Judas and the other disciples witnessed the character and compassion of Christ. They heard His words and they saw His works. Every single day was a display of the grace of God for Judas and for the rest of the twelve.
Every miracle, every parable, every sermons, every single act of compassion, was designed by Jesus to reveal His identity to His men. Eleven of them got the message; Judas never did. Jesus tried to touch the heart of Judas in many ways, and on many occasions, but Judas hardened his heart against every attempt of the Lord to reach him.
Some people have a hard time with the idea that Judas could live with Jesus for over three years and still not believe in Christ. Yet, we see the same thing happening around us all the time. People sit in church for a lifetime, under the Word of God, the preaching of the Gospel, the prayers of God’s people, and the clear evidence of His saving power in the lives of those around them, and still some of those people die in their sins and go to Hell. It is a real tragedy! Don’t let it happen to you!
E. Mark 3:14 How He Was Commissioned Judas was sent out to serve alongside the rest of the disciples. He had the same credentials and the same appointment they all had. He was working for Jesus just like the others.
F. Mark 3:15 How He Was Confirmed Judas, and the rest of the disciples, were empowered to preach the Gospel, to heal the sick and to cast out demons. As they went about the country, their preaching was attended by the manifest power of God.
The lame walked, the blind saw, the deaf heard and so on. People who were bound in their sins were brought to faith in Christ by the preaching of the twelve. Even Judas preached with power, worked the miracles, delivered the demon possessed and saw many people saved. In other words, Judas could not be distinguished from the others in his work for the Lord.
That is a sobering thought! Judas was a tare among the wheat and no one but Jesus knew it. I am not even sure that Judas knew. For all we know, he was so caught up in the work of serving Christ, and seeing the fruit of that work, that he may have convinced himself that everything was right between him and the Lord. Jesus tells us that many will face God in that condition on judgment day, Matt. 7:21-23. Be sure that you are not one of them!
I. Judas And His Personality
II. Judas And His Privileges
III. JUDAS AND HIS PROBLEM
A. His Confusion We are told that Judas went to the religious leaders because he wanted to betray Jesus. Why would Judas want to betray Jesus after he had spent such intimate time with the Lord?
Like everyone else who followed Jesus, Judas thought that Jesus had come to do the work of the Messiah. They saw His miracles, His power over demons, Satan and nature. They heard the way He taught and saw the way He lived, and they believed that he was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.
Like the rest, Judas was expecting Jesus Christ to overthrow Rome and break the yoke of Roman oppression. He thought Jesus would deliver Israel, establish a restored kingdom in Israel, and richly reward His followers.
When it became apparent that Jesus was not going to do those things, Judas became disillusioned with the Lord. The other disciples slowly began to understand that Jesus was the Messiah, but they also understood that He would accomplish His mission in a way that they could not as yet grasp. Judas never came to that understanding.
Judas followed Jesus because he wanted power and money. He never embraced the spiritual kingdom of Christ. Why did he stay with Jesus? I think he was looking for a way to use Jesus to make himself rich. We must also remember that Judas kept the money that the little band collected as they traveled from place to place, and he was stealing from it.
So, part of the problem with Judas began with confusion as to the identity and ministry to Jesus. As time went on, he became disillusioned and what fondness he may have had for Jesus turned to pure hatred.
(Note: Some would try to salvage the character of Judas right here. They want us to believe that Judas betrayed the Lord in an effort to force the hand of Christ. They believe that Judas betrayed the Lord so that Jesus would be forced to go to war with His enemies.
That flies in the face of the Word of God. Judas was not hoping for a good outcome. He wanted Jesus dead. The Bible makes it clear that what Judas did, he did at the command and whim of Satan, John 13:27.)
B. His Covetousness We have already learned that Judas was a thief. He was pilfering from the money bag. His covetousness takes center stage in John 12:4-6. This is the first time Judas speaks in the Gospels. When he does, he complains about the way money was spent.
He was enjoying a feast that was held to honor the Lord Jesus in Bethany. As the feast progressed, a woman named Mary entered the room. She brought with her an alabaster flask filled with pure nard, which is an expensive perfume used by the wealthy. She broke open the flask and poured its contents on the head and feet of Jesus and began to wipe His feet with her hair.
