Guess Who Can Go to Heaven

HeavenHey, good news for all you atheists.  When you stop breathing you can still get into heaven.  That’s right, even if you don’t believe in God, you can enter the pearly gates, as long as you’re a good person.

To my conservative Christian friends: Please don’t send your angry emails to me.  I’m just your humble messenger. Send them to the pope.  That’s right, The Pope!  He’s the one who said it, in an open letter published on page one of an Italian newspaper — big news that’s getting play all over the place.

The Independent, in England, trumpeted the news under this headline:

Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven 

Here in America, Catholic Online ran its story under this banner:

Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!

“You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith,” Pope Francis wrote. “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.

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”

In other words, if you don’t believe in God, He still believes in you.  Or to put it in a more earthly way:  no harm no foul.

This will surely offend many conservative Christians who don’t quite see it that way.  In fact, many of them believe that even if you devoutly believe in God, even if you devote your life to helping the poor and infirmed, if you don’t accept Jesus as your lord and savior, you’ll be taking the express train south when you die.

I’ve always found this thinking – a word I use loosely in this case – a bit odd.  Let’s say a serial killer, seconds before they put the needle in his arm at San Quentin, honestly and truly accepts Jesus.  He goes to heaven but a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist who has done many good things here on earth — but does not accept Jesus as his savior – goes to hell?

I’m a libertarian on these issues:  Believe whatever you want.  Of course, true believers don’t want you to believe whatever you want.

While the pope’s take on this issue simply won’t do for a lot of born again Christians, many of whom aren’t crazy about Catholics in the first place, for some atheists, it’s pretty much a non-issue.

They don’t believe in God and so they don’t believe in heaven and so they couldn’t care less.  Richard Dawkins, the outspoken devout British atheist, tweeted: “Atheists go to heaven? Nope. Sorry world, infallible pope got it wrong.”

But Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, was more upbeat.  “I gather from this statement that his view of the world’s religious and philosophical diversity is expanding,” he said. “While humanists have been saying for years that one can be good without a god, hearing this from the leader of the Catholic Church is quite heartening.”

A note of caution to any atheist out there who may actually be looking forward to someday saying hi to Saint Peter:   There’s a good chance the pope’s Jay Carney will be out with a statement any second now that begins, “What the pope really meant is …”

And in case you’re  wondering … No, I definitely, most assuredly am not an atheist.  I don’t have enough faith for that.

 

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  • edward asare

    Simple believe christ is God, that is all

  • marconi314

    Bernie’s last statement was profound.
    Once you strongly examine the evidence for the existence for God, you will find that it takes waaaaaay much more faith to become (or stay) an atheist.

  • Mary

    I’m not sure if he is right or wrong. I was raised Catholic but as far as I know he is going against what the Bible says and I’m not sure where he came to this conclusion

  • Carol DiCenso

    Here is what I think. I think everyone should believe what they want, follow what they want, read the bible or not, pray or not. All I ask, is dont shove it down my throat, dont judge me. What I believe is no ones business, if I am saved or not, is no matter to anyone but me and God. Everyone just needs to drop it, worry about themselves and stop trying to prove to everyone how close they are to God.

  • biagg14

    no you have to belive in God ask for forgiveness when you sin and belive that he died on the cross and sacraficed for you where did you get this information

  • 4Commencefiring4

    The thief on the cross is the long and short of it. He was assured by Christ Himself, as they both hung there dying, that despite his past deeds, he would be in “Paradise” with Christ that very day simply because he had recognized, in his final hours, what he really deserved and had thrown himself on the mercies of this man beside him.

    The “good works all my life” argument fails for one reason: None of us are perfect, and God is. Our good works cannot ever erase our sin, just as a single drop of black paint in a gallon of white paint forever renders it less than pure white.

    Thus Christ–the perfect One–had to come, had to die as our sin bearer, and thus make a way for our sin to be forgiven. But rejecting that option leaves us but one: pleading our works before God, which we already know are woefully insufficient.

  • Jon

    I think the Pope needs to go back to the scriptures to jug his memory.

    John 14:6-7 ESV
    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

    Romans 3:22-25 ESV
    For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

    • jim

      religious garbage

      • Jon

        So you must be totally positive that you know what will happen when you die. Are you sure you know what happens after you die. It takes faith to not believe in God, just as much as it takes to believe there is. Nobody knows except God, and he gave his word which is the bible to know and understand his purpose. Since you don’t know, then you are religious too because you believe in something that you can’t see which is seeing what is beyond death.

