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Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too! Comments

Pope Francis has good news for atheists. Jesus died and was raised for them as well. His redemptive embrace was for all, not just a chosen few.The choice to accept its reach is our own. The Holy Father was not teaching anything new. In fact, this hope that all who do not yet know God are not only capable of doing good - but will progress toward that knowledge of God by doing good - is ancient. The Church wants all men and women to be saved. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 152 Comments

  1. Christopher Sadoun
    7 months ago

    Jesus died for YOU YOU will go to Heaven.

    Hans Urs Von Balthazar (a Catholic Priest) wrote a book called 'Dare we Hope That ALL men be Saved' In it he quotes

    "Revelation gives us neither the assurance that all will be saved, nor the certitude that any are condemned. What it does require of us is the "hope that all men be saved" rooted in a love of Christ that reaches even into the depths of Hell."

    I have struggled with the verse in the bible Matthew 12:31-32 about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But I decided it is better to blaspheme the holy spirit rather than to be afraid of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So I blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I called him the devil. So I believe that this sin must be forgiven. I believe that it is for things like this that one must make the argument that ALL are forgiven so ALL go to Heaven. And that we have a strong grace through Jesus Christ.

    Because of this I became a Christian Universalist. I am not a Unitarian. I believe ALL go to Heaven because of Jesus Christ.

    You don't have to believe in God to go to Heaven. God will take you to Heaven Anyway even if you don't believe in him because of Jesus the Christ. God will treat you like his dearly beloved son or daughter even if you don't believe in him. Belief , faith and things like that are God's responsibility to you and I and ALL. God will accomplish his purpose of salvation for ALL.

  2. carol abe
    7 months ago

    TO LYNN ALAN HEATH -

    YOU SAY THAT PEOPLE CAN DO GOOD WORKS?
    HMMM LETS SEE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THAT...
    "FOR ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD" ROMANS 3:23
    "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS NO NOT ONE" ROMANS 3:10

    WE ARE ALL SINNERS, YES...MARY, THE POPE, WE ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE CAN NEVER EARN HEAVEN THROUGH GOOD WORKS.
    LORD OPEN THEIR EYES TO YOUR WORD !
    "HE SAVED US NOT ON THE BASIS OF THE WORKS WE HAVE DONE IN RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT BY THE WASHING OF REGENERATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT" TITUS 3:5
    LORD, PLEASE HAVE MERCY AND OPEN THEIR EYES.TO YOUR WORD.

  3. Lisa
    8 months ago

    I am a Christian and I respectfully disagree with Pope Francis. Proverbs 16:25 reads, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Therefore goodness and sincerity will get you so far. If anyone actively rejects God, it would appear quite odd for God to welcome such a person into the kingdom of Heaven.

  4. Dan
    8 months ago

    I'm an atheist. I will never convert to a religious sect (Catholicism included). Yes, I was brought up in a western society, I've even been baptised as a catholic as a child. I've been to church.

    I don't believe in it at all, however. I don't believe in the bible as 'gospel'. I appreciate some of the stories, however. But I appreciate what pope Francis said here. It's one of the biggest hypocrisies in the christian religion. That you have to be 'converted to their sect of the religion or face eternal hellfire' (ridiculous).

    Some of the worst people I know are Catholics. Murderers, even - many are catholics. Buddhist people are some of the kindest, giving people on planet earth. Atheists, also - most of the time are extremely nice and giving people.

    I appreciate the pope saying this, he's working towards making Catholicism less of a cult and more of a modern, socially aware tradition :)

  5. Moira
    10 months ago

    I am shocked. What is Jesus but THE WAY to God. Good works are frosting on the cake, not a means of SALVATION. More like evidence of it. I can perform acts of so-called "morality" as defined by society and still be working against God and His people, we see it everyday. I can be at all the soup kitchens and hand the homeless guy 20 bucks and not give a whit about Jesus or Christians. It doesn't make me good as defined by God, in most cases I would be more prone to a lovely benefit of pride and self-righteousness. AS A Christian Jesus tells me that there is more to obedience to the law. That there is a spirit of the law that must be observed and to genuinely understand that I need the Holy Spirit gained through faith in Jesus. HOW how how can the the Pope say this, the head of the Church? I am just starting to learn about Catholicism and I am heart broken. I do not understand. I believe in Jesus, I believe in the fall of man and our need for a Savior, what is the Apostle's Creed?? Why state any of it if you can skate into heaven on your own merit?

  6. Emeka
    10 months ago

    Atheists can be saved but they must accept Jesus Christ PERIOD!!!

