MATTHEW 7:13-15, 21-23 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
MATTHEW 23:33 - Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Recently the head of the Roman Catholic Church died. His church and much of the world mourned the passing of Pope John Paul II. He was born in Poland in 1920 and died at 84 years of age in Rome. He was buried there on Friday, April 8, 2005.
1. The Pope Died With Earthly Honors But without Eternal Hope The world recognized and honored Pope John Paul II with great pomp and circumstance and numerous accolades.
His was the largest funeral in history – 1.2 million people filed past his casket in 4 days; 300,000 were in St. Peter’s Square for the funeral; 4 million people came to Rome that week, doubling the city’s population. Not to mention probably one billion viewed it on live television. Presidents, kings and world leaders came from 80 countries and every religious faith to pay their respects. He was the religious leader of over 1 billion people (1/6 world population). The Roman Catholic Church’s membership increased 35% during his papacy, from 750 million to over one billion.
President Bush said the Catholic Church had lost its shepherd. Billy Graham said of Pope John Paul II that he was the greatest moral and spiritual leader of the last 100 years. He was a hero to many, and credited along with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan for bringing down the “Iron Curtain” and bringing an end to the “Cold War.” He was hailed as a champion by his native Poles because of his efforts and opposition to the Communist government in Poland.
But he also died without Hope. He did not know where he was going when he died. He had no real hope of heaven. He had no assurance of salvation. To him and his “church” it was a sin of presumption to claim to have any assurance of heaven in this life.
Cardinal Ratzinger, who officiated the funeral services, optimistically said: "We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father's house, that he sees us and blesses us." But the truth is that no one in the Catholic hierarchy can claim to know if any one goes to heaven or not.
An interviewer said of the Catholic Cardinal Krol: “He doesn’t have to worry about food, clothing, shelter.” Then he asked him: “What are your worries?” The Cardinal said: “My salvation, getting to heaven.” This Roman Catholic Cardinal, one step below the Pope in the hierarchy, was WORRIED whether he was going to be saved and go to heaven.
Yet the Bible tells us that eternal life is promised to all believers in 1 John 5:13 – “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Without being boastful, and without being proud or self-righteous, every Bible-believing, born again Christian can confidently affirm that theyknow something the Pope did not know – they can say for sure that they know they are saved and that heaven will be there eternal home.
2. The Pope Died Following Tradition Instead of Obeying the Bible Sola Scriptura! The “Bible Alone” was the cry of the Reformation. That was a revolutionary thought at the time of Martin Luther because the Catholic Church had BANNED THE BIBLE and forbid the laity to read it by official Church decree in 1229 AD. The Roman Catholic Church called a religion that used the Bible alone as its sole rule of faith, and that went against their teachings, a “novel (new and cheap) form of Christianity.”
In the Catholic Church, there are three authorities: the Bible, the Church and Tradition. The Church and Tradition always “trump” the Bible. It doesn’t matter what the Scriptures say if the Church says different. They granted tradition equal authority with the Bible in 1545 AD at the Council of Trent.
The founder of the Christian (not Catholic) Church, Jesus Christ, had something to say about following tradition rather than the revealed word of God. His rebuke of the religious leaders of His day who followed tradition instead of the word of God applies just as well to the Pope and his cronies.
“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders…? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men . 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition . 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” (Mark 7:5-9, 13)
The Pope is the chief Theologian in the RCC. When he speaks in his official capacity (ex cathedra) concerning faith and morals, he is believed to be infallible – i.e., without error. And since he is infallible, no Pope contradicts another. What the Pope decrees to be the truth cannot be reversed by a later Pope. So what the Pope said in 1500 or 1600 or 1700 or 2000 is just as true today and tomorrow as it was yesterday.
There are many TROUBLING TRADITIONS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Pope followed tradition instead of the Bible when he…
Prayed for the dead – see Hebrews 9:27 (once you are dead, prayer does you no good). Made the sign of the cross.
Knelt and genuflected in the worship services.
Sprinkled “holy water” and slung the “holy smoke.”
Prayed to the saints and the angels.
