A friend of mine made this statement on Twitter, “sometimes I wonder if Judas made Heaven.” It made me think. With Easter still fresh in our minds and souls — where is Judas? You know, Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed the Son of God with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver? The same guy who is arguably the most hated man in Christianity? Yeah, that one.
There are many theories on Judas and where he’s spending eternity. A lot of people have much to say on this issue. It’s useful to debate Biblical ideas with fellow believers. It aids our spiritual growth, but nothing beats the Word. Let’s look at who the Bible says Judas was.
Who was Judas?
Judas’ life didn’t start with him betraying Jesus, but it definitely ended soon after (Matthew 27:5). Judas was the son of Simon Iscariot (John 6:71). He was a follower of Jesus for 3 years, a trusted member of the Twelve, and he was a treasurer — meaning he was in charge of the disciple’s funds (John 12:6).
Judas committed suicide, so he must be in Hell
According to Matthew 27:5, “he went away and hanged himself” then “his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out” (Acts 1:18). But nowhere does the Bible ever state that suicide is an unforgivable sin . This myth has widely been shared within Christendom. Brandon Peach states:
“This concept is rooted in medieval theology and related to Augustinianism — so it’s not without its history in the Church — but doesn’t stand up to scrutiny when compared against what the Bible actually teaches.”
Scripture states that Samson was faithful to God (Hebrews 11), but he knew full well that he was going to die in his last act of revenge against the Philistines — an act that God granted. There have been several prophets who wished they would die—Moses did it (Numbers 11:15). Job cursed the day he was born (Job 3:11). Elijah also asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:3–4), and Jonah was so angry he wished he was dead (Jonah 4:8–9).
All of these men did astonishing work for the Kingdom of God . They all knew God , yet they still had thoughts of suicide and asked for death. The Bible states nowhere that these individuals went to Hell because they committed suicide or wished to die. The Bible also does not state that suicide is an unforgivable sin. Jesus said, “so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31).
Jesus speaks on Judas
In John 17:12 Jesus said that “while I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” Depending on the version you use it also reads as “the son of perdition” which means “eternal damnation” or “utter destruction.” These are all synonyms for Hell. Using common sense it is quite easy to see that Jesus was talking about Judas.
While Peter did disown Jesus — he was also the rock upon which Jesus built the Church. This is the same Church that can withstand the gates of Hell (Matthew 16:18). A title probably not held by a man confined by those gates.
The Bible also says that Satan entered Judas (Luke 22:3) and that even before the betrayal he did not care about the poor and was dishonest with the disciple’s funds and “used to help himself to what was put in it” (John 12:6). Jesus also referred to Judas as a devil (John 6:70) and as unclean — meaning he had not been born again (John 13:26). This makes me wonder if Judas ever really believed and if he truly repented from his evil ways. The Bible says he was filled with remorse and that’s why he hung himself. Matthew 27:3 says:
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
But remorse doesn’t equate to repentance. Remorse is the first steps of repentance. I can feel remorseful for a decision I made but if am not turning away from that decision, acknowledging my need for Jesus, and pursuing Christ I’m not truly remorseful or repenting. I’m merely ashamed of being called out by God on my actions.
Is Judas in heaven?
Scripture paints a pretty clear picture of where Judas is. Based upon the evidence I do not think he is in Heaven. His eternal dwelling place has no impact on my daily relationship with God and my belief in Jesus. I look at the story of Judas and I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21–23:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
This passage is a perfect example of what we ought to do every day. We must choose to wage war with our flesh and sin and pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. Judas’ life serves as a reminder to never be one to offer lip service to Jesus. He requires our entire heart . I do not know the full extent of Judas’ heart in the last hours of his life. I do know what the Bible says, and I trust God dealt with Judas according to His perfectly divine and just nature. That is more than enough for me.