        • jim

          More religious garbage. People like you are not worth arguing with. You are divorced from logic and reality. Your comment is poorly constructed and laughable.

    • DavidUchiha

      The real inconsistency here, is that the “pope’s word” is meaningless, meaning that the bible might (of course it is) also be meaningless, because it was after all–written by cavemen (and then revised by even worse beings).
      So either “God” will send nonbelievers to hell, “the worst place ever imaginable”, even though they all about love, just like jesus…,
      Or,
      you can accept the fact that the bible is not the “word of god”, or whatever u call it.

    • all_good_people_go_to_heaven

      Matthew 16:19

      “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Bible, King James Version

      In this verse Christ is addressing his disciples, and many theological sources agree he is specifically speaking to Peter – both the “rock” on which a new church will be built and the first Pope.

      See what this passage is saying is that church dogma, commandemnts, etc. are mutable. Not only that, but that changes in dogma done on Earth will be “valid” in heaven. Popes throughout history have redefined various portions of dogma, from declaring writings as heresy to defining immaculate conception and even the recent abolishment of limbo (not true dogma, but still a centuries old tradition) in 2007. Combine this with the concept of Papal Infallibility (when the Pope speaks with his full authority and in official capacity to the Church), and SHAZZAM!!! Dirty infidels that don’t believe in the divinity of Christ get a pass into Paradise, so long as they were decent human beings.

      So either one of us is right OR we both are because anyone can cherry pick Biblical verses to support an argument.

  • jim

    when a child grows up, he loses his belief in santa claus. when an adult grows up, he loses his belief in god.

    • LUMPK8983

      Ps. 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

      Pro. 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

      I know things look bad sometimes Jim but God still loves you..

      • jim

        no, he doesn’t. he doesn’t exist, except in your own little mind.

        • LUMPK8983

          tell me how you know He does not exist

          • jim

            i don’t really care what you think pal, if you can call believing in childish little delusions like god, heaven and hell thinking.

          • DavidUchiha

            That’s a strong emphasis on “He”

      • DavidUchiha

        Really? Because i can probably name a lot of “GENIUSES” that believed in god and had more evil in their heart than a “fool”
        Shall we play?

    • LaurAshh

      This are 2 completely different things.. We were put here some how some way.. We didn’t just appear here.. And all of atheist logics still lead you to a ok… But there was a beginning to that too? Nothing just forms from nothing? What other explanation is there than there’s a creator God. Who did it. People and scientist all have there different opinions and they go round and round until were put in the ground and know. But my point is….. Opinions only travel so far. There is a God he did it. No other way to say it. Or describe it. We have morals instilled in us and have a conscience because of God if there was no God we’d have no way of knowing what’s right and wrong. God says he will never work in a way that will confuse us and he won’t.. My best advice is go seeking… Don’t listen to me. God says seek me and you will find me. He loves you and you will be in my prayers!

      • jim

        laughable BS. lol. your prayers are worthless and a joke.

      • DavidUchiha

        So you just automatically assumed your “god” was a male, and you automatically assumed how the universal, the planet earth, and life was formed.
        You definitely reek of only “brainwashing-stone age thinking” aka creationism.

  • LUMPK8983

    1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

    Talking about going to heaven?

    • jim

      religious garbage.

  • LUMPK8983

    Anyone please, list for me 10 things President Obama shoutd have done out side of healing the sick, raising the dead and calling fire down from heaven. oh yes, he is the first black president, how earth can he do anything when a mob of white men vowed to block him on every hand. I wonder does it matter to people that the world is watching our country, oh yes, we do have the bombs and the guns but thats about all. what about the TRUTH? WHAT About freedom, what about real love for each other? I have a problem with you people, even though I do love my country, but does my country love me a black American?

    • jim

      he should be representing the people of american instead of the interests of wall street and the multi-national corporations. terrible, evil president. another war criminal. along with bush.

      • LUMPK8983

        when you say represent the people, how is he to do that? Tell me what is representing the people? they fight him like cats and dogs on every hand. what would you do if you where the president?

        • jim

          you are too naive and ignorant to waste any more time with.

          • Jon

            What you said usually translates to- “I don’t know how to answer your question tour intelligent question, so to avoid looking stupid, I’m going to insult you and call you names.”

