Judas Argues for Irresistible Grace

If it is true that God makes no decrees concerning the will of men, and therefore that some of his work in history is resistible, then the basis of prophetic statements about the future is merely that God makes guesses that happen always to be correct. If so, perhaps Judas Iscariot would not have been the one to betray Jesus. But in fact he was, just as Jesus said: He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. That this happened was due to the bent of Judas’ godless will, against which God had not decreed. Therefore, though Jesus died for Judas too, and made him the same offer of life that he made to you and me, Judas despised the gift and sold it for thirty pieces of silver. While God did not force Judas to sin, therefore, the truth of Jesus’ prophecy was fixed by the will of God.

Full-page miniature of the Last Supper. Murthly Hours. National Library of Scotland.

Full-page miniature of the Last Supper. Murthly Hours. National Library of Scotland.

This is, most likely, a completely unoriginal argument for the classical doctrine of predestination and reprobation, but there it is. For if even one man’s will has depended on God’s will, then their charges are groundless who rail against the doctrine of God’s irresistible grace but allow God’s infallible determination that Judas Iscariot would betray his Son. For though God did nothing actively to cause Judas to sin, it was nevertheless eternally fixed in his immutable mind for Judas to have sinned exactly when he did so, and so he granted Judas resistible grace but decided not to overcome his sinful will, nor to purchase his life infallibly. But if you can allow for that, will you, for your doctrine of free will, take offence at God’s right to stop you from resisting the best thing that you could ever choose? This right, in the end, is what objections come down to. He who affirms God’s right to overpower resistance, and still objects that irresistible salvation would destroy free will, is saying ‘yes’ with his mouth and ‘no’ with his heart. You see, such a man wants to reserve the right to damn himself. Well, God also reserves the right to let him be damned. As for me, I’m glad that God keeps stopping people from damning themselves.

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