Reading: “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.” Acts 1:17

There are certain characters in Scripture that are shocking examples of wickedness, duplicity, and hypocrisy. At the forefront of that infamous group stands Judas Iscariot. His name has become synonymous with betrayal and treachery. He is known the world over as the traitor, the thief, and the apostate. In fact, to be called a Judas is generally viewed as a great insult.

Judas died an unrepentant sinner. But the astounding thing is that in his life he was very closely connected to the Lord and to his disciples. Judas was numbered or considered to be a follower of Christ, and therefore he participated in the ministry of the disciples. But none of that could change the fact that Judas was an unbeliever. He was among the saints. but he was not one of them. He was an apostate among the apostles.

That truth presents a very solemn warning. It is possible that some who identify with the church of Christ and therefore with the people of God are not God’s people at all. To put it more succinctly, not all who associate or participate with God’s people are truly saved! Do you remember the parable of the wheat and tares that Christ told in Matthew 13? The wheat and tares grew side by side, and so it is in the visible church. While there are those who are truly saved, there are others who are numbered with them and may even serve with them, but they are not truly converted. When Judas died, he went to “his own place,” as will every false professor. Am I one of the saints or just among the saints? Am I a true believer?