Son of Destruction

John 17:12 While 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 in the Bible is the term ‘fool’ in the book of Proverbs. I used to think that a 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 lessons, and then along came another opportunity for making a bad decision and the fool once again followed the path of bad decision.

On the other hand the wise man gave us the model for how to live properly, making good decisions and in turn how to receive 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 his 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—poverty and destruction.

Who would ever want to be the fool? There is nothing good that comes from holding that title and yet so many people, (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. The fool is one who lives by his own creed, does what he thinks is right in his own eyes, and doesn’t realize that by rejecting the counsel of God is to deny God Himself.

The Two sons

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

2 Thessalonians 2:3 “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”

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 term is significant is because it 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 have been given the status of such a definitive title.

Apoleia in another sense refers to the destruction that is caused by those who disregard the value of that which is ruined or “wasted” (see Matthew 26:8, Mark 14:4)

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

A more common use of the term apoleia is a description of the destruction which one experiences personally; such as when a person loses everything that makes human existence worthwhile by rejecting the only hope of Eternal Life. The disregard for life was demonstrated among the Pharisees who regarded the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with disdain; 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!

There are many people in history and in the future who seem destined for destruction while the hope that God breathes into some people’s lives brings a hope and a future that only God can fill. Judas wasn’t 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.

The people God meant for good became people of destruction by the lives they chose to live.


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 of false doctrine in 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 go to Hell. 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 has been called to greatness. The term Apoleia marks those who were severed from what might have been.

What might have been is the greatness of knowing and walking with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Everyone has been called to greatness and have been offered the opportunity to know and experience the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

*True greatness is found in humility and a contrite spirit. If you want to be lifted up by God and brought into His presence, lower yourself before Him.

The pride of man wants to build himself up, but Jesus did that already for all who place their faith in Him. God’s people are called to submit their lives to Him, and as they follow the Master, they learn His ways, they grow in knowledge, and find His love is all they need.

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.”

It doesn’t matter what your background holds, what people may have said about you, how you have succeeded in life or failed, the calling and anointing of the Lord is given to all who respond to His call. God’s people are called to be the fragrance of Christ to the world and like the woman who poured her perfume on Jesus’ feet, they are meant to be poured out for others.

You are not meant for destruction—if you think you were–change your mindset. Know that you have been called to be in Christ and to walk in Him. When or if you come to know the Truth, you will see the lies of this world and the hope that is found in Jesus.

Your life has value to Him. Know Jesus and you will understand His value as well.

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