Used the cross, images, and relics as “aids to worship” and BOWED before them – see the 2nd of the Ten Commandments that forbids bowing before images and idols; conveniently, you won’t find this one in the Catholic “Bible.”
Twiddled his beads and prayed the Rosary – see Matthew 6:7-8 (“vain repetitions”).
Preached that there is a Purgatory – see Luke 16:19-31 (there is only a heaven and a hell in the Bible).
Allowed the “sale of indulgences” to reduce time in purgatory.
Worshiped the Virgin Mary.
John Paul 2 said: "MARIAN WORSHIP in the ecclesiastical community...is based on the will of Christ.” (Sorry – that is not in the Bible.) John Paul 2’s casket was engraved with the letter M, for the Virgin Mary. His robes had Mary’s name embroidered on them, with the phrase: “Totally Yours.” He promoted what the RCC calls the “Cult of Mary.”
Taught the false doctrines concerning the Virgin Mary: theImmaculate Conception her Perpetual Virginity; her“Assumption” into heaven; and that the Virgin Mary is the mother of the church and all Christians.
John Paul 2 said: “We dare say that devotion to Mary, from the commencement of the Church, has ever been one of the marks by which it has been possible to distinguish the truly faithful from heretics and careless Christians.” (That makes “Bible alone” Christians carelessand heretical according the Pope JP2.)Wore robes and collars and vestments to separate himself from the laity – see Luke 20:46, 47 (Jesus said “beware” of religious leaders who dress to distinguish themselves from their members!).
Expected people to bow before him and kiss his ring (and his “big toe”).
Practiced celibacy; i.e., remaining single and unmarried as a pastor/bishop – see 1 Timothy 3:2.
Changed his real name to an ALIAS (just like the AKA on the bulletin board at the post office): John Paul.
Allowed people to call him “father” – see Matt. 23:9.
Please explain to me a man named Karol who dresses like a mother and calls himself father!
We are warned to beware of disrespecting the word of God in Prov. 13:13 – "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”
We are warned to beware of modifying the word of God by adding to or subtracting from it:
Rev. 22:18,19 – “18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Through Catholic tradition the Pope and the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church DISHONOR, DISPLACE, DESPISE andDISREGARD the word of God and teach their people to do the same (see Matthew 5:19).
3. The Pope Died Believing He was the ‘Vicar of Christ’ Instead of an Antichrist The word “Vicar” means ‘substitute.’ The Catholic Church teaches and the Pope believes that he is Christ’s substitute on this earth, the Head of the Universal Church, and the infallible source and spokesman for God’s truth. But the word of God tells us that Christ’s substitute on this earth, the infallible source and spokesman for the God’s truth is not the Pope – but the HOLY SPIRIT . See John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 13. Christ’s replacement on this earth is the Holy Spirit, not the Pope, and Christ’s will is found in the Holy Spirit inspired Bible, not the Church councils and Papal “Bulls.”
According to the Roman Catholic Church, “The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself , hidden under the veil of flesh.” Cardinal Bellarmine wrote: “All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ…all of the same names are applied to the pope.” (On the Authority of the Councils, Vol. 2, pg. 266) This is the height of blasphemy! The Heavenly Father gave Jesus Christ a name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9-11) and He will not share it with some deluded sinner who fancies himself to be God.
Pope Leo XIII, speaking for himself and his successors and predecessors, said: “We [the Popes] hold upon this earth the place ofGod Almighty.”
And so it is no wonder that the Pope is called by God’s title: HOLY FATHER. The term is used by Jesus Christ in addressing God in John 17:11, and occurs only one time in the entire Bible, and the “church” and the media apply it to the Pope!
According to 2 Thess. 2:3-4 the antichrist is going to oppose and exalt himself above God, demand worship as God, and claim that he is God. According to Rev. 13 & 17 the antichrist will be both a RELIGIOUS and a POLITICAL ruler. (The Pope claims that the world is to be subject to him and his church!) So, who would the Devil use to fulfill his plans and desires to damn and to conquer the world? You get one guess.
