We all know of Judas; the man who betrayed Jesus with a kiss for 30 pieces of silver. Judas was one of the disciples of Jesus and he walked with Jesus until the last minute when he betrayed Him. Later on, he died, and the question we are left asking ourselves is, “Did he go to heaven?” While we may not be sure whether Judas went to heaven or not, there are several things that may give us a clue on this.
It is not upon us to judge whether someone will go to heaven or not, but God. The 11 disciples of Jesus could not tell whether Judas went to heaven or not. As they prayed for the replacement of Judas, they did not mention that Judas had gone to heaven or hell.
“Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.”Acts 1:24-25
They said Judas went ‘where he belongs.’ It could be that he went to heaven or hell.
Did Judas Go to Heaven or Hell?
The sin that Judas committed looks like a very bad sin in our eyes. This is because he committed it against Jesus in His human form. The truth is, that many of us sin in the same way. It is only that we don’t realize it because Jesus is not in human form anymore. We betray Jesus every day when we choose other things over Him.
Read Also: Can We Go To Heaven With Tattoos?
Most times, we choose to gratify our selfish desires and turn a blind eye to Jesus. Many have joined strange cults and religions to generate wealth at the expense of their devotion to Jesus. Aren’t these things similar to what Judas did? Judas chose pieces of silver over his Master, Jesus. He sold his discipleship for a few coins. How many times do we sell our faith for worldly things? Have we never pretended to express our love to Jesus, yet we had an ill motive behind that fake love?
It is important for us to understand that the sin that Judas committed is like any other, and it is upon God to judge us. Below are some points that may help us tell if Judas went to heaven after his death.
- Judas might have gone to hell because he chose worldly treasures over God. His greed for money overpowered his love and devotion for Jesus. The greedy are considered unrighteous and their punishment is that they will not go to heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 reads, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” It is evident that Judas was a greedy man and we can conclude that he did not go to heaven since God says that such people will not inherit his kingdom.
- When Jesus talked about His death to His disciples, He assured them that He was going to prepare a place for them in God’s house. One of His disciples wondered how this could happen yet they did not know the way to heaven. Jesus answered that He was the way to heaven and anyone who wanted to go to heaven must devote themselves to Him. John 14:5-6 reads, “Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus made it clear that no human being can go to heaven without Him. So, if Judas betrayed Jesus, do you think he went to heaven?
- Another reason that can show us that Judas went to hell and not in heaven is the fact that Jesus cursed him. Many say that the weight of the curse could have triggered his decision to hang himself. In Matthew 26:24, Jesus says, “The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” These words indicate the weight of the consequences of the actions of Judas. It could mean a punishment as bad as going to hell. The possibility of a person who died with a curse from Jesus going to heaven is almost zero.
Read Also: Will Smokers Go to Heaven?
- After Judas realized that he had made a mistake, he made another mistake. It is often said that ‘two wrongs cannot make right.’ But Judas chose to add to his mistakes. The burden of guilt was too much for him to bear and his conscience was not at peace. So, he decided to hang himself; something that is against the will of God. Suicide is equal to murder before God. Life is a gift from God and taking the responsibility of ending our lives for whatever reason demeans this gift. God will not allow murderers, including those who take their own lives, in heaven. Their place is in hell and Judas could be there right now.
- We can also refute claims that Judas did not go to heaven because he was only fulfilling the messianic prophecies. If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, the prophecies about the Messiah who would come and be crucified for mankind’s salvation would not have been fulfilled. It was like he was helping in the execution of God’s plan. Jesus Himself had prophesied about this and He knew that Judas was going to betray Him. If He wanted to prevent Judas from doing that, he wouldn’t have betrayed Him. But He let it happen so that the prophecies would be fulfilled and complete His mission on earth. He was to die a shameful death for the salvation and redemption of mankind. What do you think happens if someone helps fulfill or complete the work of God on earth? Isn’t that what Judas did? Additionally, after realizing how badly he had messed up, Judas felt remorseful for his actions. Matthew 27:3-4 reads, “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. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” Do we remember the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector? This man was a sinner and he knew about it. But when Jesus went to his house, he returned all the money that he had overcharged people as he collected taxes. His sins were forgiven and he became a new creation in Christ. When we genuinely repent of our mistakes, God forgives us and immediately makes us new creations. Judas acknowledged his sin and even made a step to return the pieces of silver that he had been offered to betray Jesus. His actions tell a lot about the state of his heart. Furthermore, Jesus forgave everyone who participated in one way or another in His death. Judas was one of the people who took part in the plans that led to the arrest and death of Jesus. His sin was forgiven and its weight is no longer upon him. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” If Judas had been freed from the consequence of his sin, he might have gone to heaven.
Read Also: Can an Adulterer Go to Heaven?
- Can a fake friend go to heaven? Judas was a fake friend to Jesus. If God will punish all fake friends and backstabbers by sending them to hell, then Judas is in hell. But if being a fake friend does not hinder anyone from going to heaven, then Judas might be in heaven. He was always with Jesus, as one of the closest friends to Him. Yet, when the time came, all he could do was look for the right opportunity to betray his friend. Matthew 26:14-15 reads, “Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over.”
We cannot really tell if Judas went to heaven or not. Moreover, the Bible explains that people will go to heaven or hell after the rapture.
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.”1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
People who died have not yet gone to heaven or hell but their souls await the rapture. At the time of the rapture, it will be determined if Judas will go to heaven or not based on how he lived on earth and not based on the one sin we all know about.
Read Also: What Does the Bible Say About Cheating?