Was Judas Saved?

14 06 2018

A question I have heard many times is whether or not Judas who betrayed Jesus was saved. He was chosen to be an apostle, and preached along with the other apostles. When they performed miracles Judas performed them right along with them. Does this mean he was saved? The answer is clear from Scripture and that answer is no. The Bible says that it would have been better for him to have never been born.

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.” (Matthew 26:24-25)

We are also told that Judas was possessed by Satan which I believe is not a possibility for a believer.

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:26-27)

Jesus called Judas a devil.

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71)

Jesus Himself said Judas did not believe.

“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” (John 6:64)

We are not told that he went to heaven in fact the Scriptures seem to hint otherwise.

“That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:25)

We don’t see the fruits of repentance in his life. Judas kept the money for the ministry of Jesus and was a thief.

“This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:6)

Why would Jesus appoint an apostle who wasn’t a believer? The answer is to fulfill prophecy.

“While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)

Some would say Judas repented so he must have been saved. The word repent in the New Testament means a change of mind. When Judas returned the money he changed his mind but it wasn’t Godly repentance. Godly repentance works life but worldly repentance works death which is exactly what happened to Judas.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

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Tattoos

22 11 2016

In this clip Pastor Doug Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho addresses the issue of tattoos. I found his input very good and I recommend you listen in regardless of your views on the issue.

 





Are All Sins Equal Before God?

16 10 2015

Pastor John Piper answers the question as to whether all sins are equal before God or whether all sins are the same in the eyes of God.





Is Tithing Commanded in the New Testament?

15 07 2014

Question: Is tithing commanded in the New Testament?

Answer: No

Now this answer will make a lot of tradition bound people angry so let me turn to the Bible to explain it. First of all there is no command in the New Testament to tithe. The tithe was a command of the Jews in the Old Testament and there were many tithes. This was how they paid for their nation. In fact if Christians today tithed like their Old Testament counterparts then they would tithe off more then their pay. They would tithe off their spices, furniture, vegetable gardens and so on. Let’s ask a few questions about the tithe shall we and answer them from the Bible.

Question 1: What is a tithe and where did it come from?

The word tithe means a tenth. We see it first practiced by Abraham. He did it not out of obligation but the overflow of a thankful heart. God did not give any command from the beginning for man to bring an offering. Looking now to father Abraham.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” (Genesis 14:18-20)

We see a tithe again from his grandson Jacob.

“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” (Genesis 28:20-22)

This is all we see of tithing until the law of Moses. Notice that Jacob was not saying 10 percent was God’s and 90 percent was his to do with as he pleased. He recognized that all was God’s and gave back a tenth as a thank offering thus showing where it came from. Too many times I have heared hopefully well meaning preachers say that all God wants is 10 percent and the rest is yours. This is blatantly false.

In the law of Moses the Israelites were to give 10 percent of the crops they grew and the livestock they raised to the tabernacle/temple. The Old Testament law required multiple tithes. There was one for the Levites, one for the use of the temple and the feasts, and one for the poor of the land. This would have pushed the total to around 23 percent. Some understand the Old Testament tithe as a method of taxation to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites in the sacrificial system.

Is tithing mentioned in the New Testament?

Some would say that tithing is mentioned in the New Testament. The only references to the tithe in the New Testament are in the Gospels during a time before Christ died when worship was still done through Old Testament means and in Hebrews when referencing the Old Testament. There is no command given concerning it at all. In all of the writings of the apostles, and all the instructions given to the church wouldn’t tithing take at least an honorable mention? One would think but alas it isn’t so. What does the New Testament say about giving?

1. We are to give as God prospers us.

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)

There were no overhead expenses in the Bible times since they all met in homes so offerings were given for the relief of the poor. The same principles apply in our modern day I believe. We are still to give as unto the Lord.

2. We are to give of what we have not of what we don’t have.

“For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” (2 Corinthians 8:12)

So we are to give of what we have, not of what we don’t have. I always find it interesting that when people ask pastors if they should give off their gross or net income the answer is always gross. This maximizes the amount given. The problem is that Scripture says that we give from what we have and what we have been prospered. I don’t have that money nor have I prospered from it. When tax returns come in and the money is given back from the government people ask if they should give from that money since it has already been tithed off of and the answer is always yes because after all, “you don’t want to short change the Lord.” It is often given both ways without a solid Biblical argument. Now When I get my tax return I give from that prospering.

