Was Judas saved? Some claim the gospel of Judas proves he didn’t hang himself? What is the eternal state of Judas according to the Bible?
Judas Iscariot, Son of Perdition
The word perdition has a particular meaning of importance in regard to Judas’ name.
Perdition defined: utter destruction, eternal damnation, a final and irrevocable spiritual ruin, a state of destruction, the state of the wicked one, and finally, it is defined as hell itself.
There is no wiggle room here with the word perdition and so we can now ask “What was the fate of Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus?” He was called the “son of perdition” by Jesus in John 17:12 where Christ said “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of perdition (or destruction…they are the same thing), that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” The son of perdition and the son of destruction are referred to by this same name by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” The “son of destruction” is literally translated “the son of perdition” but this chapter is speaking about someone totally different than Judas. Even so, every time the term “perdition” is associated with a person it is a term of one who is doomed to destruction, condemnation, and total depravity from which there is no state of repentance possible.
Judas Didn’t Repent
When Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, he was very remorseful and deeply regretted what he had done, yet there is no record of him asking for forgiveness or of his repenting. He could have gone back to Jesus or the disciples and repented and he could have also asked for God’s forgiveness. There is record of either of these in the Bible. Some translations of Matthew 27:3 say that Judas repented but the better translations say “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.” Now repentance is a change of mind, yes, but it is much more than that. It is a change of direction. Judas could have turned to Jesus or the disciples but instead he returned to the chief priests and elders. Interestingly, Judas Iscariot means “Judah from Kerioth” and Kerioth means “betrayer.”
A replacement for Judas was needed because “the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:16-18). So David prophesied about the betrayal of Judas and it was fulfilled on that fateful day hundreds of years later which is mentioned in Psalm 41:9 “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” There is no biblical support to say that Judas repented and didn’t actually hang himself (commit suicide). The earliest church historians and church tradition say that he did! There are many conspiracy theories but they are just that…theories.
Gospel of Judas?
Since many conspiracy theories exist that Judas survived, they also came up with him supposedly writing another gospel. Is the gospel of Judas legitimate? It was never canonized by the church nor was it ever accepted as Scripture. Why? Because it was written many years after Judas was supposed to have lived and only then, so the theory goes, was this “lost gospel” found. If it was lost, it should have stayed lost because it is a fraud. Here are some of the writings found in the gospel of Judas so you can read for yourself just how ridiculous it is:
- There was a secret account of the revelation that “Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover.”
- Jesus supposedly tells Judas that “you will exceed all of them (the disciples). For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”
- It describes Judas as Jesus’ closest friend.
- Jesus says it is necessary for someone to finally free him from his human body, and he prefers that this liberation be done by a friend rather than by an enemy “So he [Jesus] asks Judas, who is his friend, to sell him out, to betray him. It’s treason to the general public, but between Jesus and Judas it’s not treachery.”
I refuse to quote anymore because this false gospel of Judas is so outrageous.
There is absolutely no biblical evidence that Judas ever repented. The question I have for you is this: Have you ever repented? If not, then you too are a son or daughter of perdition. It will not go well for you if you don’t and for time without end. If you are reading this, there is yet time to repent and confess your sins, unlike Judas did, who is in hell right now. You need to see your sinfulness and hopefully see your need for the Savior. If you have repented and trusted in Christ, then the wrath of God that you deserved was placed on Christ for you. If not, it’s still all on you (John 3:36). Don’t stay there. Repent and trust in Christ.  There is no other way to have the wrath of God removed from you and to have the peace of God instead (Rom 5:1).
Related reading: Judas Iscariot: Bible Story and Profile 
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.