The Death of John Paul II
By Mike Gendron
Could it be that John Paul II gained the whole world but forfeited his soul? Year after year he was the most loved and admired man in the world. The idolatrous veneration and adoration of this man was unprecedented. His devotees, who are now singing his praises, are probably ignorant of the strong rebuke of Jesus who said, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26). Had the pope been devoted to Jesus Christ and His Gospel of grace, he would have been hated and persecuted by the world. No one can judge John Paul's heart but we are all called to judge the fruit of our spiritual leaders. Clearly this man was blinded by the prince of this world and never saw the light of the gospel or the glory of Christ. I mourn the death of this man, not for the reason the world mourns, but because he rejected Jesus as God's only provision for his sins. I also have a solemn compassion for those who blindly followed this pope and his man-centered religion. My heart is painfully burdened to see so many "professing" Christians unable to discern truth from error and genuine Christianity from its counterfeit.
If ever there was a more important time for faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ to take a stand for the truth, it is now. The religious corruption of Rome has been on constant display for the whole world to see. The splendor and pageantry has been extraordinary. Thousands of hopelessly deceived people stood in long lines for as long as 12 hours to venerate a dead man with a rosary in his hands and a twisted crucifix by his side. Bishops and Cardinals encouraged Catholics to pray to and for this dead pope whose body was constantly being "blessed" with incense and "holy" water. They must not be aware that praying to anyone other than God is an abomination to God (Deut. 18:11).
Tragically the pope has had greater success in deceiving the world since he died than during his 26 year pontificate. The global media has become his mouthpiece and willing partner in spreading his perverted theology. Through non-stop television coverage, the pope's church became the world's stage. Its princes masqueraded in their purple and scarlet robes as "ministers of righteousness." They successfully cast a spell over the TV audience with the splendor or their rituals and the pomp and pageantry of their pagan traditions. The magnificence and grandeur of this corrupt religion bewitched much of the gullible world into believing this is what Christianity is all about.
Few evangelical leaders, who were interviewed by the media, refused to capitalize on the opportunity to expose the pope's false gospel that shut the kingdom of heaven to those who wanted to enter. They refused to acknowledge that he was condemned by God's word for preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). Instead they took the popular road and said since he "believed in Jesus," he went directly to heaven. They said his salvation was guaranteed because of his suffering, goodness, and holiness. Many are praising John Paul II for being a great spiritual leader. But why give such honor to the head of an apostate church which keeps over a billion people in spiritual darkness. While he never claimed to be God, he took pleasure in being addressed with titles reserved for the triune God alone. He usurped the title "Holy Father" from God the Father, "The Head of the Church" from the Lord Jesus Christ and "The Vicar of Christ" from the Holy Spirit, who Jesus promised to send in His place.
The pope said he represented Jesus Christ, yet he lived in stark contrast to the Savior who had no place to lay His head. He denied Jesus was man's Creator by teaching evolution is true. On several occasions he denied that Jesus was the only way to the Father. When he addressed Muslim leaders, he said there is "a common spiritual bond that unites us." In 1999 he denied the blood of Jesus was the only purification for sin by awarding a plenary indulgence for anyone who quit smoking or drinking alcohol. John Paul is acclaimed as a great moral leader, yet he failed to discipline American Bishops for tolerating the wicked sexual abuse of deviant priests.
One thing is certain - the pope knows the truth now. I believe he is experiencing what the rich man in Luke 16 endured. Both of them dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in splendor every day. When the rich man died and found himself tormented in the flames of Hades, he begged the Father to send someone to tell his family the truth so they would repent and not end up in the same place. The pope may now be making the same request.
There are times in the lives of evangelicals when our faith is tested. This is indeed one of those times and sadly we see many failing the test by capitulating with enemies of the Gospel. Could it be that they are seeking the favor and approval of men rather than the approval of God? The passing of John Paul II opens up a tremendous opportunity for Christians to talk about spiritual issues. We must speak the truth in love and proclaim the Gospel with clarity and completeness! We must also earnestly contend for the faith against everything that stands opposed to God's word. May God help us to be faithful in these times of great deception and compromise! Let me know how we can serve you.