3. We are first to give of ourselves.

“And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” (2 Corinthians 8:5)

The purpose of giving is not that God wants or needs our money but that He wants us. If we don’t give of ourselves first then our offerings bear no fruit. I have heard the joke that God wants cheerful givers but if your not cheerful He will take it anyway He can get it. This is one of the most unBiblical jokes I have heard. That concept is not found in the Bible. God wants us above all and we demonstrate outwardly that He has us inwardly by giving back to Him recognizing 100 percent is His.

4. We are to give sacrificially.

“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-4)

These believers gave so much away that they were trusting the Lord to meet their needs. It wasn’t a giving where they saw themselves as owners of 90 percent. They gave in such a way that if the Lord didn’t take care of them then they would die. They begged Paul to let them give. It wasn’t a burden because they had already given themselves to the Lord. Letting go of the money He had given them was no problem at all. They considered themselves as stewards and not owners of all that God had given. To some people 10 percent hurts but others who have much can write a check for 10 percent and never miss it. This was not God’s plan. His plan was for all of us to give in such a way that we relied on Him to provide for us.

This was the greatness of the widow that Jesus spoke of. The others cast in of their abundance and didn’t miss it. They were greedy even though they gave God 10 percent. This widow cast in all of her living and cast herself onto the care of Almighty God. Jesus should have condemned her as irresponsible and said to her: “Woman don’t you know I only want 10 percent and the rest is yours?” He didn’t say that because her giving reflected what true giving should, a recognition of her position as a steward. This is New Testament giving.

5. We are to give as we purpose.

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

I believe this verse repeals the required tithe of the law of Moses. We are to give as we purpose in our hearts. It says to give “not of necessity.” This is important because if there was a required percent then there would be a necessity. Some may only have the faith to give 5 percent then so let them give and as their faith increases so should their giving. We are even given a warning that the more we sow the more we will reap.

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Tithing is nothing more then a middle class way of robbing God. We give a 10 percent check and feel good about ourselves while hoarding the rest and putting it into savings, and retirement accounts that demonstrate our lack of faith in God. We sink it into houses, cars, clothes, hobbies and trinkets that have no eternal value but believe we are doing God a favor. I know a man whose heart is not turned towards God but believes that as long as he goes to church every now and then and gives God His 10 percent then God will bless him. God has become his paid helper at that point.

To convince people to give we retreat to the Old Testament and tell them they have robbed God and God will break their car or refrigerator to get what’s coming to Him. God is now reduced to a thug who breaks knee caps to get His pay out. Is this our view of the God of Scripture? How then should we encourage people to give? The way Paul did by letting them know that God will always provide for them if they give.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:8-10)

We should give and I don’t believe anyone should give less then the Old Testament minimum of 10 percent but shame on us if we are saved 10, 20, or 30 years and we are giving 10 percent while stocking our bank accounts and garages. Shame on us for letting people believe this is okay. Give yourself first, then give bountifully of what God has given you looking to Him to supply more seed so that you can give yet more again. This is New Testament giving.





Did The Father Forsake The Son?

24 04 2014

Question: On the cross did God the Father forsake the Son?

Answer: No He did not.

This is one of the most commonly misunderstood truths in the Bible. There was no time whatsoever that the Son ceased to be God which means there could be no time that He was forsaken by another member of the Godhead. This thought is usually included in emotion driven songs or sermons where the preacher wants to express how sad it was for the Father because He had to forsake His Son. I have even seen videos where Jesus (well an actor playing Jesus) hangs on a cross and a tear drop falls from heaven.

According Scripture it did not break the Father’s heart to sacrifice the Son it actually brought Him joy.

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)

Some argue that God cannot bear sin and since Jesus bore the sin of the world then it must mean the Father turned His face away. Wrong again because God constantly and daily bears with the sin of mankind.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30)

No sin is hidden from His sight.

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)

Why then did Jesus cry out what He did? Well let’s look to the passage in question.

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Jesus said something like 7 things from the cross. Those words that He spoke were carefully chosen words and served a specific purpose.

