The Pope is in Hell - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahonArticles on the Christian Walk, Systematic Theology and Practical Theology
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Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”
In a long line of industrious Roman Catholic figures throughout church history, Pope John Paul II died Saturday, April 2, 2005. He died as a result from complications related to Parkinson’s disease at the age of 84. According to Rome, John Paul II reigned as the third-longest of any pope, behind St. Peter (A.D. 30-64 or 67), who served 34 or 37 years, and Pius IX (1846-1878), who served 31 years and seven months. All over the Internet, and among the hundreds of magazines, newspapers, cable, radio, and satellite news stations around the world, his death is wrought in the midst of an emotional upheaval. People weep and believe he went to heaven because he was such a good “holy father” and in his “suffering” God “took him home.” For Roman Catholics, the supererogatory merits of bygone saints and his own merits ushered him into the eternal bliss of heaven, avoiding the refining fires of a million or so years in purgatory. Maybe it was Mary’s prayers that got him there. Maybe he was simply good enough to get in on his own works. One older lady the local news interviewed said, “I hope the Lord takes Him.” (Maybe she was not as “Roman Catholic” as she thought.) Roman Catholics believe the Pope went straight to heaven. Another interviewee said, “I’m completely sure he was a saint.” The news called him the “Pope of the People.” All over the world hundreds of thousands (millions) mourned over his death. God’s servant, the Vicar of Christ on earth, the one who ministered on behalf of millions of Roman Catholics before the holy Mother Mary, oh yes, and her son Jesus too, went straight to heaven. Yes, he went to heaven, at least according to Roman Catholics, and of course, the six o’clock news. He’s in a better place now. The angels are welcoming him, and presidents, kings, rabbis, church ministers, and others, are all hailing him as a “great man” in his passing. God took him home.
As with his predecessors (all other Popes in his line of thinking), Pope John Paul II is burning in hell for all eternity. This is a sad reality, but it is true nonetheless.
He hid the true Gospel and taught a false Gospel contrary to the word of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostolic witness to the truth. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation condemns him (and all ignorant of the truth) as a false teacher and arch-heretic, delusional, and a son of the devil.
Historically, the orthodox Christian church has condemned the papacy as anti-Christian. The papacy is not only not Christian, but also blatantly anti-Christian. The Popes of Rome are not saints, not holy fathers, but advocates for the Father of Lies. They hold one of the highest chairs of darkness under the Devil himself in contrast to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” Like the devil, the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church lie to their sheep, and tell them that they can work their way into heaven because the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, understands the Scriptures to teach such guidance for faith and practice. Christ is not enough. Men must do their part as well. Christ is simply not enough. (Compare these thoughts with the Roman dogma found in the sections on Justification in the Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church.)
In accepting the pontificate, Pope John Paul II claimed to be Head of the Church. His Roman Theology is consistent with Roman doctrine. Vatican I, chapter 1, says that the “jurisdiction over the universal church of God” belongs to the pope following after their misconstrued ideas surrounding Peter as the first pope. If they insist on this terrible blasphemy, then we ought to say to them what Christ said of Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan!” In chapter 2, they say that this authority must “remain unceasingly in the Church”. Chapter 3 says that he “possesses the primacy over the whole world…and [is] the true vicar of Christ on earth.” Vatican II echoed these same sentiments when they said, that the pope is the “visible source and foundation of unity of faith and fellowship.” They also said, “in virtue of his office, that is, as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole church, the Roman Pontiff has full and supreme and universal power over the Church.” Now that’s power! But it is power to darken the mind of the ignorant and weak.
