Yes, Judas did go to hell but he could have been saved.
If Judas would have simply repented and turned to God, the Bible tells us that every person, regardless of what they’ve done, can be saved. Great men of the Bible have committed murder, adultery, idolatry, lied, stolen, acted cowardly, and more.
- 2 Peter 3:9, “God…is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.”
- 1 Timothy 2:4, “God our Savior, who desires ALL men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
- 1 John 2:2, “He is the propitiation, or satisfaction for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”
- Romans 10:13, “For whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Regarding Judas in Matthew 27:3 it says, “he repented himself.” It says in verse four that he knew he had sinned but he didn’t confess his sin or repent to God. A person can feel remorse to themselves, but not repentance for sinning against God.
2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation… but the sorrow of the world works death.”
The sorrow Judas had experienced was a worldly sorrow that only brings death.
The Believer’s Bible Commentary, page 1306 says, “Judas was remorseful, but this was not a godly repentance that leads to salvation. He was sorry for the effects which his crime brought on himself, but he was unwilling to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, page 1762-3 reads, “Judas repented, not like Peter, who repented, believed, and was pardoned. No he repented, despaired, and was ruined….he was filled with grief, anguish, indignation at himself…Judas went toward his repentance, yet it was not to salvation. He confessed, but not to God.”
Peter sinned against God when he denied him, but was extremely grieved for it. We see in Matthew 26:75 about Peter, “And he went out, and wept there bitterly.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, page 1762 reads, “His sorrow was serious…This deep sorrow is requisite (necessary)…to evidence that there is real change of mind, which is the essence of repentance, to make the pardon more welcome, and sin for the future the more loathsome.”
Here are the verses that tell us Satan entered Judas, and that Judas knew he was going to betray Jesus.
- Matthew 26:21-25, “Now as they were eating, Jesus said, ‘but 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.’ Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, ‘Rabbi, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it.’”
- John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas.’”
- John 13:18-27, “Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon…Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him.”
- John 12:6 also described Judas as a thief.
- In John 17:12, Jesus called Judas, son of perdition. *(Perdition – #684 Strong’s, Apoleia, destruction, ruin, waste, damnable).
- Acts 1:26, “Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”
Believer’s Bible Commentary, page 1581, “Judas, who had gone to his own place, eternal doom.”
MacArthur Commentary, page 1434, “Judas chose his own fate of hell by rejecting Christ.”
This next Psalm is prophetic by King David about Judas. It is also stated in the New Testament:
Psalms 109: 6-8, “Set thou a wicked man over him: let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, and let another take his office.”
Here is the verse in Acts 1:20: “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it, and let another take his office’.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary, page 902 says, “Judas who betrayed him, who’s sin was greater than Pilate’s that condemned him, as Jesus said in John 19:11…(David) he predicts his destruction, foresees and pronounces him completely miserable, as such a one that our Savior calls him, A son of perdition…that will not repent to give him glory. It is here foretold concerning this bad man.”
It’s interesting that only Judas and the Antichrist were described as sons of perdition. This is because Satan entered Judas and Satan will enter the Antichrist. To sum it up, Judas could have been forgiven if he had gone to Jesus. He didn’t. He became demon possessed, he hung himself, and he went to hell. His earthly sorrow only led to death.
The devil blinds many people’s eyes to the truth. He wants to take as many to hell as he can but people have a free will to choose to hear God’s Word, to repent, and to be saved. Unfortunately many people reject the truth and send themselves to hell.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:37, “your own words will condemn you.”
Copyright 2007-2023 Soul Choice Ministries – All Rights Reserved
By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell