Son of Destruction

John 17:12While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name, which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”

There are certain titles that conjure up images or ideas that speak for themselves. One of the more obvious titles used is the term ‘fool’ throughout the book of Proverbs. I used to think that ‘the fool’ was someone who took a lot of hard knocks and just kept stepping into further trouble. He just couldn’t or maybe wouldn’t learn from his previous lesson, along came another opportunity for making bad decisions and ‘the fool’ showed us the result of what those bad decisions led to.

On the other hand, ‘the wise’ gave us the model for how to live properly, making good decisions and in turn receiving God’s honor. What the fool could never learn, the wise man seemed to get. He was the one who chose God’s path, He learned from mistakes, and His house stood in the midst of the storm. The wise received honor, life, riches, and so much more, while the fool inherited just the opposite.

Who would ever want to be ‘the fool’? There is nothing good that comes from holding that title and yet so many of us, (including myself), have followed the fool’s path far too many times.

Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.”

One of the most significant identifiers for a fool is in their actions. A man that lives by his own creed, does what he thinks is right in his own eyes, rejecting the counsel of God is to deny God Himself.

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”

2 Thessalonians 2:3

When it comes to fools, there are two people in the Bible who stand out. Referred to as a “Son of destruction”, Judas and the coming Antichrist are those we can look back on while considering forward what is to come. What is it that binds these two together and merits such consideration for such a lowly title?

The term for ‘destruction’ is the greek word, apóleia; meaning to be completely severed – cut off (entirely) from what could or should have been. The term doesn’t mean annihilation, it is deemed more as a removal for destruction. The reason this is significant is the fact that this defies the many viewpoints that claim Hell is but a temporary status for those who have rejected the Lord. To annihilate is to remove someone from existence, to destroy is a descriptive that implies a hopeless and condemned eternity.

There are many people who have rejected God in history but not all are given the status of such a definitive title.

Apoleia in one sense means the destruction that one causes as the result of disregard for the value of that which is destroyed or “wasted” (see Matthew 26:8, Mark 14:4)

Mark 14:4Some of those present, however, expressed their indignation to one another: “Why this waste(apoleia) of perfume?”

The more common sense of apoleia is as a description of the destruction which one experiences, when man instead of becoming what he might have become by redemption through the blood of Christ loses everything that makes human existence worthwhile. The wasting of life is paralleled with the Pharisees thought of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet, little did they know the perfume that was used on Jesus would be given for the utmost purpose.

Isaiah 14:12 ““How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!

The Antichrist will one day be but a pawn of Satan. That person, just like Lucifer at one time was not destined for destruction. The hope that God breathes into the life of anyone is a hope with a future with God. Judas was not called by Jesus to only be a man destined for shame, I believe Jesus called him with a noble purpose, it was Judas who rejected the Son of God.

What God meant for good became apoleia.


No one is created to be destroyed! Even the most despised characters in history, Lucifer and Judas themselves were not destined to be destroyed.

One of the tenets for the false doctrine of Calvinism is “Unconditional Election”. This principle is based on the idea that God chooses to give some people eternal life, without looking for anything good in them as a condition for loving and saving them. It goes on to declare that before any man or woman is born — in fact, before the world was made — God decided who would go to heaven and who would not. Before they did good or bad, God chose some to be His people and rejected others.

The very term for destruction (apoleia), refutes this claim. Every person in history who has rejected the salvation given through Christ alone was called to greatness. Apoleia is to be severed from what might have been.

You have been called to greatness and you have the full power of God to support that call.

  • Greatness is found in humility.
  • Greatness is supplied by the Spirit of God
  • Greatness is understanding where your power comes from and glorifying the King.

We are not meant to build ourselves up, Jesus does that for us. We are simply called to follow the Master, learn His ways, grow in knowledge, reflect His love.

John 17:18-19 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

I don’t care what your background holds, what people said about you when you were young or even now for that matter, the calling and anointing of the Lord is given to all who ask. You are called to be the fragrance of Christ to the world.

You are not meant for destruction. Change your mindset. Recognize who you are in Christ and walk in it. It is then that you will realize the lies of the world and the truth of God’s Word.

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