Finishing Well

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

The Bible is the greatest book every written with every kind of good versus evil you can imagine. For instance, you read in the gospels of Judas Iscariot, who was one of Jesus’ disciples until Judas betrayed Him. Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver by the Pharisees in order to hand Christ over to them to be crucified. All of this was done after Judas walked with Christ and was able to learn and study with Him for 3 years. That goes to show that just spending time with someone doesn’t mean you connect with them. Judas placed no value on his relationship with the Savior, even though he saw Jesus perform miracles and speak with the authority that only God has.

Judas never truly united with Jesus. Instead, he was only there for his own self interests. Judas held the money box and stole regularly from it. He liked the status of being one of the 12 apostles and took all of the benefits thereof, but in the end Judas only believed in Judas. Three years of hearing about God and saving grace, but Judas never got past himself. He only saw Jesus with his mind and not his heart and soul.

The fact of the matter is that the healing blood of Jesus on the cross is more than enough to wash away any sin, even the betrayal by Judas. Men’s forgiveness can only go so far, but with God all things are possible. Had Judas truly known this, his story may have been different, even after the betrayal and murder of Jesus Christ. However, Judas, in one final thumb of his nose to God, committed suicide. That choice took away any chance of God’s healing grace to be made manifest in Judas’ life. Once a possible messenger of hope, now a soul lost to the devil’s whim.

Now, let me tell you of another man. This person watched and assisted in hunting down Christians. By his own testimony, he was an evil man. That was until one day, while walking on the road to Damascus, he met Jesus. That was the man we now know as the Apostle Paul. Paul, by all rights, was a really bad guy. He walked openly in hatred and disgust of Christ, but once Paul heard the voice of Jesus, he was never the same. So much so, in fact, that Paul by the power of the Holy Spirit went on to teach the Word of God in many foreign lands and even wrote 1/3rd of the New Testament.

The difference was that Judas heard Christ, but Paul listened.

It’s often said that it’s not how you start, but how you finish. Paul finished well because he allowed Christ’s words to transform him into the good and faithful servant God wanted. Paul flourished, Judas failed. The path that Judas accepted led to death and destruction. The path that Paul accepted blessed him with a crown of gold in God’s Kingdom.

We are all faced with that same choice. God loves us enough that He allows us the choice to love Him back. Through our choice to sin, we betray Jesus once again. Each one of our sins being another nail in His eternal cross. The only unforgivable sin is final impenitence; going to your grave still shaking your fist at God. Anything less than that can be forgiven if you accept the finished work of Jesus Christ.

So, no matter what you’ve done in your past, know that God isn’t done with you yet. While there’s a single breath in your body, you still have a chance to speak the sweet name of Jesus and be transformed into a child of the King. Trade your pieces of silver in for a crown of gold.

God’s blessings to you.