          • jim

            you are too dumb to even understand how ignorant your comment is. lol.

  • LUMPK8983

    I have a problem with you people, I am a black American. You call yourselfs God fearing people and hate a man so much and speak so well these haters, my God what kind of people are you?

  • katlin murphy

    Not true in the bible it says this

    John 3:16-18

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

    Romans 10:9-13,

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    Ephesians 2:8-10:

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

    Matthew 10:32

    “Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven”

    • jim

      the bible. lol. religious garbage.

  • Chase

    If you spend your whole life faithful to God and he turns out to be non-existent, what do lose? If you spend your whole life without worshiping God and he does to turn out to be real, wont you lose everything?

    • bebop.tachikoma

      Then that means that your “belief” is an insurance policy to protect one’s behind, “just in case”.

      “Pledge your allegiance and receive protection, do not and whatever befalls you (INCLUDING from us) is entirely your fault.”
      Hmmm, that sounds strikingly similar to the mafia. Guess God is “The Godfather” and you’re one of his middle men/women.

    • jim

      you lose your contact with realtiy. grow up.

  • Arty Cohn

    Where is Heaven? It certainly is not above the sky , the so-called Firmament. Mankind has sent rockets out beyond 100 million miles. it is Vacuum .

    • Martin

      you are not reading scripture,cause yur blinded by satan. The (Heaven) GOD talks about is apart from this physical universe,just as dreams are seperate from reality. Its like theyre forever seprate ,and together always at same time.If you truly trusted in Christ alone to answer your hearts questions about spiritual answers . you would denyall doctrines that say there is an intermediary before Christ ,then he would be the second intermdy. not the only one. Seek him and you will not go to hell. Bleeve ME, youll b sorry you wete ever BORN.

      • bebop.tachikoma

        So science is “satan”?
        Get off the internet, hypocrite! Go live in a cave! Because EVERYTHING you’re using to live and express yourself is from science (whom you call “satan”).

        What a deluded nut….. You and people like you, are a discredit to your religion.

  • jim

    the catholic church is the same immoral and criminal organization it has been for centuries.

  • jim

    Except…………there is no heaven! lol.

  • Benmaxcon

    When I read this, I noticed a side bar with the title, “should obama be impeached?” I’m not catholic, but can they impeach the Pope?

  • garbo77

    John 14:6 – Jesus said to him: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me! Do we believe that? Romans 10:9-10 – To receive Jesus as our Savior. Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. John 15:23 – He who hates Me (Jesus) hates My Father also. John 5:40 – But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:23 – That all should honor the Son (Jesus) as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father. John 10:30 I (Jesus) and My Father are one.

    • jim

      just another mindless religious sheep.

  • starrgratt

    Without God to confess to how does one wash themselves clean of all past sins. Even the best of us have innumerable sins that with time have forgotten.

    • bebop.tachikoma

      Sin is a human invented concept, designed to keep masses in check with the use of fear and shame. The two trump cards of most religions.

  • florida1

    If one is a Christian; a following, practicing CHRISTIAN…then one believes Jesus is the True ONLY SON OF THE MOST HIGH ALMIGHTY GOD..That He was Born of the virgin Mary, became Man, suffered DEATH ON THE CROSS FOR OUR SINS…(which btw is the ONLY thing that separates us from the Mercy of God)..rose from the dead and is now seated at the Right hand of the Father-God…if we Believe that=there is NO OTHER WAY…TO SALVATION AND TO HEAVEN…EITHER IT IS ALLL TRUE OR A TOT LIE….BUT folks…it is TRUE!!!!!

    • bebop.tachikoma

      Harry Potter’s real too. There’s 7 books to prove it.
      Cuz folks….it is TRUE!!!!

    • jim

      religious garbage.

  • Jason

    What Pope Francis is not understanding along with everyone else who supports his statement, is that we are constitutionally sinful. It is in our nature that we have inherited from the first man Adam. Because Adam represents the whole human race, we then share in his pedigree.

    Romans 5:12,19 KJV
    [12] Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: [19] For as by one man’s (Adam) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.

    This is as clear as day, that one must accept Christ, because He is the only one Who is Righteous. And by believing and trusting in Him, His righteousness is imputed to us.

