I know it looks bad, but first pause and judge nothing before the time when God will bring into subjection every… (read I COR 4:5).
I hate to hear about these things ‘second-hand’ you might say, but religious leaders do have a tendency to go out on a limb at times and sometimes forget that everything they say about God, heaven, hell, or anybody and/or everybody will be recorded in some way even if there is no microphone in front of them or even a pencil in the hand of the reporter present as in this case.
The press office for the Vatican claims there is no written or recorded transcript of the private conversation between the Pope and Eugenio Scalfari the 93-year-old atheist writing for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The two men have been friends apparently since 2013, but their ‘friendship’ may require a sabattical of sorts.
Moving beyond the above conversation between the Pope and this very old atheist, Christians whether Catholic or Protestant, must be loyal to God’s Word first and foremost on every subject of spiritual matters and not try to be cool and distinctive in private conversations and spout opinions that run counter to God’s Word.
If hell did not exist, I guarantee you Jesus would not have admonished you and I to be willing to ‘amputate’ or rip out one or more of our bodily members starting with our ‘eye’ JUST to make it into heaven (barely) (read Matthew 5:3…if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out).
Jesus died to take away the keys of hell and death from the devil, so that everyone who believed in Him, really trusted in Him as their savior, would be saved from God’s wrath. God’s people are not appointed to wrath (anger, righteous from God), but are appointed to receive mercy and grace in time of need. Heaven is a real place with saints and angels present from all ages. People you knew in life and then died ‘in Christ’ went to heaven and you who were once ‘children of wrath’ are now redeemed, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and saved!
The book of Revelation says enough about the pit and hell to make us understand that God rewards everyone according to their works, et al, just rewards for everyone; heaven for those redeemed from their sins and iniquities by the precious blood of Jesus, and by the way, if you are redeemed don’t forsake your own mercy by being wise in your own eyes, or by observing ‘lying vanities’ – God knows our hearts.
HELL for those who hate the truth and despise the godly, for those who ‘love death’ because remember Jesus said ‘those who hate me love death.’
Hell opens up her mouth wide for those who still go on in their rebellion and sinful ways because the love of God is not in them; many Pharisees fit this description in Jesus’ time on earth, they proved themselves unworthy.
Remember Jesus said, if you are not faithful, ‘I remain faithful’…what does that mean? In a word it means that Jesus never fails, but we do at times fail to do what is good and right due to weakness or stumbling. The Bible says, today if you hear his voice, don’t stiffen your neck and be like those who perished in the wilderness long ago. Be earnest to follow what is good and right, in other words, be the man or woman God made you to be, you are not after the world’s approval, and by everything you do seek the honor that only comes from God.
Don’t ‘go to war’ with God by scoffing at divine authority contained in holy scriptures like the atheists do. By the way, atheists don’t earn a ticket to hell automatically just ’cause they say they don’t believe in God and argue with everybody about everything – I have seen them converted and they advance the cause of the gospel when the truth and light sets them free from the lie and the darkness.
Finally remember that sound doctrine cannot be denied, so, by definition anything that falls short of the glory of God as to doctrine must be treated as chaff which the wind blows away.