By SUNITTA CHILAKA –
THERE is room for a sinner to repent and turn to God regardless of the sins committed.
The Bible encourages us in Luke 15:7 that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than the ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
This is scripture which reminds even those who stray away from God that there is room to come back and repent over the sins committed.
This is a scripture that many Christians are missing today they serve God for a short period of time then go back to their old sinful ways and never return to God.
Some fail to repent because they are concerned and worried about what people say and too embarrassed in the sight of people and think God will not forgive them.
We have some great men and women in the Bible whom will can learn from so that we do not make the same mistakes.
We have Bibles within our reach, the gospel is being preached everywhere, so no one can claim that they have not heard about the gospel and continue to sin, in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now commands all people everywhere to repent and turn to Him, Acts 17:30.
The men from the Bible we can learn from are those who were so close to Jesus. Despite being disciples at some point they thought they had chosen a wrong path in life. The name Judas Iscariot is one of the best known of Jesus disciples.
Both believers and non-believers have this in common they all know that it was Judas who betrayed Jesus.
But that is not all he did, he was such a man that he was selected by Jesus to be a disciple, before He made a final selection.
He went out into the mountain alone and spent all night talking to God about it Luke 6:12, from the list He eliminated names until the 12 best ones were left and Judas Iscariot was on the final selection and had a top position in the group, treasurer.
They were willing to trust both his ability to handle their money and his honesty.
Many may condemn Judas, but ask yourself how is your relationship with Christ and how many souls have you won to Christ.
Joseph of Arimathea was a silent disciple, he never openly declared for Christ and who was only heard when he gave up his tomb for the Lord to be buried in.
Judas abandoned his family, friends, and job and was willing to let the world know whose side he was on.
They all expected Jesus to make the right political moves, become the great earthly king, so that they would hold important offices.
When He kept talking about dying, healing the sick, forgiveness and repentance they all felt disappointed. They didn’t understand why they had chosen His mission.
After Satan entered into Judas he betrayed Jesus and got thirty pieces of silver, according to the law was the amount payable as compensation for the loss of a slave (Exodus 21:32).
Judas might have been very desperate to have gone to such lengths to achieve it and the amount paid according to Matthew was not a huge amount, it could have been more.
Nevertheless crimes are committed for very little gain, it all points to one thing greed, Matthew 26:15, John 12:6.
Campbell in his book commentary on The Synoptic Gospels writes chief priests had used Judas because Jesus definitely admitted to the 12 disciples that He was the messiah.
This was the very evidence that his enemies had been seeking, there had been no public statement of this that could be quoted in the court of law.
The chief priest had to ask Jesus at the time of arrest just to be sure of the answer Mark 14:62-63.
Judas had some faults so were the other disciples, Thomas was gloomy and given to doubt, James and John were selfish and overly ambitious.
This is the reason why when Jesus said one of them will betray him, they all felt guilty Matthew 26:21:22, Satan entered Judas the weakest link, Luke 22:1-6.
Judas has something in common with Peter. He betrayed Jesus while Peter denied Jesus three times but what makes one good and the other bad is that Peter who not only denied Jesus was boastful, cowardly, “Mr know it all”, repented and started all over again by putting everything behind him and turned to God while Judas missed this great opportunity, worried about how will society will view him, so he thought the solution was to commit suicide.
He had room to repent also and start over again but did not see it. God does not look at the sin committed but what you can do once you repent and turn to Him wholeheartedly. His arms are open wide to receive you; there is still room for those who want to repent.
The prodigal son in Luke 15:11 came back to his senses, repented and was never ashamed to go back to his father and he was happy to receive him.
Jesus said “what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose Christ”. We should never allow the love of money and things of this earth chock us and give up on Christ. We should hold on to what is good so that after running the race we are not disqualified at the end or make a wrong decision which is committing suicide.
Paul never wanted to follow the footsteps of Judas, he said I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize, 1 Corinthians 9:27.
Study the scripture, pray without ceasing and do not isolate yourself from fellow believers because if you do so the devil can use you as an agent.