Is Judas Iscariot in Hell?

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Is Judas Iscariot in Hell?

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Is Judas Iscariot in Hell?

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Judas Iscariot is a name synonymous with betrayal. Jesus Christ made a powerful statement directed towards him: “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24 Matthew 26:24The Son of man goes as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
American King James Version×
)! Judas went on to commit suicide after fully realizing what he had done (Matthew 27:3-5 Matthew 27:3-5 3 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 you to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
American King James Version×
). Does his suicide mean that he’s surely in hell, or does it instead prove that he was repentant and therefore in heaven? The answer takes an altogether different approach: Despite his actions and his lingering infamy, we can have confidence from the Word of God that Judas Iscariot is not currently burning in Hell—and the reasons may surprise you!

We can have confidence from the Word of God that Judas Iscariot is not currently burning in hell and that no one will suffer an eternity in hellfire, but rather those who refuse God’s way will simply be destroyed.

The outline of future events in Revelation 20:4-15 Revelation 20:4-15 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
are crucial to understanding why Judas is not in Hell. This passage describes the time when Jesus Christ will return to the earth and will reign for 1,000 years along with the saints, who are resurrected at that time. The “saints” are the people who God has called out and chosen during their lifetimes . But verse 5 says that “the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
American King James Version×
), and the details of this second resurrection are given in Revelation 20:11-15 Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
.

One key to understanding this sequence of events—and to understanding why Judas cannot be in hell right now—challenges a common assumption: people are not judged by God immediately when they die . Peter explained in 1 Peter 4:17 1 Peter 4:17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
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that the “house of God” is being judged now . This is how the saints in Revelation 20:4-6 Revelation 20:4-6 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
are qualified to inherit eternal life at Jesus’ return, while “the rest of the dead” are not judged until later in Revelation 20:11-15 Revelation 20:11-15 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
.

If the dead have not yet been judged, then no one is in hell at this time, including Judas! But what about when “the rest of the dead” live again and stand for judgment? Will he be condemned to hell then? It’s worth examining what exactly we mean by “hell.” Many understand hell to be a place of eternal torment where the wicked are punished forever in fire. But the truth of the Bible again challenges this traditional teaching. For example, it says that “the soul that sins shall die ” (Ezekiel 18:20 Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
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) and that God “is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 Matthew 10:28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
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).

In Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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, Paul explains the afterlife from both sides of the issue. Firstly, he tells us that “the wages of sin is death” —the unrepentant do not live in everlasting torture! The end of Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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contains a contrasting statement that makes the conclusion even more certain: “the gift of God is eternal life.” Human beings do not live forever unless they receive God’s gift of eternal life.

A person who does not receive eternal life faces what Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
calls “the second death” in the lake of fire. Jesus referred to this same fate as the destruction of the body and the soul in “hell” (Matthew 10:28 Matthew 10:28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
American King James Version×
). The word translated as “hell” in Matthew 10:28 Matthew 10:28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
American King James Version×
is gehenna , which is the name of a place near Jerusalem where trash was taken to be burned according to one rabbinical source. We can therefore conclude that hell is the place where the bodies and souls of those who will not repent will be destroyed, once and for all, and this will not happen until after the 1,000-year reign of Jesus on the earth.

We can have confidence from the Word of God that Judas Iscariot is not currently burning in hell and that no one will suffer an eternity in hellfire, but rather those who refuse God’s way will simply be destroyed. As proof of God’s great mercy and love, He offered His Son as a sacrifice for all sinners who reach out to Him in repentance. It is comforting to know that God is on our side; He wants everyone to succeed in obtaining eternal life (Ezekiel 18:32 Ezekiel 18:32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, said the Lord GOD: why turn yourselves, and live you.
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, 2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
American King James Version×
). Whether Judas will ultimately be destroyed in the lake of fire is beyond our capacity to know, but we can be sure that the judgment of our merciful God will be righteous, just and fair.

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