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 guidance 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:
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: