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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Have Your Sins Undone You?

I was sitting at Gateway today while my tires were being rotated when I began to think about Judas -- yes, THAT Judas -- you know, Iscariot, the traitor, the hypocrite, the betrayer, Satan's beloved. I know, that's pretty deep stuff to be pondering during a simple tire rotation, but I had finished my grocery list and I guess God didn't want me to be bored.

Here's what set it off. Recently I read Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. In it, Mr. MacArthur shares the stories of each of Jesus' apostles. Peter was the fiery one who spoke without thought. Andrew was the one always bringing people to Jesus. John was deeply loved by Jesus and spread that love through his New Testament writings. I was fascinated by the fact that, with the exception of John and of course Judas, all of Jesus' apostles were martyred for their faith.

Even Judas, in a twisted way, died for Jesus when he hung himself after he realized the mistake he made in betraying Him. And the sad thing is, if Judas had just asked Jesus for forgiveness he could have gone on, like the rest of the apostles did, to do great things for Him. Judas missed his opportunity in Heaven because his faith was not genuine.

What do you think he was feeling in that moment when he realized what he had done -- when God convicted him of his sin and it occurred to him that he had betrayed the only man who could save him? He knew Jesus was who He said He was so why didn't Judas call out to him. His greed and regret had undone him. I believe his sin left him feeling unworthy and undeserving to be in the presence of Jesus or to be rewarded with the gift that only He could give. He knew when he made that decision to grab a rope and find a tree instead of going to Jesus to ask for forgiveness that he was committing his soul to a searing death, but he didn't think he was good enough for salvation.

Have your sins undone you? Are you detached from God because you can't seem to reach him through all of that intentional sin? Are you so enmeshed in your sin that you don't think you deserve the gift Jesus provides to you? Jesus even provided the thief hanging on the cross next to him a last-minute liberation and a place in Heaven. He would have given it to Judas too if only he had asked.

Don't be a "Judas." There is nothing that you have done or that has been done to you that Jesus can't make right. He died so you could have eternal life -- He DIED (past tense). It's already been done. You aren't changing anything or doing anything noble or making any statement by not accepting His salvation: He already died for you. Taking a word from my pastor, Tom McCoy, "I'm not preaching now, I'm just telling the truth." Grab onto that truth and hold on for your life (if you're ready to grab on, see the "Prayer for Salvation" on my side bar).