When Judas saw this, the calculator in his brain began to work overtime. He estimated that her ointment was worth about “300 pence, or a years wages for the average worker. In our money, about $20,000.00.
Judas was livid! He did not believe that Jesus was worth that kind of extravagant love. By what he called a “waste, Judas had been prevented from stealing a portion of the money for which the ointment could have been sold.
When Judas said this, he is mildly rebuked by Jesus. Still, Judas does not repent and he does not examine his own heart. He is confirmed in his hatred of Jesus and immediately seeks how he might betray Him to the Jews.
This is a bittersweet scene. On the one hand, Jesus is anointed with extravagant love by Mary. On the other, He is anointed with overwhelming hatred by Judas.
It is interesting to note that when the other disciples heard the objection raised by Judas, they echoed his opinion, Matt. 26:8. His hypocrisy is so complete that even the other disciples were taken in by Judas.
This serves as a warning to our hearts today! Be very careful who you follow. There are some people who love material things more than they love the Master. There are some people who live to get their own way more than they desire His ways. Those people will lead you into trouble. You would be far better off to follow no one but Jesus Himself!
C. His Condemnation People look at Judas and wonder how a man could do all that he did, see all that he saw, and be so close to Jesus and yet be lost. Some people claim that Judas was saved, but that he lost his salvation. That is foolish! Salvation is eternal in nature and can never be taken away. Judas was never saved!
He was lost when he preached. He was lost when he cast out devils. He was lost when he healed the sick. He was lost as he listened to the Sermon on the Mount. He was lost as he saw the great miracles of Jesus. He was lost when he watched Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. He was lost when he betrayed Jesus. He was lost when he committed suicide. He was lost when he opened his eyes in Hell!
Here is what Jesus said about Judas: John 6:70-71. Jesus looked at Judas and called him “a devil. He looked like a saint, but the Lord said he was a devil. He acted like the rest of the disciples, but the Lord said he was a devil. He was a preacher, but he was a devil. He was trusted by everyone, but he was a devil. Judas was nothing more than a wolf in sheeps clothing. He was a devil!
This is a sobering thought! The lost man can do anything the saved man can do, and he may even do it better. Just because a man preaches, prays, witnesses, gives, works in the church, attends church, etc., does not prove that he is saved. A lost man can do all of that, and he can do it with success. You can’t base your relationship with Christ on what you do.
Salvation is by faith, Eph. 2:8-9. There must be a moment of commitment when you come to Jesus Christ by faith, repenting of sin and calling on Him for salvation. If that moment is missing from your life, then you are lost!
Judas Iscariot was no different than any other lost person. Jesus told the Jews that they were the offspring of the devil, and as such they act just like their father, John 8:44. There is a family resemblance that cannot be denied. Those who are of the devil will eventually prove it by acting like the devil, Eph. 2:1-3.
I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings today, but you need to hear this. I say these things because I love you. I say them because I am a preacher of the Gospel. I say them because I care about your soul.
If you have never been saved, you are just like Judas. There is a part of you that is controlled by Satan. You wonder why you do the things you do. You wonder why you can’t break the cycle of sin in your life. The reason is simple, you need a new Father. You need to be born again. When you are, everything in your life will change, 2 Cor. 5:17. When you are, you will be delivered from the oppression of the devil.
I. Judas And His Personality
II. Judas And His Privileges
III. Judas And His Problem
IV. JUDAS AND HIS PLAN
A. It Involved Betrayal After being rebuked by Jesus at the feast, Judas approaches the Jewish leaders and negotiates a deal to betray Jesus into their hands. Matt. 26:14-16 tells us that the price they came to was “thirty pieces of silver. According to Ex. 21:32, it was the price of a slave. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was all Jesus Christ was worth to Judas! He hated Jesus so much that he betrayed Him for what amounted to nothing.
