“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:24-25)
The last three words of this passage have profound significance. Although Judas had walked with Christ and the other apostles for three years, he was out of place there all that time. It took the traumatic events of the final week of Jesus’ ministry to reveal his true character.
At death, each of us will go to his own place, whether heaven or hell. If a person has found the company of Bible-believing, Bible-living Christians uncomfortable in this life and feels more at home with the Bible-doubting, God-ignoring majority, then his own place will surely be with them in the future life. Such a person would be more miserable in heaven than in “his own place.” The tragic words of the Bible’s final chapter are these: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Revelation 22:11).
An artificial profession of belief, like that of Judas, will not change one’s basic character. Sooner or later, that person will be found altogether out of place. “The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:22). Yet a true change of heart, through genuine faith in Christ, will change our eternal residence, as well, for then God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).
There is, indeed, a wonderful “place” that Christ has gone to “prepare” for all those who truly desire to be with Him in His place! (John 14:2). HMM