Jehovah`s Witness/A question of forgivness


I have always thought that the death and resurrection of Jesus provided for forgiveness of sins, yet my JW neighbor insists that the sin of Judas was unforgivable.

I'm kinda confused here.


Hello, Michael.  Thank you for writing with your question.

The issue you have asked about, is a bit of a complex one, especially in regards to Judas.

You said..."I have always thought that the death and resurrection of Jesus provided for forgiveness of sins."

That is does.  The Bible states this many times, and one of my favorites is found in 1 John 1:9.  It reads:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The shed blood of Jesus Christ is God's provision for us to be forgiven of any sin that we have committed against Him, no matter how bad or how many times we have done it.  However, there is a requirement...that we repent of that sin, and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

There is an idea that is prevalent today (not saying you hold to this idea, but many do), that God just "forgives" any and all sin, and that the forgiveness is automatic.  Just the other day, I was having a discussion with someone about homosexuality, and they used that very line..."Well, God forgives".  I explained to them that God doesn't merely hand out forgiveness to everyone whether they want it or not, but that it is for those who acknowledge their sin before Him, and are willing to forsake it.  

So yes, the death and resurrection of Jesus does provide for the forgiveness of sins, but in order to receive that forgiveness, we must meet God's terms for it.  Those who are proud of their sin, and have no shame or remorse for it, are not under the forgiveness of God.

You also said..."my JW neighbor insists that the sin of Judas was unforgivable."

If your JW neighbor said that Judas did not RECEIVE forgiveness, then I would agree with them.  However, if they made the statement that you just said, that Judas' sin was unforgivable, then I disagree.  

Let's just establish an important difference right now....Saying that Judas COULD have been forgiven, is not the same as saying he WAS forgiven.  The Scripture is clear, that Judas did not come to Jesus for forgiveness.  He "repented himself" (Matthew 27:3), in the sense that he was bothered in his conscience by what he had done.  But instead of actually seeking the forgiveness of Jesus, which he could have gotten had he done so, he went out and committed suicide.

Acts 1:16-18-  "Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."

v. 25-  "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

We know from this, that Judas was not forgiven.  However, that does not mean his sin was unforgivable.  There is not a Scripture in the Bible, that says that what Judas did was unforgivable.  Consider the fact that Jesus actually prayed for those who crucified Him, saying "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

Consider also the fact that Peter denied even knowing Jesus Christ in the face of danger, and even began to curse when asked about His knowledge of Jesus.  Yet, Peter was forgiven.  

Consider that Paul was a persecutor of Christians, even going so far as to aid in their arrest and imprisonment, and even consented to their death.  Yet, Paul was forgiven.

There is no shortage of examples in the Scripture, of terrible and wicked deeds being forgiven.  But in each of those cases, the person humbled themselves in the sight of God, and were remorseful for their actions, and willing to forsake them.

So no, the sin of Judas was not "unforgivable".  The Bible only lists one sin that is unpardonable, and nobody has the right to add another one to the list.  To do so, is unscriptural.

One more point that should be mentioned, is that Judas' betrayal was prophesied in Scripture.  The Scripture never fails...what God foretells, will ALWAYS come to pass.  

Zechariah 11:12-13-  "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."

The prophecies of God's Word cannot fail.  However, that does not mean that Judas had no choice in the matter, or was an unwilling pawn.  He certainly did have the choice, and he made the wrong one.  The prophecy is based on the foreknowledge of God, of what would happen, and not some pre-destined event that was determined before Judas was born, and that he could not have chosen any differently.  

Judas made his choice, and he paid the ultimate price for it...death, and separation from God for all eternity.

So yes, the blood of Jesus does provide forgiveness...for all who are repentant, and who trust in His blood for their salvation.

Thank you for writing, and I hope this helped.  

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Derrick Holland


I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.


29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

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