    • Guest

      Really, you’re saying Pope Francis does not understand? He is the Pope for goodness sake and I am sure he understands far more than you do! I read that statement as, it is a start to listen to your conscience and hopefully your conscience has been developed to lead you to choose right from wrong.
      Pope Francis says, sin exist whether or not you believe in God.
      So I take that as the best advice he can give a non-believer. Not do what you want, but listen to your conscience. Your conscience needs to be developed, but starting with what you have!

      • Laura Flack

        First, there is no middle man to God. You can talk to Him yourself. You don’t need a “Pope” to do it for you. He may be a good man, but he got this one wrong. For someone who is supposed to know the Bible and scripture inside and out, this is a big fail.
        I don’t need religion – I have a relationship with Jesus which is ALL I need.

    • jim

      yawn. childiish relgiious garbage.

  • Tony

    Pro_14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.

    Pro_16:25 Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right, but in the end it is the way to death.
    If you want the truth then follow the manual. The pope didn’t inspire the truth but makes a good job of trying to create his own “truths”.

    • bebop.tachikoma

      “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
      Yoda

      • squre

        Yoda is a prophet of god. I hope you know that?

        • bebop.tachikoma

          Ofc. And Darth Vader’s the devil. And Luke Skywalker’s Jesus. And Leia’s…..hmmm…Mary?
          Nah, Jesus and Mary weren’t brothers.

          May the force be with you, young padawan!

          • cloudenvy_93

            Gotta stop blaspheming against Jesus and repent

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Sorry, I owe my allegiance to Mother Gaia.
            So stop blaspheming against Gaia and repent!!!!

            See? Anyone can say their god is better and try to scare the other one into believing. That’s what they’ve been doing for more than a millennium in the Middle East and it’s working out so well for them…
            Just like it did for us during the Crusades…

    • jim

      the bible is garbage.

      • Laura Flack

        You sir are a fool. Good luck with that.

        • jim

          you believe in god and the bible, yet call me a fool without knowing me, that’s a good one.

  • Rjg8975

    If gods all knowing and new what you were going to do when he created you, then why would he send you to hell for doing what he made you to do? If he knows everything he knew youd be athiest amd made you anyway. If god is perfect, and kind then he shouldnt care how many people know of him. If he did and was actually insulted that you never heard of him that would be an example of pride which is a sin.

    • bebop.tachikoma

      You’re going about this the wrong way. You’re giving rational arguments.
      A lot of religious folks won’t understand you…

    • Tony

      God has given all a choice. That’s rational. “Your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts.” If you try to rationalise God then I am not surprised you don’t get it. “It is by faith that you are saved by grace”.

      • jim

        rational? nothing about religion/ god is rational. all garbage.

  • Kirk Birkinbine

    ok Rachel Trotter if that is your belief Then answer me this 144 thousand people are promised heaven but in the world today there are two point two billion Christian followers today and the Christian religion is only two thousand years old give Or take a decade now you cant tell me there is that many pieces of craps out there that only 144000 will get into heaven and the rest go to hell are you going to heaven or are you going to hell because the way your comment sounded is your judgemental and only God himself can judge you’re not supposed to and no I am NOT a Christian I just know more than a lot of Christians do because I study religions And the Bible and everything else

    • Benmaxcon

      No, you don’t know more about the Bible. You know very little. It doesn’t say only 144,000 will go to heaven. Read it again. The 144,000 represent a portion of believers who have suffered extreme persecution while on earth. They have a special place in the Second Coming because of their faithfulness and suffering for Christ. Second, the bible doesn’t say don’t judge. It says do not find fault in other people without first acknowledging your own faults. Anti-Christians often use the “judge not” quote to justify their sinful life. Jesus didn’t say, ignore your brother’s sins. He said to get your own house in order first.

      • jim

        your bible is garbage, trash.

        • LUMPK8983

          jim, you sound as though you are angry with God, Yes?

          • jim

            nope. god is just a character in various laughable adult fairy tales. i have no reason to be mad anymore than i would be at santa claus or little bo peep. so try your armchair psychology elsewhere.

      • katlin murphy

        it is 144 thousand jews that will be saved and preach to other un saved people during the end of the earth so they may be saved too

  • brickman

    I’ve always thought that God determined who got into heaven. I’ m not going to second guess Him or make rules for Him to follow.That makes all comments here moot.

    • Kirk Birkinbine

      I agree with you brickman

      • brickman

        I’ m happy that you do ,but what you or I think doesn’t matter.