  7. Christopher Sadoun
    10 months ago

    What is Prophecy?
    Prophecy is always a promise of God. God gives prophecy-promises of hope to His children. God also gives prophecy-promises of judgment to those who disagree wither are indifferent to Him.

    Can men give prophecy?
    No! Genuine prophecy comes only from God. "No prophecy was ever an act of human will" (1 Peter 1:21)

    Why is prophecy (a great gift from God), avoided today by many? Why do Lutheran pastors often avoid preaching on prophecy?
    In recent years a small group of Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Dispensationalist preachers have predominated television preaching. These preachers claim that the key prophecies of God deal with the state of Israel. These misguided preachers have twisted God's prophecies and removed Christ from the center of prophetic preaching. By doing this, they replace Jesus Christ with the geographical state of Israel. This misuse of prophecy has cause many Lutheran pastors to avoid teaching about prophecy altogether, thereby leaving their people in the dark and without the hope that God desires to give His people through Christ-centered prophetic preaching.

    If you were to make a tree diagram of all Old Testament prophecies--with a branch or twig representing each specific prophecy--why would Genesis 3:15 be the root of this big "tree" of many old testament prophecies?
    There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Already in the third chapter of the first book, God gives His "root," His "foundation block," or His cornerstone prophecy. This cornerstone prophecy on which all other prophecies are built is Genesis 3:15. Every activity of the entire Old and New Testament is tied in some way to Genesis 3:15, just as every branch and smallest twig of a tree is in some way tied to the root.

    WHY IS GOOD NEWS DEVOTING AN ENTIRE ISSUE TO PROPHECY?
    The primary purpose of GOOD NEWS is to give its readers hope. As You turn these pages and see specific prophecies explained, you will also experience the hope God desires to give you.

    HOW CAN YOU EASILY DETECT THE HERETICAL TEACHING OF TODAY'S TELEVISION PREACHERS AND DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE SOLID AND RELIABLE TEACHING THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH HAS ALWAYS USED REGARDING PROPHECY?
    Popular and heretical preachers of prophecy usually focus on the Bible books of Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. These books are then used to explain current world politics, especially current events, and to guess when Jesus will return. The greatest condemnation of these charlatans is the clear teaching of Jesus: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (Matthew 24:36)

    WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TWISTED HERESY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?
    As already noted, the Dispensationalist teaching of prophecy takes Jesus from the center of all prophecy and replaces our blessed Lord with the state of Israel. In Luke 24:44, Jesus says, "All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Dispensationalists, in effect, have recast this section of God's Word to say, "All things written about the state of Israel in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Furthermore, as Luther points out, Israel, even in the Old Testament, has always referred to those who believed and followed God, not to a particular race of people or to a certain geographical area.

    WHY IS IT ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW WHAT THE WORD 'ISRAEL" MEANS TODAY?
    Over the centuries, in its worship services, the Christian church has always used the Psalms. The Psalms regularly refer to Israel. When the Psalmist is referring to Israel, he is pointing to those whom God has promised to bless. In their false understanding of Scripture, the Dispensationalists have misled millions to believe that the Psalms are referring to God blessing the state of Israel, when, in fact, the Psalms refer to a blessing God wants to give to all who are worshiping him. In other words, the heretical Dispensationalist theology twists and redirects God's promises of blessings from children who are His through Baptism to those they believe are His through geography.
    So, the bottom line is this. When people in your congregations are hoodwinked into believing Dispensationalist theology, they do not experience the blessings that God has to give them as His New Israel! (Romans 9:1-8)

    WHERE ARE THE CHIEF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS THAT TEACH DISPENSATIONALISM?
    Among themselves Dispensationalists would agree that the leading schools teaching their interpretation of the Scriptures would be Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. One of the founders of Fuller Theological Seminary was also a major promoter of Dispensationalism.

    WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE LEADING AND MOST POPULAR TEACHERS OF THE TWISTED THEOLOGY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?
    The most popular teacher of dispensationalism has been Hal Lindsey, the author of The Late Great Planet Earth which sold some 35 million copies and was translated into over 50 languages. In more recent years, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authored the Left Behind series of books, which netted each author over fifty million dollars. These figures demonstrate how widely this 19th-century American heresy has been spread and the threat that it poses to Christ's church. Jesus says, "Many will … mislead many" (Matthew 24:5).

