God. A couple of months ago the Pope Francis was asked a series of questions by the La Repubblica newspaper, Italy’s most widely circulated daily newspaper. The Pope has just responded to the paper in a letter with some rather shocking viewpoints. Not only does the Pope claim that the people who do not believe in God will go to heaven but that all anyone has to do is follow their conscience.
“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”
“To listen and follow your conscience means you understand the difference between good and evil.”
With all due respects to the Pope, some of this is just plain goofy. He is the spiritual leader to over 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and what he is professing is just flat out scripturally wrong.
If someone is an atheist (someone who doesn’t believe in God) then the Pope, sin, faith and listening to your conscience is all a moot point. God doesn’t exist to an atheist. They follow their own self appointed moral code.
The Pope said, “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives”. Is he implying there is some other God besides the one true God Jehovah?
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” Deuteronomy 6:4
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6
Did the Pope have a memory lapse?
When it comes to “conscience” God made it very clear:
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” Hebrews 8:10-11
And as you’ll see the New Testament version comes from the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34
All of mankind knows God and is highly aware of Him. He is embedded within our very DNA. Our conscience and our knowledge of good and bad all come from God.
One of the many gifts that God has imparted upon us all is the gift of free will. Each person God created has the free will to believe and follow Him or choose to follow some other path.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
An atheist knows God but has made a conscience choice not to accept or abide in him.
Now the Pope is absolutely correct when he says, “God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart.” This is the miracle of God’s grace and his love.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalms 34:18
To go to God with a contrite heart would be a problem for an atheist because God doesn’t exist to him. But for those who do know God, what is the contrite heart for? What is the comparative? Are they comparing their sadden condition to God’s standard and feel bad about it or some personal code of ethics? Better yet, how do they define sin or determine what is wrong? To have a contrite heart there must be a definition of wrong and a standard in which to do this wrong. If there is no God and his way, what then?
God In Your Life
Do you want to be saved? Do you want to go to heaven? There is only one way and listening to your conscience or the Pope isn’t it. Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10: 9-11
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