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Discovery Magazine 5/01/2012

Was it Pilate’s fault that Jesus died, and did he go to hell for it?

by  Digger Doug

Dear Alyssa,

You have asked a very important question. If God uses people’s evil actions to accomplish His purpose, does He punish them, even though good came from their evil deeds? The answer is, “yes.” God does punish people for their wicked deeds even though He can use their wickedness to bring about good. Judas is a good example of this. In Matthew 26:24, Jesus said: “The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Notice that Jesus said that He was going to die “as it is written,” which meant the prophets had foretold His death and it was part of God’s plan. But also notice that He said: “woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!” The word “woe” means that the person will have sorrow and suffering. Judas, the man who betrayed Jesus, was going to be punished for his wickedness. The reason for this is that God never causes a person to be wicked. He never tempts a person to do wrong (James 1:13). But since He knows what everyone will do, He can work His plans around their wicked deeds. He does not want anyone to choose to do wrong (1 Timothy 2:4). But since many people do choose to do evil, God uses their wickedness to work all things together to come out good in the end for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). As for Pilate, we don’t know if he went to hell, because we don’t know if he ever repented. But we do know that if he did not repent, he will have to answer to God for all his evil actions.

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