He is the perfect matchmaker, Pope Francis, to see Christians from East and West unite – possibly even with true Allah-fearing Muslims joining in – but certainly the majority of Christians from nearly all existing denominations. This is to say, Christians from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, but eventually also those from the mainline Protestant denominations – even Charismatics – joining the ranks of this newly to-be-formed worldwide Catholic Church.
As one Charismatic Christian leader recently remarked after visiting this pope in Rome, “He is so kind and inclusive.” Who can be against such a display of humility, and the caring willingness to unite Christians after so many centuries of divisions, hatred and enmity? This is why, with the personality he has, Francis seems to be the man to bring about this unity. And we can be sure that many will see this in the most positive way, quoting our Lord’s own expressed desire and prayer for the unity of all believers, as recorded in John 17.
Without true repentance from sin, however, this is a unity that will lead to Babylon, where the worldly Harlot Church will ride the Beast: A woman, clad in scarlet, overflowing with uncleanness and unwashed, the opposite of the true church or bride of the Lord as seen by John on Patmos, “having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
And for those who indeed want to call Peter the first ordained pope of the Church, they should note how, just after being anointed with power by the Holy Spirit, used these words to proclaim the only way for one to belong to the Church of his risen Master:
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” Acts 2:38-43.
Therefore, no matter how all-inclusive this present pope or other church dignitaries may desire and proclaim the church to be, welcoming all sorts into membership of the global mother church, there is no way other than through true repentance from sin, followed by baptism, in order to even able to become part of the cleansed bride of Christ. And this was the clear message of the Apostle Peter on which ‘rock’ the Catholic Church is supposed to be based!
Why this pope’s ‘all-inclusiveness’ (and indeed the lax position held by many in different denominations today) poses such a danger, is because it is a spirit that will increasingly lead to a condoning of sin within the Church instead of deliverance from sin by true repentance and faith in the all-sufficiency of the blood of Christ.
The rewriting of God’s laws, in deference to what is increasingly accepted by many as the new norm and political correctness we need to accept, has led to the acceptance and condoning of sins the Bible describes as abominations even in the midst of the Church and by Christian ministries. This is in total contradiction to what the Lord clearly says in His Word: that to belong to Him and His Kingdom we have to repent and part from such sinful practices.
This is all very, very serious, for it will determine issues of life and death and, above all, our eternal life. This is how Jesus answered His disciples when they asked Him if many would be saved in the end.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” Matthew 7:13-14.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” Matthew 24:4-14.
While the general trend in most Christian circles today is to be kind and as inclusive as possible, Jesus holds out before us a difficult and narrow road, a road which will cost us everything, certainly all of our sinful practices; even our own lives. “These are those who follow the Lamb wheresoever He goes” as indeed the disciples did when they heard His ‘Follow Me‘ and left everything. That is and was the true basis of the Bridal Church.
If we are scrupulously truthful, then we know why the all-inclusive Babylonian world church is so much more appealing to many believers; it is less harsh on sin and on the need for true repentance. That part in us that has not totally surrendered itself to the Lord and to His indwelling Holy Spirit will in the end lead us into the all-inclusive world church and away from belonging to Christ as His holy, sanctified Bride. It is for us to choose who we really want to belong to in the end.
If Jesus is still allowed to be the Lord of His Church, then truly His words seem to be in stark contrast with many of His so called followers.
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Republished with the kind permission of Author Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director of International Christian Zionist Center.
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