By the way, Judas betrayed Jesus for about $25.00 in today’s money. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? It isn’t, but people sell Him out for less. Young people betray Jesus for a few moments of pleasure with a boyfriend or girlfriend. People betray Him by choosing their way of living over His way of living. Others betray Him because their feelings get hurt over this or that. Some betray Him for alcohol, some for drugs, some for sex or some other worldly pleasure. No matter what you betray Him for, it is worth nothing compared to the value of your soul, Mark 8:36-37.
B. It Involved Blaspheme The deal was struck and Judas set the wheels of betrayal into motion. Judas took his money and blended back into the group as though nothing had happened. He waited for his chance to destroy Jesus.
His opportunity came just a few days later at the celebration of the Passover. During that meal, Judas crossed the line. He reached the point of no return. We do not have the time to go into all the details of that events, but a few of them shed incredible light on the character of Judas.
John reports that during the meal, Jesus taught His men a much needed lesson about humility. Jesus arose from the table, wrapped a towel around Himself and assumed the place of a slave, washing the feet of the twelve disciples. He even washed the feet of Judas! Judas, knowing what he was going to do, just sat their totally unmoved by the Lord’s act of love. Even Peter protested when the Lord tried to wash his feet, John 13:1-11. During His exchange with Peter, Jesus made it clear that He knew one of His men was lost and would betray Him.
Later in the meal, Jesus became even more direct. In verses 19-30, Jesus clearly exposes the treachery in the heart of Judas. All of this is an attempt to awaken the conscience and to give Judas an opportunity to repent, but he doesn’t.
Jesus even hands Judas the “sop, John 13:25-27. The “sop was a piece of bread which was dipped into a fruit mixture that was much like jam. To be handed the sop by ones host at a meal was the ultimate form of respect and love. Jesus honored Judas and attempted to break through the hatred that gripped the mans heart. Judas does not turn from his pan, he simply leaves to go and do his fathers business.
John 13:27 is an interesting verse. While Judas had always been a child of the devil, he is now completely taken over by Satan. Every thought, every deed, every action will be carefully choreographed by Satan himself. This does not mean that Judas was doing these things against his will. Judas was a willing participant in the devil’s plan. Judas could have yielded himself to the Lord and things would have turned out far differently, but he yielded himself to Satan and Satan willingly used Judas as his vessel to accomplish his evil purposes.
After Judas leaves, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper. I find it amazing that while Jesus instructs His true disciples about the greatest act of worship given to the church; Judas is out conducting the single greatest act of treachery the world has ever seen.
They finish the meal and they go to the Garden of Gethsemane. While they are there, Jesus prays His high priestly prayer. Of course, Judas knew where they would be, Luke 22:39; John 18:2. So, he, along with a great multitude of soldiers, came to arrest Jesus, Matt. 26:47. The soldiers came ready for a fight, John 18:3. When they arrived in Gethsemane, Jesus met them and identified Himself to them openly, John 18:4-5.
Judas had given the soldiers a signal by which they could identify which man was Jesus. Judas said that the man he kissed would be Jesus, Matt. 26:48. When the mob came to get Jesus, the Lord identified Himself to them, so there was no need for Judas to kiss Him. Judas is so filled with hatred for Jesus that he kisses Him anyway, Mark 14:45.
A kiss speaks of love, affection, tenderness, respect and intimacy. When Judas walked up to Jesus, he did not give Him just one kiss. The tense of the verb suggests that he kept on kissing Him. This display of false love and affection for Jesus only makes his deed darker. Sadly, for Judas, he kissed the vey gates of Heaven and died and went to Hell!
That night, Judas blasphemed the Passover. He blasphemed the Son of God, He blasphemed the Lamb of God. He was guilty of the greatest act of blaspheme the world has ever witnessed!
I. Judas And His Personality
II. Judas And His Privileges
III. Judas And His Problem
IV. Judas And His Plan
V. JUDAS AND HIS PUNISHMENT
A. His Despair After Jesus was arrested, Judas began to have pangs of remorse for what he had done. He never came to a place of repentance, but the powerful influence Satan held over him subsided and he realized what he had done. He tried to return the money, but it was too late, Matt. 27:3-4. The deed was done and Jesus was on His way to the cross. Satan used Judas for his purposes and then discarded him like he was a piece of trash.