    • bebop.tachikoma

      Nice to see that he’s basically the master and you’re the little puppy who wags his tail at anything he says.
      A small piece of meat and you’re happy. But watch out, if you do ANYTHING he doesn’t want you to, he’ll torture you for eternity.

      Great to see a human being acting like an animal who leaves his reason at the door. Oh, if only we had a time machine….. Middle Ages, here they come. You forgot these primitives, but we’re sending them back to you!

      • brickman

        The charity that you display really makes your case.NOT! Besides , I do wrong things all the time but I’m forgiven through grace.

        • bebop.tachikoma

          ….charity? Ever heard of the word “logic”?

          • brickman

            I’m so logical that some of my former students nicknamed me “Spock”. I am curious about your nickname of bebop. I have met a lot of jazz musicians in my life and although they put thought into what they are doing, it is not the entirety of what makes great music.John Coltrane’s ” A Love Supreme” is not a work of just logic.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Cowboy Bebop. And Tachikomas are artificial intelligences.

          • brickman

            I looked up Cowboy Bebop, at first I thought it might be a progression from Western Swing. It’s a cartoon. So how do you like living in your parents’ basement?

          • bebop.tachikoma

            It’s one of the most critically acclaimed anime of all time. So is Ghost in the Shell from which Tachikomas come.
            Because in Japan, anime is another medium to tell a story. Like film and theater in the West.

            So how do you like being an ignorant inbred?

          • Squre

            My friend wants to name his child after an anime Character. I told him to choose Spike or Moogan.

      • Savvy

        Christianity at the very core is FREEDOM. Not rules or laws. but grace and mercy. christ offers a way OUT of our being slaves to our sinful nature. Also, think of hell as the ultimate free will choice anyone can ever make. he will not make you live in eternity with him. if one choses to reject God they are chosing to live eternally without the one from which all goodness flows. thats Hell. God is totally absent.

        • bebop.tachikoma

          Yeah….that’s nice of you to try and sugar coat it.
          But essentially, what you’re saying is:

          “choose MY god, or suffer for eternity”.

          Sorry, but if I ever was to choose a religion (which I won’t since I have my own system of belief that doesn’t involve hocus pocus), I’d pick something like Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Shintoism. Pretty much anything that DOESN’T tell me : “choose me god or die!!!!!”.

          • Benmaxcon

            You won’t have to choose. Once you and your kind have helped eliminate Christianity from the world, then you will have to face the Muslims alone. You will find yourself on a rug bowing to Allah and praising Muhammed, or you will feel a rusty knife cutting through your neck. Islam is the only major religion today that says choose my god or die.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Please… Islam isn’t taking over the world.
            Do yourself a favor and actually look up how this religion is faring.
            Most new converts leave Islam. And their population isn’t growing, despite the fact that in some areas they multiply like rabbits. That growth is balanced by poverty, disease and war where they die in droves.

            And look at what they’re doing right now in the Middle East. You’d have to be a complete idiot to think this will help them in the long run.
            Not only are they massacring their own people AGAIN, they’re also turning the world against Islam AGAIN.

            As for Europe and America, they’re still minorities and they’ll continue to be minorities by the end of this century.
            Perhaps try and read sources that aren’t written by Christian fear mongers, so you ACTUALLY get a sense of reality, no?

        • lifesucks

          lol. stop living in denial. are you scared that you will go to hell if you dont say all the right things? damn, news flash, THERE IS NO HELL AND THERE IS NO HEAVEN. do you have evidence that these such two places exist? oh yeah, YOU DONT. and really? you believe everything that you have read in a book called the ¨holy bible¨ ?? actually if you knew the history of the ¨holy bible¨ you would know that almost everything that happened was made up.

          Read This:

          The Gospels themselves contradict one-another [2] on many key events and were constructed by unknown authors up to a century after the events they describe are said to have occurred. They are not eyewitness accounts. The New Testament, as a whole, contains many internal inconsistencies as a result of its piecemeal construction and is factually incorrect on several historical claims, such as the early existence of Nazareth, the reign of Herod and the Roman census. Like the Old Testament, it too has had entire books and sections redacted.

  • Rachel Trotter the CHRISTIAN

    Yes u do have to believe in GOD to get in to heaven
    And the will die and go to hell and burn there so shut up Bernard Goldberg

    • bebop.tachikoma

      LMFAO, “yes you will get to heaven………IF you do what I, hmm pardon, my god says. Otherwise you’ll burn in hell!”.
      Aaaah religious people. Never ending pool of ignorance combined with fear while you go out of your way to masquerade that fear as love.

