It’s a simple question. Did Judas go to Hell?
(When I say Hell, know that technically Hell [as in the eternal Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:14-15] isn’t opened for business yet. Currently, those departed unbelievers are awaiting final judgment which hasn’t occurred yet. This includes both the deceased before and after the cross of Christ.)
As you know, Judas betrayed Jesus which led to His torturous death on a cross. Let’s examine what the Bible says regarding whether or not Judas is “in Hell.”
There are several verses that state that Judas betrayed Jesus. This is firmly established in all four Gospels. I won’t list them all here. But some of the verses that state the betrayal also mention an element of condemnation. Look at Matthew 26 and Mark 14:
Luke 22 states it a little differently:
These are strong words condemning Judas for his actions against God’s Messiah. The word woe means denunciation, which today is a public condemnation of something or someone.
Jesus says something interesting in John 17, where He prays about the security of those that His Father gave Him. Jesus asks the Father midway through the chapter to keep those which were given to Him. Here is the key verse:
Some translations say the son of perdition. Some say doomed for destruction. The YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) says none were destroyed except the son of destruction. This strong language is clearly referring to Judas, his expected betrayal and final destination. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 mentions a son of perdition that will be fulfilled by a different character… some think the Antichrist and some think Satan himself. In any case, it’s horrible company to be grouped with the Antichrist and Satan. Consider a NASB note that says the son of perdition is a Hebrew idiom for one destined to perish. All three of these characters are destined to perish. But what of this fulfilling of Scripture mentioned at the end of the verse?
Acts chapter 1 discusses Judas, his wickedness and subsequent foul ending. Here is Peter speaking in verse 20:
This is what Jesus was likely referring to in John 17:12. It’s Psalm 69:25 and 109:8.
Here’s part of Psalm 69:
Verse 27 and 28 of the NIV actually says not to let them share in salvation and to blot them out of the book of life. Remember, this is Judas we’re talking about.
Psalm chapter 109 is a plea for judgment against false accusers, of which Judas was primary.
It’s important to remember too what the Bible says occurred to incur the betrayal. Luke 22 says it plainly; Judas was full of the devil:
Similarly, John 13 says that the devil influenced Judas:
In these two verses we see that the devil, before the supper, had influenced Judas to do the betrayal. Then he’s fully one with Satan for the betrayal.
Question… how long before the supper had the devil been “into the heart” of Judas? We don’t really know, but we do know that Judas was the treasurer among the apostles and was stealing money for himself. Here is part of John 12:
It would appear Judas was a wolf in sheep’s clothes for some time.
So far we’ve seen plenty of evidence to point toward Judas being in Hell. But there is a portion of Scripture to examine that indicates Judas regretted what he’d done. This from the KJV:
You’ll note that verse 3 says that Judas, “repented himself,” as do a few other translations. Most translations say he was remorseful or regretted what he did. So which is it? In today’s Christian vernacular, there’s a big difference between repent and remorse.
The Greek word used in this verse, metamelomai, means the completed act is a care to one afterwards. So yes, regret or remorse is a better translation than repent for what occurred in our verse. There is a better word for repent in Greek, metanoeō, that isn’t used here; it means a change of mind with contrition from sin to God.
It fully appears that Judas regretted what he’d done, realizing he’d betrayed innocent blood. Yet in doing so, he returns to his co-conspirators and essentially asks them for help. They told him it wasn’t their problem, to take care of it himself. So he does; he hangs himself.
If Judas were truly repentant as we know the word, he would have sought out God through his previous righteous colleagues, the apostles! But instead he ends his own life.
The debate between true repentance and regret, our core topic in this part of the discussion, is exactly what Paul was discussing midway through 2 Corinthians 7:
Paul surely had Judas in mind when he wrote this, it fits his story perfectly (especially considering the likelihood that Paul replaced Judas in due time, 1 Corinthians 15:8). Judas obviously had worldly grief and regret, and it resulted in his death. Had he been in right standing with God and the apostles, even after the grave sin he committed, his grief would have produced a true repentance that led to his restoration with God and the apostles… and without regret according to Paul.
After considering all the biblical evidence regarding Judas and his betrayal of Jesus, one can conclude with absolute certainty that, yes, Judas is “in Hell.”