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My Response To The Pope

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I woke up this morning and clicked on the news. The top headline read “The Pope Says There is No Hell.” So in somewhat shock and dismay, I read the article. To be fair, officials at the Vatican are calling into question the legitimacy of the quote from its source. At the time I’m writing this, there has been no official denial or correction to the statements released to the world through global media outlets on this Good Friday.

(If you missed it you can read the source’s quotes along with the Vatican’s statements Here.)

Disclaimer: Misquotes happen often. I get it. I’ve been misquoted dozens of times personally just in the past 12 months. That said, nowhere in the Vatican’s official response does the Pope’s spokesperson deny that the Pope said ‘hell does not exist.’ Nor do we have any statement whatsoever where the Pope takes the opportunity to take this ground shaking headline on GOOD FRIDAY of all days and clarify the existence and reality of hell but moreover the good news of what this day is all about—the death of Jesus Christ that led to his resurrection so that every man’s sins can be forgiven and as a result live in eternity with God through Christ in a place called Heaven.

The initial response in my head was sarcastic, eye-rolling, and head shaking. But then it quickly turned to this overwhelming feeling of helplessness and dismay. We are talking about the Pope here. With all due respect, Pope Francis—Mr. Bergoglio—please step up to the mic and set the record straight. You have the ears of MILLIONS of followers around the globe. Many of which are Christ followers (isn’t that the point by the way.)

While I am not as educated or credentialed as the head of the Catholic church, I am 42 years old and have spent 39 years studying and memorizing scripture.

And no matter how many legions of followers and dollars flow through the Vatican,

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:11

If you know me, then you will get the gist of my statement—we all put our pants on the same way. Please in no way receive this as disrespect towards the Pope. I am simply holding him accountable on one of the most vital topics in the history and future of mankind. I’m calling on him to turn this disaster of what is at a very minimum a black eye against Christ’s church not just the Catholic faith—on one of the three most significant days in human history!

Pope Francis is on record for letting his political agenda get in the way of God’s agenda. There it is, I said it. That’s my opinion. But it’s really more factual than opinion based. Just read his statements over the past few years. The Pope’s credibility with me along with millions of others around the world has been called into question more than once before this statement on hell was released.

For those who are reading this or for those of you who are members or followers of the Catholic faith—many of you whom are friends of mine—let me encourage you with this. Seek God and His Word to us and for us through the Bible over any man’s teachings. First and foremost. While Pastors, Priests, and Pope’s have their place in this world and in our lives, NOTHING should ever stand between you and God Almighty. We have direct and unfettered access to Him because of Good Friday and Easter. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection.

More than anything in this world, our Heavenly Father wants to have a direct relationship with His children. Please do not let your church affiliation, a broken relationship, or a church leader, interfere or discourage you in your relationship with the One who created you and provided a way for you to live forever with Him in a place called Heaven.

For those who may be confused about the Pope’s statements on hell, or have questions about faith in general and what happens when you die and leave this earth, let me help set the record straight about what God has shared with us directly through his inspired words in the scriptures.

The Bible says,

Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'  Matthew 25:41

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. Matthew 25:46

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment. 2 Peter 2:4

Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 4:1-5

The Lord protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. Psalm 145:20

The Bible, including the Old and the New Testament speaks directly on or makes references to Hell over 50 times. While there is some debate among scholars and academia about the translation of the Hebrew Word ‘Sheol’ in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ himself spoke directly about hell during his short time on earth more than anyone else in Scripture.

While an invitation to the Vatican to sit among the Pope and his Cardinal leadership would seem a bit intimidating initially, God’s Word speaks for itself. Because of the millions of lives now and in generations to come that are at stake, I would gladly accept the challenge.

If there is no hell, then why did Jesus have to die?

When in doubt, common sense and rational thinking tend to prevail.

Enough talk about hell and darkness. We don’t have to go there!

Christ said,  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-4

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

There is NO terrorist attack, NO school shooting, NO mass murder, NO infectious disease, NO economic emergency more deadly than misleading people into thinking there is no penalty for our sin therefore making Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection in vain. If there is no penalty for our iniquity, then Christ died for nothing. If there is nothing to atone for our sin, then God cannot be in fact Who He says He is OR we cannot live in His presence for eternity because God is Holy, Perfect, and without blemish, spot, or stain.

Please Set the Record Straight

Pope Francis, I plead with you to make this right. Please step up and clarify your statements one way or another. If in fact you do not believe Hell exists, then I will be the first to stand up and ask you to relinquish your position to someone who stands on God’s Holy Word. But if this is all one big miscommunication and attempt by the Enemy to distract from the magnitude of this day and this weekend, please set the record straight. You have no greater responsibility than this. Please direct your followers directly to God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Please step to the podium and proclaim the good news about the Best Friday in the history of mankind.


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