Even now, Judas is not interested in salvation. He is not interested in believing in Jesus. He is not interested in getting right with God. Judas has crossed the line. The door of salvation has closed in his life forever. He is the perfect example of “a reprobate mind.
The word “reprobate means worthless. In Rom. 1:28, the word is used of people who thought God was worthless so God gave them over to a worthless mind. The result was that they gave themselves to every kind of defilement imaginable.
Judas looked at Jesus, His works, His teaching, His claims and said, “He is worthless!” Therefore, the Lord gave up on Judas. He abandoned him to his own choice. Judas would forever remain lost and separated from God.
B. His Death When Judas saw that he could not fix what he had done, he threw the money down in the Temple and he went out and committed suicide by hanging himself, Matt. 27:5.
Apparently, he couldn’t even do that right, because the limb or the rope broke and his body fell from a cliff and burst open on the rocks beneath, Acts 1:18. The money Judas left at the Temple was used to purchase a field where strangers could be buried, Matt. 27:6-10. Judas was the first person to be buried there. It was a tragic end to a tragic life!
It is interesting to consider the deeds of the chief priests. They gave Judas the money to betray Jesus and when Judas gives them back the money, they refuse to put it back in the treasury because it is “blood money and it would have been unlawful to do so.
Where was their concern over the Law when they were conspiring to have Jesus arrested? Where were their scruples when they condemned Him to death using false witnesses and lies? Where was their concern for right and wrong when they murdered their Messiah?
That is the way of hypocrisy! It cares for nothing but achieving its own ends. They got what they wanted and that’s all they cared about!
C. His Damnation Acts 1:25 says that when Judas died, he went “to his own place. That simply means that he went to a place prepared for him and people like him: he went to hell!
Just as surely as there is a place called Heaven prepared by Jesus for the saints of God, John 14:1-3, there is a place called Hell prepared for the devil and for those who follow him, Matt. 25:41.
Every lost sinner, every religious hypocrite, every false disciple will go to Hell when they die. This is made crystal clear by a multitude of Scripture passages. Consider the following verses and hear their message clearly.
· Matt. 25:46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
· Matt. 3:12, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
· Matt. 13:40, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
· Matt. 13:42, “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
· Matt. 13:50, “And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
· Mark 9:43-48, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
· 2 Thes. 1:9, “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
· Rev. 14:10-11, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
· Rev. 20:10-15, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
If you miss Jesus Hell is where you will spend eternity. In the end, it will not matter how good of a neighbor you were. It will not matter that you were a church member. It will not matter about the money you gave or the good deeds you did. All that will matter is your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are saved, you will go to Heaven. If you are lost, you will go to Hell! Don’t let that happen to you! Come to Jesus and be saved or get it sure today!
Conc: Judas was the great pretender, but his hypocrisy never went unchallenged. The Lord Jesus placed many roadblocks in his way. Judas went to Hell because of his unbelief, but he had to work hard to get there.
Every sermon, every act of kindness, every miracle was a call from Jesus to repent of sin and believe on Him. When Jesus told His disciples that one of their number was “a devil, that was a call to repent. When Jesus washed the feet of Judas and revealed that one of their number was not clean, that was a challenge to his hypocrisy. When Jesus handed Judas the sop at dinner, it was a call for him to turn from the path he was following. Judas climbed over every obstacle a loving Lord placed in his path and continued on his way to Hell.
What about you? Are you genuinely, truly saved by the grace of God today? Are you in a personal, faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you looked to Him by faith for your soul’s salvation? Are you trusting Him, His shed blood and His resurrection as your path to Heaven?
Or, are you counting on your good works to get you in? are you expecting to get to Heaven because you are a church member? It did not work for Judas and it will not work for you. If you want to go to Heave, you must be born again, John 3:3,7. If you want to miss Hell, you must not miss Jesus, John 14:6; Acts 4:12.
If you are not saved, come to Him today. If you are saved, you need to thank Him for His grace in calling you, converting you and keeping you.