Judas agrees to betray Jesus. I just want to focus on one part. Detractors are very quick to accuse God of being the jerk here, condemning Judas to hell, without Judas having a worm’s tail to say about it. “God picked him, God made him betray Jesus, then God condemned him for it. God is the true criminal here.” It just ain’t so.
Here’s the deal: Judas was a betrayer long before Jesus picked him up. Jesus intentionally picked up a scoundrel and brought him into the fold. We know that Judas had skimmed off the money purse, betraying his own discipleship group and all they stood for. God didn’t force him to betray Jesus; Judas was just that kind o’ guy.
We will see later, however, that Jesus does everything possible to woo Judas to his love, to give him opportunities to not follow through on the betrayal, and to turn away from his dirty deep done dirt cheap. Jesus appealed to Judas over and over, especially at the Last Supper, washing his feet and dipping the sup with him. Judas had every opportunity to turn, exercise his free will, and be godly. But he didn’t. Judas was determined, and he chose it—there’s no other conclusion. There were dozens of opportunities not to follow through.
Romans 9.14-33 tells the same story. Even those who are evil, ignorant, misshapen, and rebellious have a chance, through their own free will, to turn to the Lord and be remade as new creations. It’s up to each person. Nobody is slated for hell against their will.