The False Repentance of Judas
By David J. Stewart | November 2009
Matthew 27:3, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was
repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders.”
Judas went to Hell. There is no indication in the Scriptures to believe that Judas was ever a born-again believer. He was a known thief (John 12:6). The word for “repented” in Matthew 27:3 is “metamellomai” and means “to care afterwards, i.e., regret.” This is a VERY different word than the word “repent” concerning salvation used in Mark 1:15, “metanoeo,” which means, “to think differently.”
Although Judas repented in the sense that he felt sorry for what he had done, and regretted doing it, this was not salvation. Judas still went to Hell, to pay for his own sins. Judas threw the 30 pieces of silver onto the floor of the temple, returning the filthy lucre to the evil chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:4-5). Judas admitted that he had shed innocent blood, but the chief priests and elders couldn't have cared less, because they were all evil to the core.
Lordship Salvation is the false teaching that a sinner must make amends, cease from their sinful lifestyle and walk a straight path as a prerequisite to saving-faith. According to Lordship Salvationists, one who has no desire to cease from their sinful ways cannot be saved until they do so. They teach a false Gospel—the same false Gospel which Judas followed. Judas was sorry for his sins, and desired to give up his sins; but this is not Biblical repentance unto salvation.
Concerning salvation, Biblical repentance is the recognition of my sinnership—the owning before God that I am as vile a sinner as He hath declared me to be in His holy Word. Biblical repentance is realizing that one has violated GOD'S LAW. All sin is solely against God, for sin is the breaking of God's commandments. If you do wrong to a fellow human being; you have sinned against God alone. Sin is always against God. God holds us accountable for how we treat other people, for God has commanded us to love our neighbour as our self. The first 5 of the 10 commandments deal with man's relationship to God; but the second 5 of the 10 commandments deal with man's relationship to man. We cannot be right vertically with God, until we are right horizontally with men. Biblical repentance is acknowledging that I am a guilty sinner before God (Romans 3:19).
Lordship Salvation is a road to Hell. Judas was a follower of Jesus Christ, one of His very Apostles. Judas was sorry for betraying the Son of God, and returned the money to the evil men who crucified our Lord. It should be clear to us that being a follower of Christ is not the way of salvation. Being sorry for one's sins is not the way of salvation. Turning over a new leaf and making amends of one's sinful ways is not the way of salvation. Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their guilt of sin, and comes to God on the basis of being a hell-deserving sinner; believing on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, to forgive their sins (Acts 10:43). That is true repentance unto salvation!
John 8:32 and 36, “And ye shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free ...
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
Jesus Came to Save Sinners