Is there any hope in the new pope? Short answer: NOPE! (too cutesy I know, but it does rhyme, along with a few other key words…)
As the world gawks and gloats over the man in the funny white hat, there’s nothing funny about the false religious system he presides over, nor the destructive false hope that Roman Catholicism propagates. We must ever be crystal clear about the true hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ, declared in God’s authoritative word. Such clarity is necessary for our own souls, and for those we’re called to evangelize. Contrary to the thinking of many Christians, all that’s “Catholic” is often not Biblical – particularly regarding the central issue of how sinful, unrighteous people can be reconciled to a holy, righteous God. Thus Christians need to be biblically discerning of the errors of Roman Catholicism, and humbly winsome and wise as we talk with those ensnared in its clutches (see 2 Tim. 2:24-26; 1 Pet. 3:15-16.)
Pastor John MacArthur’s opening sermon at the recent Shepherds’ Conference provides an excellent exposition of John 3:1-12. This passage reveals how Jesus carries out the work of evangelism (an example we should follow), and how it is that a sinner can be reconciled to God (including self-righteous, spiritually dead religious leaders…like the pope.)
Additionally, Pastor Steve has written a couple of helpful blogposts, providing biblical perspective about the new pope: Humble Popes Don’t Exist, and Alleviating the Protestant Inferiority Complex.
Beloved, these are treacherous, yet exciting times in which we live. May we be all the more bold, compassionate, and faithful in making a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15), that others may come to know this true hope as well.
Until He comes,