Your influence can last forever. Paul. What do you remember? The stoning of Stephen, the road to Damascus, or his epistles? The tragic error of Paul’s young life would not be the last we would hear from him. Peter? His denial of the Christ or the awe-inspiring sermon he preached at Pentecost. Judas, on the other hand, is always remembered in infamy, from Michelangelo’s “Last Supper” (where he’s painted in a most sinister pose) to the modern-day slang term for a “traitor.” In fact, the little hole in the doors of maximum security prison cells is called a “Judas hole.” Your influence can last forever, leaving a lasting impression for good or bad. How will people remember your Christian influence?
The love of money can ruin you. Notice, it is the love of money. Money is a tool. It can be used for good or evil; and having it, or lots of it, isn’t intrinsically wrong. Even a poor man can sin because of the love of money. That was Judas. He used to take a little here and there from the bag and, according to John 12:6, he was a thief. The love of money led Judas to open the door of his heart to Satan and be forever the embodiment of treachery.
However, Judas teaches us that you can always repent. “But Judas didn’t repent,” you say. Right, but not because he couldn’t have. What is the real distinction between the mistakes of Paul, Peter and Judas? Their reaction to it! Paul sinned no less in Stephen’s death. Peter sinned no less in denying Christ. Judas just gave up, turning away from forgiveness.
Nothing you have done, or ever will do, can separate you from God’s forgiveness IF you are willing to repent. Paul did. Peter did. Judas did not.