Did the devil destroy Judas forever?

If Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus, was destroyed by Satan forever, what does that say about God? That the devil is more powerful than God? Or that God doesn’t have the power to save some people?

But if that’s true, how can anyone preach the gospel with a clear conscience? The gospel is supposed to be the good news of God sending Jesus to save us, with no exceptions – a point Jesus himself emphasized in John 18:9 when he said, “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” Not one.

Ah, but didn’t Jesus also say in John 17:12, “None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction”? So there was an exception, right? Jesus did lose somebody. But did Jesus lose Judas because he was unable to save him? No, verse 12, Judas was lost “so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” It was already predicted in Scripture that someone would betray Jesus, and Judas ended up being the one. Judas, therefore, wasn’t one of those God gave to Jesus for salvation. God had another purpose for Judas.

But if Judas wasn’t lost forever because he’d never been given to Jesus for salvation in the first place, why did Jesus use the term “lost” to describe Judas at all? Because in context Jesus meant he lost Judas as a disciple (verse 12). Not lost him forever, but lost him as one of the twelve.

But what about Matthew 26:24 where Jesus says of Judas, “Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Well of course it would have been better if Judas had never existed, knowing what he did, but is there any mention in this verse of Judas being lost forever? No.

Jesus talks of the exact opposite happening to Judas, in fact, in verse 28, when Jesus describes the cup of wine they shared as the “blood of my covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Judas drank from that cup too, and did Jesus exclude Judas from the forgiveness of sins it pictured? No.

So when Judas admits “I have sinned,” Matthew 27:4, was his sin the one exception to God’s forgiveness? If it was then we must preach that Christ’s blood does not cover every sin, and that God can’t save some people because the devil’s managed to destroy them, which is saying the devil is more powerful than God. But is that the picture of God we preach? No, we preach the good news of John 3:16-17.


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