The Bible, the Reformers, the Puritans, and ministers of the biblical church say differently. Colossians 1:18, “And He [CHRIST] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Ephesians 1:22, “And He put all things under His [CHRIST’S] feet, and gave Him [CHRIST] to be head over all things to the church.” Even Jesus adamantly states that men should only revere God when He says in Matthew 23:8-10, “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.” 1 Peter 5:2-4 refers only to Christ as “Chief Shepherd”, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” In the historic confessions, the Westminster Confession of Faith says, “There is no other head of the church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God. (The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXV – Of the Church)” Rev. George Downame says, “He is opposed to Christ, our Prophet, partly as he oppugns the prophecy of Christ, and partly as he himself is a false Prophet. He oppugns the prophecy of Christ in two ways: First, in denying Christ to be our only prophet, (whose voice in the canonical Scriptures concerning matters necessarily to be believed unto salvation we ought only to hear), while he and his fellows do teach that the Scriptures are not perfect, and that besides the Apocryphal writings (which they have equated to like authority as the canonical) their own traditions are also necessary, and of equal authority with the Scriptures. (George Downame, A Treatise Concerning the Anti-Christ, 1603)” The Pope exalts himself over everything that is named for God, and the church, “that Antichrist being a wicked and wretched man, shall advance himself above all that is called God, as Angels and Kings, or that which is worshipped, as Saints, images and altars, the cross and eucharist itself, insomuch that he shall sit in the temple of God, that is he shall rule and reign in the church of God, challenging a sovereign, universal and divine authority over all those that profess the name of Christ, as if he were a God upon the earth, shewing himself whether by words or by deeds that he is god, or as though he were God, which is the same thing. (Downame, Ibid)” Tyndale says, “The Jews boasted themselves of Abraham; and Christ said unto them, John 8: If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the deeds of Abraham. Our hypocrites boast themselves of the authority of Peter, Paul and the other apostles, yet they are completely contrary to the works and doctrine of Peter, Paul and all the other apostles. These teach not to fear God in his commandments; but to fear them in their traditions.” (Treatise on the Anti-Christ, 1527) Luther says, “We have, moreover, answered this question, ‘What is the Pope?’ We have concluded that ‘The Pope is ANTICHRIST.’ Out of this, therefore, flows a remaining and last subject of enquiry…For the flame of my spirit having entered upon this third part, under (I believe) divine direction, has set fire to all the ordinances of the Pope, that very holy Father in Christ, that vice-god upon earth, and burnt them up as being the dogmas of ANTICHRIST. (Martin Luther, The Pope Confounded and His Kingdom Exposed or Revelation Of Antichrist, Translated by The Rev. Henry Cole, originally written 1521)” Do I really need to quote Augustine, Jerome, Hillary, Origen, Cyril, Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Aquinas, Turretin, Rutherford, Gillespie, Calvin, Watson, Love, Reynolds, and others? They’ve been quoted to death, and still, the Roman Catholic Church does not listen. Roman Catholics listen to two things, and two things alone – what the Pope says, and what they think the Pope says.
The orthodox Christian church has always rejected the authority, teaching and seat of the Pope of Rome. Read any of the following:
Abernethie, Thomas Abjuration of Popery
Beza, Theodore The Pope’s Canons
Mayer, John An Antidote Against Popery
Puffendorff, Samuel The History of Popedom
Wylie, J.A. The Papacy is the Antichrist
Downame, George A Treatise concerning Antichrist
Rutherford, Samuel A Survey of the Spiritual Antichrist
Whitby, Daniel The Fallibility of the Roman Church
Knox, John Admonition to Flee Idolatry, Romanism and all False Worship
Clarkson, David Doctrine of Justification is dangerously corrupted in the Roman Church
Stewart, Alexander Roman Dogma and Scripture Truth
M’donald, John Romanism Analyzed in the Light of Scripture, Reason and History
Webster, Daniel, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History
Whitaker, William, Disputations on Holy Scripture
Plumer, William, Earnest Hours
Guinness, H. Grattan Romanism and the Reformation from the Standpoint of Prophecy
Brown, John (of Haddington) Absurdity and Perfidy of all Authoritative Toleration of Gross Heresy, Blasphemy, Idolatry, Popery in Britain
Dabney, Robert L. Attractions of Popery
George, R.J. Badge of Popery
Gavin, Anthony History of Popery
Fairbairn, Patrick Is Popery the Antichrist?