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.” (John 19:28)

Here we see Jesus saying something for the purpose of fulfilling the Scriptures. The Psalms give many of the things that the Messiah would say from the cross and to demonstrate who He was and fulfill the prophetic purpose of the verses He said those things. The statement of being forsaken is also from the Psalms.

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” (Psalms 22:1)

So how do we know that the Son wasn’t actually forsaken by the Father. Well first of all the arguments for such an event are that the Father couldn’t bear to look on sin but we see from the Scriptures that He does. The second argument is that it broke the Father’s heart to sacrifice the Son but we see from Scripture that it did not. So how can we know Jesus was just fulfilling the prophecy of Psalms 22:1 and was not actually forsaken? Look to this same chapter of Psalms to see what is said after the Psalmist gives several other prophecies concerning the death of the Messiah.

“For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” (Psalm 22:24)

Being a fundamentalist and Biblical literalist I have to side against traditions of men and side with the Scriptures that Jesus was not forsaken nor did the Father turn His face in fact when Jesus cried unto Him the Father heard Him and was satisfied.





What Was The First Command?

4 04 2014

Question: What was the first command given to mankind?

Answer: The first command given was to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I have heard people say that the first command was to be fruitful and multiply. This is in error if you look closely at the text you can see the timing of the two commands. In Genesis 1:27 we see an overview of the creation of man. IT mentions both the male and the female and then the command in verse 28 to them as a group to multiply.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

In Genesis chapter 2 we see a more detailed account where Adam was created first and then God formed Eve from Adam. When we look at the timeline in chapter two we can see the order of commands. In verse 7 we see the creation of Adam. In verses 15-17 we see the first command given to man.

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

We then see the creation of Eve in verses 21-22 after the command given to Adam concerning the tree of life. The second command given to mankind was to be fruitful and multiple but the first was the one we disobeyed which plunged us all into sin and death.





Did the Jewish Leaders Know Who Jesus Was?

27 01 2014

Question: Did the Jewish Leaders Know Who Jesus Was?

Answer: Yes the Scriptures teach that they did know who He was.

 

Consider a few passages with me if you would. They knew the time of Messiah’s coming was near because they were familiar with the prophecy in Daniel 9 concerning the timing of the coming of Messiah. Theyb knew the time had arrived and questioned John the Baptist as to whether he was the One to come. He denied being the one but pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as the One, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

In John 3 a Pharisee names Nicodemus came to Jesus on behalf of the Sanhedrin and he makes an interesting statement. “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:1-2) Here Nicodemus admits “we” meaning the Sanhedrin “know thou art a teacher come from God.” They knew He was from God the fact that they tested that does not mean they were unaware. The same is said of Satan when he tempted Jesus he said “If thou be the Son of God.” (Matthew 4:3) Satan knew who He was but wanted to cast doubt just as the Pharisees sought to do. They recognized He was from God.

The Pharisees realized that if they did not do something all people would follow Jesus. “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:47-48) Here we see a recognition that if they leave Jesus alone all will believe on Him. They recognize His power and His miracles.

Jesus told the Pharisees a parable about themselves. “Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” (Matthew 21:33-40)

Now we know that He was talking about them but did they know this? Look at verse 45, “And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.” They were pierced to the heart. They knew who He was and that He was the Son whose inheritance they were trying to take. He filled in the blanks for them as well: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:42-43)

In John 11 we see what the Sanhedrin was actually afraid of: “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:47-48) The concern about Jesus was that because of Him the Romans would take away their “place” (this refers most likely to the temple) and their nation. Why would they think such a thing? Well because they were quoting a prophecy of the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26) They recognized that after the Messiah came the temple and city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. They recognized Jesus being the Messiah would bring this to pass.

When Pilate pronounced that he washed his hands of the innocent blood of that just person the Jews did not argue that He was not innocent or just but rather they replied, “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25) When Judas came to return the money for betraying Christ he declared that Christ was innocent and the council didn’t argue with him in fact they seemed to agree, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.” (Matthew 27:3-4)

The final proof is found during the murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Their accusation was not that He was a false Messiah. Look carefully at the claims they made about Him.

1. He claimed to be the Messiah or King of the Jews: “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.” (Luke 23:2)

2. He was convincing the people He was the Messiah: “And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” (Luke 23:5)

3. They denied Him as their King: “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15)

 








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