Tuesday is for Preaching
“… none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”
. —John 17:12
If there is one thing in the Scriptures that proves more conclusively than anything else the absolute necessity of the rebirth, it is the case of Judas Iscariot. What differentiates the Christian from the non-Christian is not that the Christian lives a better life than he did before, nor that he knows more of the Scriptures and all these other good things. Judas knew all that, and he probably lived a good outward moral life during the three years he was among the disciples. What makes a man a Christian is that he is born again; he has received the divine nature; he has indeed become indwelt by the Spirit of the living God. It is this that gives understanding and everything that Judas did not have. It was because Judas was never renewed and given the new life that he remained “the son of perdition.”
And here I want to utter a solemn, terrible word. The end of the non-Christian, even though he may be highly religious, is perdition, which means perishing. Though Judas was in the company of the apostles all along, he really belonged to the world, and the fate of the world is to perish. Whatever its appearance may be, its end is destruction, with no hope whatsoever; because it has not truly believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God, it perishes.
This is an unpleasant subject, and yet we have to face it, because in the very center of this most wonderful prayer our Lord had to mention it as a solemn warning. He was not praying for Judas, He was praying for those who were God’s people, those who belong to God. My dear friends, are we certain that we belong to God? Do not rely upon anything but the certain knowledge that you have received life from God.
From Safe in the World, pp. 129-130.
[Bold and color emphasis added]
This reminds me of a conversation with a professor I had in college. Dr. Greenwood was a British trained scholar who taught the Documentary Hypothesis at the University of Maryland. I had him for one class and it was memorable. I don’t have space, time or desire to go into theory. Suffice it to say that it undercuts the authority of the Bible and in my opinion is largely discredited today. The conversation took place in Dr. Greenwood’s office.
I went to discuss with my prof why he stopped calling on me in class, a fact that other students had noticed and had been talking to me about. They were losing respect for him and wanted to dialogue with me over the questions he wouldn’t answer. As we were talking, Dr. Greenwood revealed that he had studied for a period of time under C.S. Lewis. Hearing this, I changed tactics and began to witness. The topic of being born again came up. And that’s when Dr. Greenwood said this of C.S. Lewis:
“Now there was a man who you might say was ‘born again.'”
And that is what it takes to enter into the Kingdom of God.
That’s not my opinion. That’s what Jesus says in John 3:5.
Preacher: Nothing happens unless God gives the grace to believe, causing people “to believe in a living hope” (Acts 16:14;1 Peter 1:3). Believe it. Depend on it. Pray for it. Every week, every message, every interaction with people, pray for it.