Bible-believing Christians throughout the ages have believed that the Pope is the Antichrist spoken of in the Bible. Here are just a few quotes. John Calvin: “The Roman Pontiff demonstrates by his conduct that he is Antichrist.” Martin Luther: “I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is Antichrist….I believe the Pope is the masked and incarnate devil because he is the Antichrist.” Richard Baxter: “If the Pope be not antichrist, he hath the ill luck to appear so much like him.”
4. The Pope Died Trusting in His Religion Instead of Jesus Christ The Bible says in Acts 4:12, “ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men [the name of Jesus], whereby we must be saved.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Billy Graham, the compromising friend of the Pope, said in a recent interview with Larry King that the Pope was a faithful man who “promoted Roman Catholicism and preached his version of the Gospel.”
The apostle Paul said in Gal 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: "7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
The Catholic version of the Gospel is a false one. It is a counterfeit. It is blasphemy.
The “infallible” Pope, Boniface VIII, stated in the official Church document Unam Sanctum: “There is one holy, Catholic and apostolic church...and that outside this church there is no salvation or remission of sins...”
Bobby Kennedy, a famous American Catholic, brother to President Kennedy, asked a Boston priest, Lawrence Feeney: “Aren’t you sending our Protestant friends to hell by saying that salvation is only in our Catholic Church?” The priest said: “I’m not sending them to hell, but I am telling then where to come (the Roman Catholic Church) if they want to get to Heaven.”
According to Roman Catholic theology and the Popes, “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.” WHY? Because you must take the Sacraments in order to be saved, and according to the Pope, the ONLY church that is authorized by God to do administer and perform them is the Roman Catholic Church through its priests. According to them “the sacraments are the arteries of [the] Mystical Body [of Christ], through which the life-giving Blood of the Saviour is transmitted.”
What are these sacraments that are essential to salvation according to the Pope?
You must be Baptized to wash away your original sin.You must be Confirmed to receive the Holy Spirit.
You must celebrate the Mass to receive Christ.
You must do Penance [Confession to the Priest] to have your sins forgiven.
You must remain faithful to the RCC so that you can receive the Last Rites and be buried in a Catholic graveyard so you can go to heaven by way of Purgatory.
According to the Pope, without the Catholic priest and the Catholic religion, you have no chance of going to heaven. The Catholic Church has stated in no uncertain terms at the Council of Trent that all who believe the following Bible doctrines are cursed, damned and doomed to hell: anathema.
Justification by faith without works.
Baptism is not necessary for salvation.
The Lord’s Supper is symbolic, not literal like the Catholic Mass.
Confession to a priest is unscriptural and not necessary for salvation.
Penance is man’s tradition, not Biblical.
All sins are forgiven on the basis of what Christ did on the Cross and is only conditioned on our faith in Him.
If you believe those things, then according to the Catholic Church you are anathema: cursed and going to hell.The Catholic VERSION of the Gospel that John Paul II preached wassalvation by works and church membership. He believed that the Sacraments administered by a Catholic priest were necessary to be saved, and that it was foolish to believe that simple faith and trust in Christ and His finished work on Calvary were “good enough” to get you to heaven. He taught that you get to God through Jesus Christ, and you get to Jesus through Mary: He said: "MARY IS THE PATH THAT LEADS TO CHRIST..." In his Last Will and Testamant he committed his soul into the hands of Mary, not Jesus Christ.
Every Catholic who recites the Rosary asks the Virgin Mary to “pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death.” The truth is that Mary does not intercede for us in prayer and she cannot save you or help you to be saved.
Our Mediator, our Intercessor and our Advocate is Jesus Christ alone: Mary is not in the equation of salvation, and she would be the first to tell you that. She would tell you not to look to her, but to look to her Son, Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for your soul’s salvation.
From the record, Pope John Paul II did not die as a born again Christian trusting in the Jesus Christ and His finished work on Calvary for his salvation, therefore he was lost, unsaved, and did not die a Christian on his way to heaven.
We hope that you don’t die like the Pope, but that you die as a Christian, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
Solid Rock Baptist Church - Serving the Lord in the Memphis/Mid-South area