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Dear Pastor Charles: I was reading my Bible the other day and came across a passage that is confusing to me. The passage is John 17:12, “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.” I am assuming that Jesus is referring to Judas here. This sounds to me like Judas was condemned by God before he was even born. What Scripture is Jesus referring to here and was Judas chosen by God to be doomed? Thanks for your help. Curious…
Thank you for your question. Jesus is referring to Judas in this passage. The Scripture He is citing is from Psalms 41:9, “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” King David wrote this Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit at least a thousand years before Christ was born. We know that it is about Christ because Jesus applied it to Himself in John 13:18, “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.”
With a casual reading, it appears that God picked Judas well in advance to be the one to betray Jesus. So the question is before us; “Did God preordain Judas to destruction?” To answer that question we need to further study the nature of God in view of other Scriptures. I will quote a few here in order to shed some light for you:
Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever acknowledges me before men, him will I also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 11:26, “And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 12:46, “I have come as a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness.”
Acts 2:21, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
1 John 4:15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God.”
1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:”
Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him who is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Do you notice a common word in all these passages? “Whosoever” means anyone and everyone can come to God and accept the sacrifice of His Son Jesus as the total and complete payment for their sins. Even old Judas had that option available to him. Unfortunately, Judas chose to reject the Son of God just like so many in our world today. To reject Jesus Christ is to place the final nail in your eternal coffin. God gives each of us the same opportunity to come to Him on His terms, or to reject Him. You must remember that God knows each of us intimately and that allows Him to know, in advance, what choice we are going to make concerning Him. Therefore, He was able to determine, in advance, who would be the one to betray the Son of God.
No one is chosen for destruction, though God does reserve that sovereign right. Judas should serve as a good wake up call for those who have been putting off a decision to turn to God. Jesus said that No one can serve two masters because you will end up hating the one and turning to the other. In other words, there will be no fence sitters in heaven. There are some other “whosoevers” in the Bible that bear mentioning here:
James 4:4, “…whosoever is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.”
1 John 2:23, “Whosoever denys the Son, does not have the Father: (but) he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
2 John 1:9, “Whosoever does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whosoever abides in the teaching of Christ, has both the Father and the Son.”
Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
I thank you again for your great question and I pray that you will continue to search the Scriptures for it is only through them that we can come to know the “Word that became flesh”, our Lord Jesus Christ. May God richly bless you as you come to know Him more fully.