  • maddness

    The Papa has officially gone MAD. Now, I see why the Bible says judgement begins with the church. A false church at that! If this does not scare anyone who is a “catholic” to begin reading their Bible for themselves, then you deserve to be lost. What you are experiencing in the sayings of this looney and anyone else that buys their junk is indeed the beginings of “the gathering and judgement”. The prophets had spoken, the son of God had been born, crucified, dead, buried, risen, and is returning. He who has ears, let him listen.

  • brickman

    I know I have a weird opinion on this but I don’t question God on who he allows into heaven.

  • jim

    If just being good is all it takes..what was the point in Jesus on the cross?..

    • Luke

      The bible says none are good. That’s why Jesus took our punishment for us. Because our good works are as filthy rags the bible says. Also know one has ever done “good” all the time. It would be bad news if we didn’t have the “good news”. The bad news would be we all fall short and deserve hell. The good news is God will forgive us through Jesus dying on the cross and taking our punishment for us. If we just believe and ask Jesus to live in our hearts with Gods Holy Spirit. The bible says we can’t even take credit for even believing in Jesus for being saved. That way all 100% of the credit goes to Jesus!! The only thing we could take credit for is “not believing”. But if we believe how awesome is that that we can’t even take credit for having faith in Christ!! So God do it all and we just get to experience his mercy and grace!! Wow I’m excited just thinking about it!!!!!

      • bebop.tachikoma

        So…..your religion teaches everyone that they are filth, and in order to be saved this… “deity” of yours kills his son and then continues to consider us filth, even though he basically killed his son for it.
        Whoa! I gotta’ tell ya, your story is…………worthy of a tabloid newspaper for the mentally ill.

        “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
        Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
        Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
        Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

      • jim

        religious garbage. you are an i d i o t.

  • DAVID ELLSWORTH

    You made your first error with “In other words.” The hallmark of evangelistic thought is to try to make the Bible and other people say what they want them to say.

  • supersouth

    this is a lie, man is saved by faith alone

    • Benmaxcon

      Grace, not faith, is how we get into heaven.

      • Tony

        Read Eph 2:8-9 “It is by Grace that you are saved through….FAITH. Not the other way around.

  • http://www.drhodges.org/ Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Hodges

    Wow the pope is old is rocker again! First, atheists don’t believe in the existence of heaven, so going out not going to pretend place in their minds is of no concern.

    Second, in answer to the question of how OT saints were saved back the much of the same way NT saints are saved now by a belief in God, but with one exception.

    Now that Jesus Christ had come sent by Father God with the purpose of overcoming sin and redemption paying the price of such with His own blood for debt His did not owe and one no other could pay, God became very clear afterwards the no man comes to the Father except by the Son.

    In review in just John 14:1, John 14:6-7, John 14:10-11, there is no mistake by the very words of God Himself through His Son Jesus that since Jesus “no comes to the Father but by [Jesus]. God’s Word always trumps the pope any day and in any way, particularly this current pope.

    Third, personally don’t known if Bloomberg is going to heaven or for that matter even if the pope is going to heaven, while the path is straightforward, defined, and made known to all, there are and will be many that will chose differently by their own choice as free-will shall have it only then believe what the rest of the says is that there is a real hell too.

    Finally, a word of caution. While this pope enjoys his rock star status and many people are following him be very careful not to get sucked-in by false doctrine or teachers of God’s true Word

    • maddness

      Let the Church say: Amen.

  • Benmaxcon

    Sort of like mayor Bloomberg…he knows he’s going to heaven but isn’t sure if God exists. All thanks to his work with Mayors Against Legal Guns.

  • Glenn

    The Holy Bible was written before we had the latest Blood moon on the 15 of this month. According to the Bible the Blood moons are in there . Acts 2:20 , Revelation 6:12-14 , Matthew 24:29, Luke 21:25 . Now these are just the ones i know of , there could be more. It proves that the Holy Bible prophecies are true and can be trusted . Jesus hasn’t came back yet , but He will very soon . The last blood moon is on September 28-2015 . It is a huge gamble at this point to not trust if Jesus is real , or if He will come back within this time frame. I know He is real by the experiences i have had . I am sharing them on here in the hope that you will trust it and believe in Him now , there isn’t much time left. You wont have to worry about anything once you do . God wants us to repent of what ever sin we do. Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel ,because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first the Jew, then for the Gentile. Anyone ! Don’t wait because it could be any time now since the first blood moon already came.

