Pope Francis: “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.”
Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Read the article here.
Another article here.
“What part of this is problematic? Do you believe there are people whom God doesn’t forgive, who go to Him with a sincere and contrite heart?”
Jesus can answer this question:
“He who believes in Him [Jesus] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
This all comes down to the cross and sacrifice of the Lamb of God. God poured out His wrath for sin on Jesus as a substitute (1 John 2:2; 4:10) for each person that believes in Christ (John 3:16). God’s justice and wrath for sin was finished (John 19:30) at the cross.
For those who do not believe, they are condemned already. God says that every soul that sins will die (Ezekiel 18:20). God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the tree and sinned, they would die (Genesis 2:17). That is the judgement for sin.
Paul writes in Romans 3:10-18 that every single human being is evil and has sinned. No one has done good, not even one. Therefore, every single person who does not trust in Christ will be held accountable for the sin they have committed (Revelation 20:11-12). Those who reject Christ will bear the full weight of God’s justice. They will be judged by Christ Himself (John 5:22-23).
For the Jew it will be Moses (John 5:45) and the Law (Romans 2:12) who accuses them. For the Gentile without the law it will be their own conscience that accuses them for their sin (Romans 2:14-15) in light of what Paul says in Romans 3.
We have forgiveness because Jesus paid the price for our sins (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Paul writes, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
* Reading and responding to some of the comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that Pope Francis needs to provide clarification and clear language to resolve the confusion he has caused.
I remembered there was something else that caused confusion last May 2013.
Pope Francis said, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the blood of Christ. All of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!” he declared. “‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the blood of Christ has redeemed us all!”
If Francis understood redemption (in the Biblical sense), then he would have realized what he is saying is universal salvation for all. That every single person will go to heaven. To be fair, the response by Vatican spokesman Thomas Rosica says that salvation is only found in the Church.
Definition: Redemption is the act of buying something back, or paying a price to return something to your possession.
From a Biblical point-of-view, it is only those who believe in Jesus that are redeemed (1 Corinthians 6:20). Paul writes, “For you [the believers in Christ] were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
We were purchased by Christ at the cross, and now we belong to God. Revelation 5:9 supports that it is those who are saved by the blood of Christ that have been redeemed.
Those who do not believe in Christ are not redeemed. So for Francis to say that we are “all” redeemed including every faith and atheist too is heresy (universal salvation).
In reponse to Thomas Rosica, salvation is in Christ alone not the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church is still full of all kinds of false traditions, false doctrines, and false teachings (salvation by works/merit, assumption of Mary, Mary the Queen of Heaven, Mary as Co-Redeemer, idols, praying to anyone outside of God, indulgences, purgatory, penance, keeping the Word of God from the people etc). The Roman Catholic Church has never repented of the sin of teaching falsehoods, I wouldn’t want to be part of the Roman Catholic Church.
Paul clearly says that salvation is based on grace alone, not by works.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus said, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions… Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” (Mark 7:8-13).
The word Church in the Greek means “Those called out.” The true Church is the Body of Christ that has been called out of this evil world by His grace. We are from all nations, all tongues, all tribes, and all peoples. The Church is all those who have called on the name of the Lord and have been saved and reborn by God’s Spirit. Denomination does not matter.