Summary: A message to backsliders about Judas.
Acts 1:16-19 KJV Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.  For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.  Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.  And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
I. INTRODUCTION—PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
-Because of the nature of man, he lives in two worlds. First, in a very public world that he is visible to all and there are some social responsibilities to live up to in this world. Second, there is a private world that can be a place of blessing and contentment or it can be a private hell of torture.
-But these two worlds are inextricably tied together because what counsel is in the heart will be played out in public. A man who lives in a private world of goodness and thoughtfulness and holiness will give himself to good outward deeds. On the other hand, the man whose heart is darkened by foolish counsel will absorb himself in something that may take years and then suddenly burst forth in some daring and usually dark deed.
-I have been working on this thought for several weeks now and just this past week the story of John Edwards begin to dominate our news again. It works well to fit into this message.
When Albert Gore ran against George Bush in 2004, his choice for Vice-President was an accomplished looking attorney from North Carolina. He was from small town America and had the all-American looking family; model kids, cultured wife, and maybe a dog, I can’t remember at this point. Although they lost the election in 2004, John Edwards appeared to be a possible contender for the White House in 2008.
As John Heilemann and Mark Halperin write in their new book, Game Change, it appeared that if he was not on track for the White House as President, he was a strong consideration for Vice President for Barack Obama. But all of that changed when his private life came back to haunt him. . . A wife battling cancer and during that time when she needed his support most, he strayed from the boundaries of his marriage with one of his campaign staffers. Now the apparent ambition of his life, politics, has now been totally destroyed because he left the door open for deception to enter.
-This was the very dilemma of the life of Judas, he carefully hid a secret sin but he cultivated a double life. With that growing gap between his public persona and his private self, Satan took advantage of and exploited this weakness.
-For a saint and for a preacher, public worship is important but private worship is even more important. Always remember that public anointing never rises higher than private anointing.
-Worship is a human response to divine revelation. The further away we get from the Cross the greater the liability for failure. By the same token, the closer we get to the Cross the greater the degree of revelation and love for God that takes place.
II. THE STORY OF JUDAS
A. Numbered. . .
-In this single verse (1:17), one word sums up the tragedy of Judas. . . Numbered. . . He was numbered with the company but he was never a part of that company.
• Numbered but absent.
• Numbered but aloof.
• Numbered but distant.
• Numbered but not committed.
• Numbered but not restrained.
• Numbered but never discipled.
• Numbered but never taught.
• Numbered but unconsecrated.
-This word sums up one of the biggest liabilities of life. Our name can be listed on the roll but when we aren’t really willing to sacrifice and be part of the enterprise. Outwardly, Judas looked like he fit in very well but inwardly he was in a slow state of rot . . . the corrupt process of decaying and dying.
W. R. Maltbie—Some people in church look like guests at a royal banquet, who couldn’t afford to be left out, but have been forbidden by their doctor to eat anything.
There is an account in French history that when Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba, he started marching to Paris. The Bourbon monarch had already fled the capitol and while the palace attendants were awaiting the onslaught of Napoleon, they were preparing to turn their coats. They noticed the old monarch’s coat of arrows sewn to the carpet. They ripped the insignia away only to discover that the previous monarch’s coat of arms was already there. This was torn away too and in less than half an hour the carpet was turned to the coat of arms of Napoleon.