Pope Francis Claims God Will Save Atheists
On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Pope Francis conducted Mass in Rome. During that service, he made one of the most memorable and astonishing statements ever spoken by anyone who calls himself a Christian. The theme of his sermon was that all humans should do good deeds for others. In the course of the talk he stated:
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! “Father, the atheists?” Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. “But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!” But do good: we will meet one another there (“Pope at Mass...,” 2013, emp. added).
The Pope’s statement highlights two very important issues. First, it shows how far the Pope and the Catholic Church have fallen from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus explained to the first-century Jews: “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). His point could not have been more clear: acceptance of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God is required for salvation. That is why Jesus told His apostles: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Furthermore, the inspired apostle Paul explained that Jesus Christ is coming “from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8, emp. added). John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, boldly stated: “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” Make no mistake, neither Jesus nor His inspired apostles ever once hinted at the possibility that people who do not believe in God will be saved. They will not. Revelation 21:8 explains: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (emp. added).
The second issue evident in Francis’ statement is the fact that pressure from the unbelieving community is mounting. As the number of unbelievers gradually increases, so does the temptation to appease them and attempt to bend the truth to ingratiate one’s self or organization with unbelievers. As Christians—followers of Jesus Christ—we must resist this tempation at all cost. Yes, praise God, Jesus’ blood is powerful enough to redeem unbelievers, if and only if, those unbelievers turn to Him with humble hearts, confess that He is God’s son, and obey the Gospel (Lyons and Butt, n.d.). Barring that response, unbelievers can look forward to nothing in the afterlife except a “certain fearful expectation of judgment” (Hebrews 10:27).
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (No Date), Receiving the Gift of Salvation, Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Receiving%20the%20Gift%20of%20Salvation.pdf.
“Pope at Mass: Culture of Encounter Is the Foundation of Peace” (2013), Vatican Radio, http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/05/22/pope_at_mass:_culture_of_encounter_is_the_foundation_of_peace/en1-694445.