Pope: Atheists Need Not Believe in God


The word of our Lord:

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me (Jn 14:1).

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (Jn 5:24).

…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all (see Shema at end of post), bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? (Ro 10:9-14)

[Editor: The following article is a reprint from The Independent-UK published on September 11, 2013. If only by our conscience we can be made right with God then why did Yeshua HaMashiach die on the cross? My brothers and sisters in Christ, what do you think?]

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences
 
Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.” 
 
“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” 
 
Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Catholic journal The Tablet, said the pontiff’s comments were further evidence of his attempts to shake off the Catholic Church’s fusty image, reinforced by his extremely conservative predecessor Benedict XVI. “Francis is a still a conservative,” said Mr Mickens. “But what this is all about is him seeking to have a more meaningful dialogue with the world.” 

In a welcoming response to the letter, Mr Scalfari said the Pope’s comments were “further evidence of his ability and desire to overcome barriers in dialogue with all”. 
 
In July, Francis signalled a more progressive attitude on sexuality, asking: “If someone is gay and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him?”

Editor: What if Francis had asked, If someone is a sinner and is looking for the Lord, who am I to judge him? The understanding should be that they follow our Lord’s admonition to: Go and sin no more (Jn 8:10-11). 

Letting one’s conscience be their guide absent the will of God can lead to tragic consequences. Otherwise, I could simply choose to define my own morality convinced in my mind that I will be saved outside of God’s righteous plan. That is a false message of hope bordering on heresy. My conscience is clear before God because I do believe that His Son died for my sins, and there is no other way to salvation but through Him.

There is an adulterated gospel being preached today that any number of paths will lead you to God. We have heard often the justification, “But I am a good person.” Even if we embrace the false assumption that all people have a good conscience this will not justify them before the Father (we are justified by faith); and it denies essential Judeo-Christian doctrine that none are righteous:

Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins (Ec 7:20).

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Ro 3:23). 

…as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD” (Rom 3:10-11). 

If you think you are a good person, consider this teaching from our Lord:

As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:17-18). 

A good conscience, like good works, will not get you into heaven. Look to Christ — not to a man, dear Catholics — if you are truly seeking God. We would remind the Pope that the God of the Christians (his reference) is one God as the Torah reveals in the Shema:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! (Dt 6:4The same Lord is Lord of all (Ro 10:12).

Blessed be the name of the LORD.

(Link to original article.)

Next: Our Christian Walk

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13 thoughts on “Pope: Atheists Need Not Believe in God

  1. Which is all the more reason we need Jesus Christ:

    But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7).

    Our conscience and good works, or best efforts, will not reconcile us to the Father. If I sin, as a child of God, I know that the blood of Christ will cover my transgression:

    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jn 1:9).

    Some will teach that you need not believe in God, and others within the “church” are now preaching that a Christian need not confess sin, or that everyone will be saved.

    The spirit of antichrist is here (1Jn 2:18).

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  2. Here we understand what the Apostle Paul was teaching the assembly at Ephesus regarding what it means to be in Christ. A person is either in Christ, or out. We are a member of His body, or not. If my neighbor leaves an inheritance to his family, I do not benefit because I am outside the family. Likewise, the blessings of God’s saving grace are reserved for those who believe, and receive by faith, His promise of eternal life.

    The Pope is negating the calling of God by declaring that a person need not believe. He is saying, in effect, that a person can enter heaven without God even though the Word teaches that there is salvation under no other but the righteous Son of God (Acts 4:12).

    Not Brahman. Not Buddha. Not any number of neopagan entities. None but Jesus Christ alone as Paul writes to the Ephesians:

    In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Eph 1:7).

    In Christ, then, we have the assurance of our salvation, or as John writes:

    These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (1Jn 5:13).

    Outside of Christ we cannot have that assurance. In answer to your question I can tell you that God has freed me from the bondage of sin. By His grace I don’t do the things that caused me to stumble in the past. He is a great and merciful God indeed.

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  3. I still mean that we have all fallen short of heaven. There are no sinless people. All the sins are the same in God’s eyes. We all sin. I don’t confess my sins to a priest or minister. My sins are between me and God. No one can go to hell for you and no one can go to heaven for you. You do that all on your own. As I know no sinless priest or minister.

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  4. Truthseeker, thank you for your input. I do not confess to a priest or minister, either. On that we agree. Jesus Christ is my intercessor, not a man. In the name of Christ I approach the Throne of Grace with praise and prayer.

    If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us (1Jn 1:8-10).

    James does not suggest that we confess to a church official but to one another:

    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

    It is troubling that there is a growing movement within the “church” that believes confession is not necessary when the Word teaches otherwise.

    He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion (Pr 28:13).

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  5. I have tried confessing to others. Bad Mistake. They share your sins with others. Private sins weighing on your heart. I talk to God all the time. I didn’t find comfort, I found I got burned.

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  6. Truthseeker, I believe the Apostle Paul would define a gossip as ungodly:

    They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Ro 1:29-32).

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  7. Most of those things are going on in the church today. By the pastors and it’s members. I believe in God, my fellow people, not so much. I don’t believe in worshipping idols or things or people. Certainly not money. I have heard pastors say as the collection plate goes around that he needed a new suit and they weren’t cheap. I have heard pastors say it is quite all right to discipline your wife. After all the Man is the head of the house. I was unwillingly jerked in a fake “holy spirit” thing, when all I was doing was watching the fake goings on at a pentecostal church. They held my head and shook it all around and claimed that I had the holy ghost. I have been to Catholic churches and that religion and people do some awfully strange things. Me and God. We sit and talk.

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  8. There is a lot of false teaching and phony religion that calls itself Christianity, but most who practice it are either deceived, or workers of iniquity:

    Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mt 7:22-23)

    Truthseeker, with a discerning eye we have to sort the chaff from the wheat. There are Bible-based community churches and home-study groups that teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am blessed by a daily radio program, The Narrow Path, hosted by Steve Gregg. It is a live call-in show where people have an honest discussion about the Bible and Christianity. As Jesus said:

    Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Mt 7:13-14).

    Many within the “church” should heed the Lord’s warning.

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  9. The Truth is one thing. Religion is something else (well, it’s actually many other things). The Pope is wrong. God allows for the possibility that some might not hear the gospel (“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.” — Romans 2:14) But God will not forgive anyone who, once they hear the gospel, rejects the Truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” — John 14:6

    Also, it is important to realize that our conscience is what makes us open to repent (turn from sin to God) in the first place. Our conscience never pulls us away from him. The whole premise that our conscience gives us the freedom to reject Christ is without merit or foundation.

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  10. In Romans 2:13 Paul seems to suggest that Gentiles who are doers, not hearers, of the law would be justified by instinctively (or consciously) doing the things that are required by the law. We might presume that the Pope had in mind this passage of scripture.

    Paul is being hypothetical, though, because he is quite clear in the next chapter (Ro 3:11) that no one understands, or seeks for God. Neither Jew nor Gentile.

    And in Galatians 2:16 he writes that no one is justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Many who do good works will be denied by Christ (Mt 7:22-23). Those who teach a merit based doctrine should give heed to these verses.

    By believing in God our faith is revealed.

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