The False Hope of Pope Francis

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Tim Moore | Christ in Prophecy

Pope Francis was asked this question in a recent interview that aired May 19th on the CBS news program 60 Minutes. His answer was as short as it was unbiblical: “Everything.” Speaking of heroic mothers and heroic men who have hopes and dreams, Pope Francis summed up his assessment of the human condition: “And people are basically good.”

It is one thing for a politician to appeal to “the better angels of our nature,” as President Lincoln did in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861. Obviously, he was trying to strengthen bonds of national unity in the face of looming discord. But the head of the Catholic Church should know better than to make such statements in denial of Catholic tradition and the clear teaching of Scripture.
In direct contradiction to Francis’ claim, Paul wrote, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 8:23). Citing Psalm 14, Paul also observed, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s View of Mankind

This realization of true human nature was originally recorded by the Lord God. As Noah offered a sacrifice upon leaving the Ark, God said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done” (Genesis 8:21). Tragically, mankind has found a way to twist and pervert even the rainbow God that marked His covenant with mankind (Genesis 8:8-17). Far from hopeful, mankind’s natural state would render us hopeless. Left to our own devices and dependent upon our own efforts, we are condemned from the outset. But God gave us the Blessed Hope.

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The same Psalm of David that Paul cited begins with this bleak observation: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1). But by the end of that short Psalm, David has centered his hope on the Messiah—God’s own promise of deliverance from sin. His final verse opens with this great verse of anticipation: “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!” (Psalm 14:7).

Like King David, I am a Zionist, because I too am awaiting the coming Jewish messiah who will reign on Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the prophetically regathered and reestablished nation of Israel. The deception being embraced by the world and casually affirmed by Pope Francis, which denies these historic, biblical, and prophetic promises to Israel, is another of Satan’s lies.

Christ-Centered Hope

We have the blessing of hindsight to know that the salvation of Israel already did come out of Zion, and not only for Israel. God’s Anointed One—His Messiah—came for Jew and Gentile alike. “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He is our Blessed Hope and offers us assurance that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). But for those who reject Jesus Christ, there is no hope, for the wrath of God abides on them (John 3:36).

If Pope Francis is right in claiming that “people are basically good,” what need do they have for a Savior? Their flippant, if unspoken, response to Jesus’ offer of salvation is essentially, “I’m good.”

Anyone engaged in evangelism can tell you that there are two types of people who are most resistant to the Gospel: one, those who have bought into the lie that they are too wicked to receive salvation, and two, those who believe they are good enough and therefore do not need salvation. Francis has lumped the entire human race into that second category!

As a confessional Protestant, Evangelical Christian, I can attest that much Catholic doctrine and dogma has departed from orthodox Christianity. Catholic teaching has traditionally recognized the depravity of mankind and our need for a Savior. Pope Francis, in accordance with his practice of muddying clear teaching and contradicting biblical truths, has undermined the very core of the Gospel.

Pope Francis may peddle a false hope that was eagerly received by CBS reporter Norah O’Donnell, but Jesus Christ offers Himself as the Way, Truth, and Life that leads to eternal salvation. To cite the Apostle Paul once again, “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar” (Romans 3:4).


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Lamb and Lion Ministries
Lamb & Lion Ministries was founded in 1980 as a non-denominational, independent ministry. The Ministry does not seek to convert people to any particular church. Rather, it seeks to lift up Jesus and draw people to Him as Lord and Savior. The Ministry was established for the purpose of proclaiming the soon return of Jesus. We do not believe it is possible to know the date when Jesus will return. But we do believe it is possible to know the season of the Lord’s return, and it is our conviction that we are living in that season.