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JUDAS WALKED ALONE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, June 5, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).


More than any of the Disciples, Judas was like a modern man. He became alienated from the rest of the Disciples, and from Christ Himself. He became an isolated figure, walking alone through the night. He was much like one of the existential characters in stories by Kafka, Jean Paul Sartre, or Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway himself was raised in an evangelical church, but his existentialism drove him away from Christ. Toward the end of his life, he said, "I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the battery is dead and there is no current to plug into" (quoted by David L. Larsen, The Company of the Creative, Kregel, 1999, p. 409). Like Judas, Hemingway committed suicide.

Judas and Hemingway are tragic figures who turned away from Christ.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

And that is exactly what has happened to your whole generation. Cut off from God and man, they walk alone through the night. The alienation of your generation is reflected in a popular punk rock song by Green Day, which says,

I walk the empty street
On the Blvd. of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone.
   ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Green Day, 2004).

That's what happened to Judas.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

The word "sop" means a "morsel" or "mouthful" (Strong #5596). Jesus and His Disciples were eating the Passover meal the night before the Crucifixion. Jesus took the bread, dipped it in the cup and instituted the Lord's Supper. Then he gave that piece of bread to Judas.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

Judas went out into the night to betray Christ. And the tragic story of Judas pictures what happens to many young people today. Think about his story and apply it to yourself.

I. First, Judas came into the fellowship of the church.

The Bible says that Jesus went

"…into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him…" (Mark 3:13-14).

Judas was one of the twelve Disciples that made up that first church (Mark 3:19). He enjoyed being with Jesus and the others. It was exciting to be in that first church. Judas and the other Disciples

"…went into an house. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread"
    (Mark 3:19-20).

They were so busy in the work of the church that they didn't have time to eat at proper intervals. Judas seemed to enjoy this activity and fellowship. Revival broke out and Judas was caught up in the excitement of it all. He saw Jesus miraculously calm a storm (Mark 4:35-41). He saw Jesus cast demons out of a wild man (Mark 5:1-20). He saw Jesus heal a woman with an issue of blood and raise a man's daughter from the dead (Mark 5:21-43). He saw Jesus miraculously feed five thousand people (Mark 6:32-44). He saw Jesus walk on the water of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 6:45-52). Judas saw many sick people who were healed when they touched Jesus (Mark 6:56). All of these experiences were wonderful. And Judas seemed to love being there, in the middle of the activity, in that first church.

I wonder if that may not be like you this morning. You enjoy coming to church. You enjoy the activity and fellowship. But I must warn you - if it never goes deeper than that - if Christ never touches the depths of your soul - one day soon you will go out from us as Judas did.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

II. Second, Judas resisted conversion.

No one knew it but Christ. Although the other Disciples didn't realize it, Judas never experienced the new birth. Jesus said,

"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

Judas was in the church, but he did not experience the new birth. He was never converted. Jesus said,

"Except ye be converted…ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Although he enjoyed being with the church, Judas was not converted. He was the church treasurer. He carried the Disciples' money, but the Bible says, "He was a thief" (John 12:6). He kept on stealing small amounts of money from the Disciples' treasury. This showed that he had never been converted inwardly to Christ. He resisted true conversion. Remember that Jesus said,

"Except ye be converted…ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

You can come to church and make friends here but, if you never experience conversion, the time will come when you will do exactly what Judas did.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

III. Third, Judas really wanted what the world had to offer.

Even though Judas had enjoyed being in that early church, his heart wasn't there. He longed for what the world had to offer.

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him" (Matthew 26:14-16).

Judas went up to the Temple. He was impressed by the big building. He was impressed by the priests. He was impressed by the offer of what to him was a large amount of money. He wanted what they could give him more than he wanted Christ.

I have to tell you the truth. If there is something "out there" that you want more than Christ, you also will not be converted. And, sooner or later, you too will go away.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

IV. Fourth, Judas was overcome by Satan.

Yes, Satan is real. And the Bible tells us that Satan entered Judas twice. The first time was just before he went to see the priests and make an agreement with them to betray Jesus.

"Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve" (Luke 22:3).

The second time Satan entered into him was the night he betrayed Christ.

"And after the sop Satan entered into him" (John 13:27).

There is a Devil, and his purpose is to destroy you. The Bible speaks of those who are caught in "the snare of the devil" (II Timothy 2:26). Only Christ can save you from the Devil's snare. You must come directly to Christ and be converted to escape from Satan's clutches. No one but Christ can save you from his snare.

You may seem to be safe from him for a long time, but when Satan has a good hold on you, he will pull you under and destroy you. This may come as suddenly as it did to Judas.

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

V. Fifth, Judas had a terrible end.

The Bible tells us what happened to Judas after he betrayed Christ.

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself" (Matthew 27:3-5).

Ernest Hemingway came from a strongly evangelical background. His father's parents studied at Wheaton College, a Christian school. His mother's father was a friend of evangelist D. L. Moody. His father had wanted to be a missionary. His mother was a Sunday School teacher. His mother's father conducted daily worship services in their home. Hemingway read the Bible daily, prayed and memorized Scripture. He sang in the choir at his parents' church. But in high school he rebelled. He refused to go to college. He left home and refused to go to church. He married four times and became an alcoholic. Fiercely competitive, violently breaking one friendship after another, he lived increasingly in "a sense of hostile isolation." One morning in 1961 he took a shotgun, put it to his head, and committed suicide. He said, "I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the battery is dead and there is no current to plug into." This was the terrible end of the greatest writer in the twentieth century.

This was also the terrible end of Judas. And this, in the final sense, will be the terrible end of all who reject the salvation that Christ offers.

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41).

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

It was too late for Judas to be saved. He had crossed the deadline. He had gone beyond God's mercy.

There's a line that is drawn by rejecting the Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost,
Tho' you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
    ("Have You Counted the Cost?" by A. J. Hodge, 1923).

There is a danger of going on as you are.  That’s the reason we say, “Why be lonely?  Come home – to church!  Why be lost?  Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 26:14-16.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Have You Counted the Cost?" (by A. J. Hodge, 1923).

THE OUTLINE OF

JUDAS WALKED ALONE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night" (John 13:30).

I.   Judas came into the fellowship of the church,
Mark 3:13-14, 19-20; 4:35-41; 5:1-20, 21-43;
Mark 6:32-44, 45-52, 56.

II.  Judas resisted conversion, John 3:3; Matthew 18:3;
John 12:6.

III. Judas really wanted what the world had to offer,
Matthew 26:14-16.

IV. Judas was overcome by Satan, Luke 22:3; John 13:27;
II Timothy 2:26.

V. Judas had a terrible end, Matthew 27:3-5; 25:41.