Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
Peter in Heaven and Judas in Hell
Both Peter and Judas committed
the same sin. They both denied their Lord and
But why did one go to heaven,
and one go to hell?
The Gospel writer Matthew is
careful to compare and contrast the fall of Peter
and Judas. Both men failed badly. The fall of Peter
was temporary, while the fall of Judas was
permanent. One is in heaven, and the other is in
Both men confessed their sin
and failure, but only one repented and put his faith
Somewhere in Judas’ life, he
took an evil turn that eventually resulted in
rejection of Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior and
eventual suicide. One bad attitude toward Jesus led
to another, and a pattern of rejection and
bitterness must have led to the ultimate rejection
In fact, it was prophesied in
the Old Testament that a person close to Jesus would
lift up his heel against Him (Psa. 41:9; Jn. 13:18;
Acts 1:16). He was appointed to this end from the
beginning (Jn. 17:12).
After Judas sold Jesus for
thirty pieces of silver, the price of a common slave
(Zech. 11:12; Matt. 26:14-16), he purchased a field
with the money (Acts 1:18-19). When the “good
opportunity” came, he acted on his evil intent and
delivered Jesus to the Jewish authorities in the
Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:46-50). After it
happened he felt a sense of remorse realizing what
he had done, and declared to the religious leaders
that Jesus was innocent (27:1-5). Judas tried to
atone for his own sins and failed. Then he went to
the field and hanged himself.
Judas betrayed Jesus because he
did not love Him. He only cared about himself and
his personal agendas (John 12:6).
Judas confessed his sin without
repentance. There was no radical change in his mind
that resulted in a change from spiritual death to
spiritual life through faith in Jesus Christ. True
repentance would have turned him to Jesus for
On the other hand, there is
Peter who had also been with Jesus, and likewise
fell. We will too if we do not learn his lesson in
Luke 22:31-32. “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has
demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I
have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail;
and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen
Peter loved the Lord Jesus. He
tried to defend Jesus in the garden when the
soldiers arrived (Matt. 26:50-54). In fact, Peter
failed because he was in a situation that he would
not have been in if he had not loved Jesus. What
happened to Peter still happens to the strongest of
Peter did not believe Jesus’
warnings (v. 31; Zech. 13:7). “This very night you
will all fall away on account of Me.” Very
emphatically, over confident Peter contested, “I
will never fall away” (v. 33). Jesus repeated the
warnings in even stronger terms, “Truly I say to you
that this very night, before a rooster crows, you
will deny Me three times” (v. 34). Peter got
arrogant saying to Him, “Even if I have to die with
You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said
the same thing too (v. 35).
Peter knew the same thing you
and I know. “Jesus is never wrong, never confused,
never mistaken.” Peter thought he knew better than
Jesus! If we expect to win in the spiritual warfare
we had better determine early on in the Christian
life to trust Jesus in everything and not explain
away His Word. Peter fell that night with the
slightest provocation when a servant girl tripped
him up (Matt. 26:58, 69-75).
Perhaps it would have been
different if Peter had remained in the company of
his compassion and Christian brother, John.
Peter responded with
increasingly strong denials to the questions of
bystanders in the courtyard of the high priest. His
denials were even filled with cursings and oaths
before it was over (Matt. 26:70-74).
At the moment, Peter denied
Jesus the third time a rooster crowed, and Jesus
“turned and looked straight at Peter” (Lk. 22:61).
Peter realized what he had done and rushed out and
wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75; Mk. 14:72; Lk. 22:62).
Peter learned the lesson that
Jesus “is able to save completely those who come to
God through Him, because He always lives to
intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25).
It is easy for us to point our
fingers at Peter and Judas, but what about own
denials of Christ in the workplace, school, public
arena, etc.? What about when he bids us come and
follow Him and we halt, or go in another direction?
He invites us to join Him in what He is doing but we
don't step out by faith and follow.
God does not compare us to
Peter or Judas, but to His Son who was obedient even
unto death. We all fall short of His obedience.
There is only one person who
can make atonement for our sins, and that is Jesus
Christ. Only His shed blood will make atonement for
our sins and free us from our guilt. There is no
hope for us if the blood of Jesus Christ does not
wash us of all our sins. In the death of Jesus there
is salvation for all who will call upon His name.
“What can wash away my sin?” Nothing but the blood
of Jesus Christ.”
Judas turned his back on Jesus
who was his only hope.
Peter repented and turned to
Jesus and found hope.
We do well to heed the words of
Peter and learn from his experience. “Therefore,
brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain
about His calling and choosing you; for as long as
you practice these things, you will never stumble;
for in this way the entrance into the eternal
kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be
abundantly supplied to you” (2 Peter 1:12-11).
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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