“They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us.” –1 John 2:19
In John 15, Jesus gave the illustration of the Vine and the branches. The only way an individual can produce fruit is if he or she is positionally in Christ Jesus. In context, Jesus taught this truth after Judas left the upper room. This is an important element of the equation. Judas, though he had been in close proximity to Christ for three years, was not positionally in Christ. That is why Jesus said, “abide in me” not “abide near me.”
Judas had never been connected to Jesus. He had been in the room, but not in the Redeemer. He had been in the same facility with the disciples, but was not operating in the same faith as a disciple. No doubt, he was one of those, as John would say in his epistle, that “went out from us, but was not of us” (1 John 2:19).
It’s possible to be near Christ, but never be in Christ. Like those who lived in the days of Noah, Judas was close to the ark of salvation, but he never got in it. Like one of the five foolish virgins, Judas could only knock on the door, but he never gained access. As a matter of fact, in the final act of betrayal, Judas kissed the door to heaven, and turned around and went to hell. Don’t allow your church membership, your morality, your good works, or your associations to serve as a substitute for authentic faith. You must be in the Vine!
Daily Reading: Isaiah 51-53
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