Summary: This sermon warns of the need to be serious about our salvation and our relationship with the Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ.
Intro. One of the great bible tragedies is the life and death of Judas Iscariot. It is a strange enigma, how one could be so close to Jesus and yet so far from the Savior. It was a certain fact, that Jesus chose Judas but there is no biblical proof that Judas chose Jesus. There are many today who are church members and they feel that membership is enough. People are under a strange notion that church attendance, Sunday school teaching, participating in banquets, aiding the pastor, serving on the various boards somehow constitutes salvation. The fluctuating worship, the lack of involvement in effective prayer; along with anemic bible study habits and evangelism are all indicators of "Membership without Relationship." A close look at Judas reveals such a person. We must be careful to absorb the truth of the Holy Writ in all of its content. We are taught that many will come in the Lord’s name emphasizing their works and worth but will discover that they had no relationship with Jesus. (Matt. 7:21-23). The objective of this message is to move all members to genuine relationship with Jesus. I will now challenge each of you to be very sure that you know Jesus and He knows you. That’s all that will matter in time and eternity.
Let’s take a look at several stages in the demise of Judas, the Apostle, the learner, the member whose scenario may well represent our own potential downfall. We are but one stroke away from finding out.
I. THE FIRST THING WE WILL OBSERVE ABOUT JUDAS WAS THAT HE WAS CALLED SIMPLY ONE OF THE TWELVE. (Matt. 26:14), (Lk. 22:3), (Mark 14:10) and (Jhn. 6:71).
Note: Judas was not called a follower of Jesus. He always mentioned last among the disciples. On rare occasions, he was called a disciple. A hint of Judas’ character is found in his position as treasurer while Matthew by trade was a tax collector. How are you known?
Are you simply an usher?
Are you simply a reverend?
Are you simply a Sunday school teacher?
Are you simply a member of the choir?
Are you simply a member of the church?
Are you simply the church secretary?
Are you simply the church treasurer?
Are you simply a deacon?
II. JUDAS CRITICIZED THE DEVOTION OF ANOTHER. (Jhn. 12)
A. Judas interprets godly devotion as financial waste.
B. One person’s sincerity may differ from another.
C. Jesus, not us is the final authority on what is real versus what is not.
D. It is very dangerous to use the poor for our own exploits.
E. Judas was watching the purse instead of the Person.
F. We should weigh the motive of our criticism before being critical.
III. JUDAS WAS RECEPTIVE TO THE TEMPTATION OF SATAN. (Jhn. 13:2)
A. His heart was fertile ground for satanic implanting.
B. Membership absent of relationship leaves us vulnerable to Satan.
C. Inconsistent prayer and worship life weakens our defense.
D. Not studying and meditating on God renders us helpless against evil attacks.
IV. JUDAS BECAME A BARGAINING DISCIPLE. (Jhn. 13:2)
A. Judas was blind to the fact that he would fulfill the Holy Writ.
B. We must not get so caught up with the church’s income that we forget the sinner’s outcome.
C. Genuine fellowship is not a mere fund-raiser.
D. A bargaining man will bargain with his own soul.
V. JUDAS ALLOWED MONEY TO BECOME HIS MASTER.
A. The love of money is the root of all evil
B. We must be defined by ministry not money.
C. We must not complain when money is used for ministry.
D. A business-man in the church must remember that the church is God’s business.
E. We must not allow money to become the ultimate motivator in the service of God.
VI. JUDAS BECAME A HYPOCRITE.
A. He bargained with the devil and still tried to look like an Apostle.
B. He bargained in the lower-room but was still found in the upper-room with the Apostles.
C. Only Judas and Jesus knew the treacherous crime he committed. **Jesus always knows**
D. Judas participated in the Lord¡¦s Supper with a heart that had betrayed the Lord.
E. Judas was guilty but hid among the membership.
F. How often do we too, pretend to be what we’re not?
VII. JUDAS UNVELIED HIS TRUE CHARACTER. (Luke 22:48)
A. The wolf will not last long in sheep clothing.
B. The wolf looks like a sheep in the dark and at a distance.
C. (A kiss) kind gesture with an evil outcome.
D. Judas escorted them to His Lord.
E. He betrayed Jesus at the spot of prayer.
VIII. JUDAS ENGAGED IN MISDIRECTED SORROW.
A. He realized his error.
B. He went back to the soldiers.
C. He returned the blood money.