Wilkinson, Henry Pope of Rome is Antichrist
Doolittle, Thomas Popery is a Novelty
Henry, Matthew Popery, A Spiritual Tyran
Ness, Christopher Protestant Antidote against the Poison of Popery
Blakeney, R.P. Protestant Catechism or Popery Refuted
Fleming, Robert Rise and Fall of the Papacy
Calvin, John Rise of the Papacy with Proof from Daniel and Paul
As head of the Roman Church, Pope John Paul II also continued the denial of Justification by Faith alone. Now, some Roman Catholics will say they believed in justification by faith alone. But ask them what they mean. Is it analytical or synthetic? In other words, does it depend solely on the merits of Christ and none other, or does it depend on Christ and what you can do as well? Is it imputation or infusion? Does God recognize what He places in you as enough, or do you have to do something more? Is Christ’s work and imputed righteousness the sole cause of salvation, or do you have to earn righteousness as well? The Westminster Confession of Faith says, “Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness, by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God. (1. Rom. 3:24; 5:15-16; 8:30; 2. Rom. 3:22-28; 4:5-8; 5:17-19; 2 Cor. 5:19, 21; Titus 3:5, 7; Eph. 1:7; Jer. 23:6; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; 3. John 1:12; 6:44-45, 65; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; Phil. 1:29; 3:9; Eph. 2:7-8).” Officially, Pope John Paul II not only denied justification by faith alone, but continued to uphold the official dogma of the Roman Church by Trent’s conclusions – “Canon 10. If anyone says that men are justified without the justice of Christ, whereby he merited for us, or by that justice are formally just, let him be anathema. Canon 12. If anyone says that justifying saith is nothing else than faith in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this faith alone that justifies us, let him be anathema. (Translated by Re. H.J. Schroeder, Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, (Rockford, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.: 1978) 43.)” Those who reject justification by faith alone are rejecting the only means by which one may be saved. The Bible counters Rome’s blatant misunderstanding and false Gospel, Isaiah 45:25, “In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.” Luke 18:14, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Romans 3:24-26, “…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:9, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Galatians 3:11, “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:24, “that we might be justified by faith.” William Tyndale said rightly, “But all the texts which show the Pope his duty, he puts out of the way, including all the texts which set the conscience at liberty in Christ, as well as those which prove salvation to be in Christ only. (William Tyndale, Comments on 1 John especially 2:18-19)” As the Bible says –
Romans 8:33, “It is God who justifies.”
Make no mistake about it: those who lived to place themselves in Christ’s seat, and attempt to deny the only means by which men may be saved, died in condemnation and are burning in hell for all eternity. Pope John Paul II was a wicked, evil man who continued to deceive his followers, from priest to poor man, into believing a false Gospel that cannot save. He hid the true Gospel and taught the people to believe in a lie. And because the people wanted to believe him instead of God, Christ sent them all a strong delusion so that they would continue to believe their fabricated lie: 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Unrighteousness is as much propagating a false Gospel as it is lying and stealing – even more so! Jude 1:4, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Sovereign and Lord Jesus Christ.” As in the days of Jeremiah, so in the days throughout the Roman Captivity of the Church, and those who follow her, Jeremiah 50:6 rings true, “Their shepherds have led them astray.” Pope John Paul II led the Roman Church further and further away from the truth of the Scriptures and deeper and deeper into darkness. Isaiah 60:2, “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people.”
Rome and the papacy are likened to the Great Harlot of Revelation. Revelation 17:1-2, 15, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication…the waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” Ultimately God will have the final victory; Revelation 19:2, “For true and righteous are His [CHRIST’S] judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Henry Wilkinson, in his sermon series on the Antichrist says of the Roman Church, “the church was very corrupt in doctrine, worship, discipline, and manners, and polluted with spiritual fornication after saints and angels and images, etc., long before that time. So that we may infer, that if the apostasy came in with the pope or Papacy,—as this did rise to a height, so did the apostasy from the truth,—then this character doth agree to the pope, by which he may be known to be the Antichrist.” Nicholas Ridley, in his farewell letter to his friends in 1555 says of the new installation of the bishopric in London, “O thou now wicked and bloody bishopric! Why dost thou once again set up many altars of idolatry which by the word of God were justly removed?…Nay, hearken, thou whorish bawd of Babylon! Thou wicked limb of Antichrist! Thou bloody wolf! Why do you slay and make havoc of the prophets of God? Why do you cruelly murder Christ’s poor, innocent sheep? Is it because they will not hear thy voice because thou art a stranger, and will follow no other but the voice of their own Shepherd, Christ? Do you seriously think for one moment that you will escape judgment, or that the Lord will not require the blood of his saints at thy hands? Thy deaf and dumb god, which is the work of thy hands, whom thou sayest thou hast the power to make, thou you unashamedly call him your Maker, will not and cannot make thee escape the revenging hand of the high and Almighty God…O thou whorish harlot! Thou shalt never escape. Instead of my bidding thee farewell, now I say Fie upon thee, you disgust me, filthy prostitute, and all your false prophets, for you have joined in league with Rome, the seat of Satan. (John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, Volume 7.)” Where are the ministers of Christ’s Gospel today that will stand up and say such things to those who purport to sit in Christ’s seat and deceive the nations with denying the fundamentals of the faith? Where have they all gone?