    WHY DO THESE RELIGIOUS FICTION BOOKS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT DEAL WITH PROPHECY, SELL SO WELL?
    All people, even those committed to secularism, are interested in getting a peek into the future. Thus, when a charlatan comes along who claims to be interpreting present and future events ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, there are many buyers! Even members of the U.S. Department of Defense were known to be reading The Late Great Planet Earth in the hope of seeing the future of world political and military movements. One author noted that reading The Late Great Planet Earth was like getting an advance copy of tomorrow's newspaper!
    Finally, on e could read many, many books explaining how the twisted theology of Dispensationalism has impacted politics in the United States and other parts of the world. But politics is not our mission at GOOD NEWS. While we have taken some space to point out the deadly menace of Dispensationalism, you can see that the greater percentage of this issue is devoted to the true and correct Biblical understanding of prophecy, a great blessing God wants you to have!
    Dispensationalism is effectively exposed in volume XIII of Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics: Escatology by John R. Stephenson. p. 83-97, in the essay titled, "Fictitious Signs of His Coming: Sundry Dreams of the Dispensationalists" (Published by the Luther Academy, Fort Wayne, IN. 1993).

    For Bible Study questions about this page, turn to page 41 and use questions 43 through 45.

    43. The heresy of Dispensationalism has been promoted by many popular evangelical preachers on television and radio. Major schools of theology, such as the Moody Bible Institute, promote Dispeationalism. Bestselling books like The Late Great Planet Earth, and even the series, sow the tares of dispensational thinking in the minds of million of Christians (Matthew 13:24-30). Nevertheless, Dispensationalism is not a God-Pleasing doctrine. Jesus warns us: "Many will come in My name … and will mislead many" (Matthew 24:5).

    44. Jesus claims that the entire Old Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). Dispensationalism removes Jesus from the center of Biblical prophecy and replaces Him with the modern state of Israel. Dispensationalists base their teaching on obscure passages while ignoring the Bible's clear teachings, such as: "But of that day and hour no one knows" (Matthew 24:36). Finally, Dispensationalism robs God's children of the comfort of their Baptism. By focus-ing on bringing back the political state of Israel, Dispensationalism denies God's promise that, through Baptism, He has established the Christian church as His New Israel (Romans (:1-8)

    45. No matter how persuasive and exciting television preachers or popular books may be, always remember: Christ, not the state of Israel, is the center of all Scripture (Luke 18:31). When you hear novel interpretations drawn from books such as Revelation or Daniel, keep in mind: "No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20). Search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), and compare the claims of Dispensational teachers to God's clear testimonies, such as Matthew 24:36 and Romans 9:1-8. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), knowing that the entire OLd Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). And bear in mind that all prophecy springs from the root of Genesis 3:15. When you are armed with these clear Biblical teachings, and refreshed by God's forgiveness in Word and Sacrament, you will be able to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).

  8. J gebets
    10 months ago

    It is truly amazing how the mind materializes what it wants no matter how plainly put. Our dear and humble Pope Francis did not in anyway state that atheists will go to heaven as non believers in Jesus Christ the son of God. He said that there is hope and an abundance of mercy for all because God sacrificed His own son. An atheist who does good through out his life has the opportunity to come into full faith and believing in Jesus and if so done and he believes in the son of God, with a contrite heart he too will receive mercy from God. God loves ALL of humanity.

  9. Gary
    10 months ago

    1. Atheism is not a religion!
    2. Does god accept responsibility for all the deaths resulting from 'natural disasters'?
    3. Are all the murders, rapes and beheadings in gods name acceptable?
    4. If god is all powerful why is the world in such a mess?
    5. Why do the bad people have so much success in life?
    6. Why does the catholic church still protect paedophiles?
    7. If someone prays for something and it doesn't happen, isn't that proof there is no god?
    8. Can you provide evidence of god here and now?

  10. Kerry Norris
    10 months ago

    My humble apologies, but if the Pope is teaching that someone could be saved without accepting Jesus, he is teaching folly. If you teach anything other that the true word, you are mocking the sacrifice of Jesus, and making his word of no effect.
    In Paul's letter to the church at Rome he writes, "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." Romans 10:9. IF is a key word here. Every word has meaning and is important, not one, single word can be omitted or dismissed.
    Jesus himself said in Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
    Then there is the all-familiar John 3:16: "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." This sounds pretty straight forward to me.
    And let's not forget what God warns in Revelation 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."
    As important as good works may be, the Bible is VERY clear that we cannot be saved by our own works. Jesus gave his life for you and I, if we do not accept his free gift, we are lost. We cannot be saved without Jesus. PERIOD.


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