LEARNING FROM JUDAS’ MISTAKES, PART 4

4. Judas’ Remorse

 Matthew 27:3-4, Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, {4} Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

THE MISTAKE & THE LESSON. It appears from the written text that Judas didn’t mean for Jesus to die. All he wanted was to get Jesus arrested in exchange for money. But he didn’t expect the chief priests to put Him to death. You see, things didn’t go as Judas had planned. Things didn’t turn out the way Judas thought they would.

Brethren, you may have your life of sin all planned out. This is what you’re going to do. This is how you’re going to live. And after that, you’re going to live happily ever after. Friends, it doesn’t work like this! WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF TO SIN THE ONLY THING YOU’RE GIVING YOURSELF IS A FUTURE OF PAIN, SUFFERING, AND REGRET.

Judas didn’t think that Jesus would be killed! He didn’t want to see the Lord condemned and put to death. But that’s exactly what happened! It is both a tragic, and a graphic, lesson to us that SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES AND THESE CONSEQUENCES ARE BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. YOU CAN’T CHOOSE WHAT THESE CONSEQUENCES WILL BE AND YOU CAN’T STOP THESE CONSEQUENCES FROM HAPPENING.

THE ONLY CHOICE YOU HAVE IS TO SIN OR NOT SIN. IF YOU CHOOSE TO SIN, YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT KIND OF SIN YOU’RE GOING TO COMMIT. BUT ONCE YOU’VE CHOSEN TO SIN, YOU CAN’T CHOOSE WHAT WILL HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF YOUR SIN. Things will happen that you didn’t want to happen, didn’t plan to happen, didn’t expect to happen, or didn’t think would happen.

SIN’S CONSEQUENCES OR RESULTS ARE BEYOND  YOUR  CONTROL!  IF  YOU  DON’T WANT THESE CONSEQUENCES TO HAPPEN, IF YOU DON’T WANT THE UNDESIRABLE AND THE UNTHINKABLE TO HAPPEN, THEN DON’T SIN! YOU WILL NOT REAP SIN’S CONSEQUENCES, YOU WILL NOT SUFFER THE PAINS AND REGRETS OF SIN, IF YOU DON’T SIN!

THE MISTAKE & LESSON.  Notice in the text of Scripture that Judas was remorseful. He now recognized what he did—he betrayed an innocent Man. He confessed his sin. And he was sorry for what he did. He even went so far as to return the thirty pieces of silver. But in his sorrow for sin, Judas didn’t repent! It’s important for you to recognize this fact because the KJV gives us the impression that he repented. But that is not the case.

There are two basic words for repent in the Greek New Testament. The first is metánoia. It means to change one’s mind and go in another direction. This is the repentance that we are most familiar with. It’s the kind of repentance that’s required for salvation and the forgiveness of sin. The other word for repentance is metaméllomai. It speaks of sorrow, regret, and remorse. This is the Greek word that’s used here with respect to Judas.

Now SORROW AND REMORSE ARE A NECESSARY PART OF TRUE REPENTANCE. BUT THEY ARE NOT THE  SAME  THING  AS REPENTANCE. It’s like apple pie. You need dough and apples to make apple pie. But just because you’ve got dough and apples doesn’t mean you’ve got apple pie. You need to roll the dough, put it in a pie pan, then peel and slice your apples, put them in the pie pan, put a crust over it, then bake it before you have your apple pie.

It’s the same way with repentance. Sorrow and remorse are a part of repentance, but they’re not the same thing as actually repenting of sin. You can feel sorry about fornicating without ever changing your mind about fornication. You feel sorry because you know it’s wrong and it’s sin. You feel sorry because you were caught in fornication. But you’ll continue to fornicate because you just haven’t yet changed your mind about fornication! You haven’t given up your love, desire, and intention to fornicate again.

Do you see what I mean?  YOU CAN BE SORRY YOU SINNED AND STILL NOT REPENT FOR THAT  SIN. JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE SORRY DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE REPENTANT!

Judas was genuinely and sincerely sorry for what he did. But his remorse didn’t bring him to the Lord! All he would have had to do to receive the Lord’s forgiveness was go to the Lord, apologize, and ask for His forgiveness. And do you know what? Jesus would have forgiven him! Jesus forgives those who truly repent of their sins.

The thing that I find so tragic here is, instead  of  going  to  the  Lord,  Judas  went  to  the  priests. If he had only apologized to the Lord—instead of to the priests—his end would have been different!

Learn a lesson here, dear friends. SORROW FOR SIN IS A GOOD THING. BUT IT DOESN’T DO YOU ANY GOOD IF IT DOESN’T LEAD YOU TO REPENTANCE. YOU OUGHT TO FEEL SORRY. BUT GOD WANTS MORE THAN JUST YOUR REMORSE: HE WANTS YOUR REPENTANCE! FEEL SORRY ALL YOU WANT. CRY ALL THE TEARS YOU WANT. BUT IF YOU DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT YOUR SIN, IF YOU DON’T QUIT SINNING; ALL THE TEARS AND SORROW IN THE WORLD WILL NOT GET YOU GOD’S FORGIVENESS!

To bring this lesson home, consider this sobering truth: Judas never made it to Heaven in spite of the fact that he was sorry! Jesus said in Matthew 26:24, The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. Judas died a grieved, sorrowful man filled with remorse and regret. But he didn’t go to Heaven because he didn’t go to the Lord. His remorse didn’t lead him to repentance. He was remorseful, but not repentant.

Friends, don’t  fool  yourself and play games with God because your soul is on the line. JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE SORRY DOESN’T MEAN THE LORD’S GOING TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOU AND FORGIVE YOU! THE LORD DIDN’T FORGIVE JUDAS IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT JUDAS WAS SORRY! WHY? BECAUSE JUDAS NEVER REPENTED!

YOU’VE GOT TO REPENT IN ORDER TO BE FORGIVEN. BELOVED, DON’T THINK THAT REMORSE IS ENOUGH TO BE FORGIVEN. IT ISN’T! YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE UP THE SIN AND TURN AWAY FROM IT IF YOU WANT THE LORD TO FORGIVE YOU. NO REPENTANCE, NO FORGIVENESS. PERIOD.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post, The 5th & Final Installment. Sin will eventually kill you if you don’t give it up. Judas’ sin took his life. It’s such a tragic end to a man who was privileged to spend a few years so close to the Lord. Don’t miss out on these final life-saving lessons!

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