Hell is reserved for those who place themselves on Christ’s rightful throne, and who deny the Gospel and forget the way of salvation that God has given the world. Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Words often dig people into a deep pit when they say things they should not. Pope John Paul II helped his Church dig themselves into a deeper pit, into a deeper hell, by advocating Rome’s false teaching. Like with a pitchfork and shovel “they dig into hell (Amos 9:2).”
No candle vigil will help. No prayers for the dead do anything at all. No indulgence is necessary. On Saturday, April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II died, stood before God, and was judged by the One, True, Living God as a sinful man found wanting with no hope. What would it be like to be a man who stood before the Living Christ and said to him as a false prophet, “I was your vicar on earth while I was alive; wasn’t I?” Oh! how horrible a judgment would that be?! How horrible a judgment would it be to have the wrath of God and of Christ’s power falling upon a wicked man with justice! But it is the right thing to do. Christ is right for pronouncing a sentence of eternal condemnation upon such men for He judges righteously against those who pervert the truth. Pope John Paul II propagated false teaching and taught others to do so! Christ says in Matthew 18:6-7, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” Christ is right. Woe unto the popes past who taught their people to go astray! Woe unto the next pope to take the throne away from Christ and sit in the seat of the Whore of Rome! Woe unto them, Christ says, as if they should tie a millstone around their neck and throw themselves into the sea as something better than what Christ will do to them as the wrath of the Lamb falls upon them in heavy measure! All Pope John Paul heard was Matthew 7:23, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
Pope John Paul II is in hell. He is burning there with all those who have denied the faith and taught a false Gospel. He is there with all those who attempted to raise their own heads above Christ. He is there under the wrath of the Lamb. He knows now that he was never the Vicar of Christ on earth. He knows now that Mary is a sinner like the rest of us. He knows now that purgatory is a fantasy. He knows now that the Bible is the Word of God alone. He knows now that Tradition means nothing in light of the Word of God. He knows now that only the elect are called saints. He knows now that indulgences do not save anyone. He knows now that venerating saints is sin. He knows now that men cannot save themselves. He knows now that all the pomp and gesture was building up wrath against him. He knows now that he was so very wrong about everything he thought he was “vicar” for on behalf of Christ. He knows now that all his past followers are still being deceived by the same lies he propagated before. He knows now there is nothing he can do about any of it. He knows it all now, and wishes he knew it before he died. Pope John Paul II is not in heaven. The Bible says that such men are in hell, and deserve to be there. Pope John Paul knows this too – all too well.
May we pray that God spares the Roman Church further deception and would spark some kind of renewal that would create a mass exodus out of that apostate church and back to the true Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, Jesus Christ. Without the power of the Sprit of God, those held prisoner in Church of Rome will find themselves under the same fate as Pope John Paul II unless they repent. Christ said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Yes, this short little blurb is “over the top”, and it is quite frank – not to mention judgmental (and we know most people hate it when others are judgmental- except Christ of course who tells us we should know right from wrong!). But that’s OK. With a world filled with watered down ministers who can’t seem to find the “right words” to say when the camera is on them, we can always use a little more of “over the top”. Realistically speaking, this could have been even more biblically poignant in that way.
Remember – Proverbs 17:15, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” Pope John Paul II knows this verse now all too well.
If you have a problem with this article, before emailing me, read this:
Can You Really Tell a Tree By its Fruit – or Was Christ lying?