The Radical Gospel In the past week or so we have seen the death and burial of Pope John Paul II. The secular news reports have been glowing. Talking about the Pope's glorious works in politics and in bringing the various "faith communities" together. That, I guess, is to be expected. What should have been unexpected was the glowing reports coming from various "evangelical" Christians. I heard more than a few main-stream conservative evangelical Christians come out this past week with glowing statements about the Pope's ministry. In fact, just last night, I saw a speaker on tv (who is a nationally known evangelical) talking about the Pope's evangelistic message to the youth of America (in a positive way). Others focused on the Pope's pro-life stance, and his support of a culture of life. The fact that any evangelical Christian could have anything good to say about any Roman Pope is amazing to me. Mainly the comments about the Pope's evangelistic outreach to the youth. Is that speaker not aware of the FACT that Rome's Gospel is not the Biblical Gospel? That Rome rejects salvation by grace alone (Eph 2:8-9), through faith alone (Rom 4:4-5), in Christ alone (Jn 14:6)? Salvation is not found in a church or institution, but rather in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Pope's Gospel was not the Biblical Gospel. What does that mean? Well I think Paul's letter to the Galatian Christians explains this better than I ever could. The WORD OF GOD states: My question to all of the evangelicals praising Pope John Paul II is this: Why are you so quickly deserting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you doing it for your popularity (ie..being a people pleaser...2Tim 4:3-4)? Are you denying the Gospel of Christ to remain popular with people? Are you willing to abandon Christ for mortal people? Are you deserting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ because you are, in fact, ignorant of the Gospel message itself? Are you not aware that Christ said what we must do to be saved is to believe (Jn 6:26-29)? The Bible says nothing about sacraments "as the means by which certain graces are to be conferred on men", purgatory, the worship of Mary, etc. Those are all human additions to the Gospel. Or are you deserting the Gospel of Christ because of moralism? Is the fact that the Pope was pro-family, and pro-life more important to you than the Biblical Gospel? In his little book, "Can God Bless America?", Dr John MacArthur warns of the dangers of moralism in four. I want to quote to you several of his statements which serve as great warnings (because they are based on Scripture): The Pope's views on homosexuality and abortion do not make him a Christian. A Christian is a person who has repented and turned to Christ alone in faith (Acts 26:18-21). A person who prays to people (ie..Mary, the saints, etc) is an idolater (Rev 21:8, 1Cor 6:9-10). A person who believes that any human works adds to or contributes to salvation in any way is not a Christian. Why not? Because by adding works to salvation they are voiding the grace of God (Gal 2:21). Pope John Paul II was a Catholic, not a Christian. He, like many Popes, councils, and lay Catholics before and after him, rejected the Biblical Gospel of salvation apart from human works (ie...by faith alone). The only people who are in heaven are those who have peace with God through faith in Christ (Rom 4:23-5:2). Everybody else is in hell. You say, Martin! How dare you make such a hateful statement! My friend, all I have done is repeat the Biblical Gospel. If you believe that is in anyway unfair, hateful, or narrow minded maybe that is a sign that you have deserted the Gospel of Christ! Jesus said that there is only one way to the Father, and that is by faith in Him (Jn 14:6, Jn 6:47,8:24). Jesus said the road to heaven is narrow and very few will find it and be saved (Matt 7:13-14, Lk 13:23-24). The only ones who find life eternal are those who have put their faith in Christ alone for salvation (Jn 3:14-18, 6:40, Rom 4:4-5, Eph 2:8-10). If someone is adding works to salvation they are perverting the Gospel of Christ (and that according to the Apostles). The Pope added works to salvation, believed salvation was in a church and not in a person, denied the exclusivity of salvation in Christ, denied a literal hell, prayed to Mary, believed in grace through sacraments, purgatory, etc. Btw, by believing in purgatory the Pope denied the finished work of Christ on the cross to make a person perfect forever (Heb 10:11-14). The Pope actually said on Wednesday, 4 August 1999 the following: What was his source for this Gospel denying heresy? The Scriptures? Of course not! Rather it was, "the Church's tradition". Sort of reminds me of Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisee in Mark 7, "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men". Friend if you are not purified from all your sins before death by the blood of Christ you will NEVER enter heaven. That is the Bible's teaching (see Hebrews 9-10). Is Pope John Paul II in heaven or hell? Look to the Scriptures (Galatians 1, Matthew 23, etc) and answer the question for yourself. Stop trying to be popular and stand on the Gospel. Stop watering down the Gospel for social or political reasons, stop your ignorance of the Biblical gospel. If you do that the answer will be painfully clear. I think it is very sad that the Pope rejected the Biblical Gospel, it pains me to think that he died really believing he was paradise bound. However the only ones who are heaven bound are those who have trusted in Christ alone, all others are accursed. Martin. This post was written in Christian love. It is not my intent to offend (etc). However I am fully aware of the fact that the Gospel does offend those who are perishing.