    • Sharon Diehl

      Glenn, sweetie, lunar eclipses and ‘blood moons’ have been happening long before recorded history; in terms of geologic time, a lunar eclipse is a common event. Don’t let common celestial events spook you, honey.

      • bebop.tachikoma

        Oh watch out! This dude has 1 book (full of mistakes when it comes to astrophysics, biology and chemistry but nvm that.)
        Ergo he “knows” everything.

        Or…he’s probably off his meds again.

        • brickman

          It also has mathematical , historical and geographical mistakes. It is a book about faith. Anyone using it as a textbook is an idiot.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Tell that to the millions of believers who quote its….”accuracy”.

  • Glenn

    God pored the pure joy of Heaven on me for the second thing that happened . Words cant describe how wonderful a person feels when they are there.

  • Glenn

    The second thing that happened to me after telling as many people that i could about Jesus , then God pored the joy of Heaven all over me , then a very quit thought came to my mind , it said “this is how you feel when you are in Heaven . So trust in Jesus He is the only way to go to Heave. I know it for a fact.

    • Melissa

      Question, if you can only get to heaven by believing in Jesus, then what happened to all of the people that died before he was born? People like Moses, Abraham, David, I could go on but I think you get my question. Not to mention Jesus’s own ancestors along with all of the little people?

      • bebop.tachikoma

        Now you’ve gone and broke him….
        I can sense the smell of burnt brain from here.

        • Melissa

          I have just always wondered how any “Christians” can discount the entire first half of the bible. How they basically pick and choose which part of the bible to repeat or believe in. And what they think happens/ to and I quote ” Gods chosen people.” It says so in the bible. Not to mention one of the reasons Jesus was listened to was his ancestors. None of whom even knew who he was as they died before he was born. Where did they go when they died?

          • R.T.

            Excellent question. There’s a good answer, which any knowledgeable Christian should be able to explain. The Old Testament law of sacrifice was an imperfect preview of the one perfect sacrifice to come, which was Jesus. God’s people who died before Jesus’ arrival were saved by faith in God’s promise. i.e. Old Testament Jews were saved by faith looking forward, and Christians are saved by faith looking back; but all are saved by the same sacrifice: Jesus. Once the perfect sacrifice had come, the Old Covenant rules were set aside. The reasoning is laid out clearly, particularly in Romans chap 3-4 and 9-11 and Hebrews chap 9-10. The question was also discussed by the first Christians in the council of Jerusalem in Acts chap 15, where they asserted that Jews and Gentiles alike were saved by faith and thus Gentiles did not have to become Jews to be saved.

          • Melissa

            Okay I thank you for your answer. So now after Christ’s sacrifice do the Jewish people go to heaven, or is that only a right of Christians? After all while they do think Jesus was a profit they do not believe he was the profit.

          • Joe Bigliogo

            Whether it’s Christians or Muslims, one thing they both have in common is they all think they are going to heaven (or paradise) and everyone who doesn’t agree with them will be damned to hell to burn for eternity.
            That is their ultimatum and argument. Fear works and it’s one of their greatest tools of recruitment and to keep their sheep from straying. It’s what keeps their religion alive and thriving. These are two of the sickest vile belief systems ever to poison the mind of man.

          • Melissa

            I agree. I don’t think anyone should make the decision of what you believe in. If it’s working for you fine but to tell others that they are bad, or going to a “hell” because they don’t believe as you do is wrong. It makes most others below you. So why would you care about them? It’s what religious zealots think.

          • Tony

            Then why is the world worse off now as it moves away from God???? Check it out, read the news, look at the FACTS then be Logical. What answer do you have that is better than what God suggests??? The most brilliant minds in the world are making the world a worse place. I read the great pool of wisdom here but I see the results of that wisdom in life all around me everyday. Divorce, drugs, crime………… Try Christ I guarantee you will find the answers to life.

          • brickman

            Don’t you mean phophet?

          • Melissa

            Misspelled I apologize. Thank you for the correction.

          • brickman

            Wasn’t sure if you were being snide, glad it was only spelling error.

          • Melissa

            I wasn’t, I unfortunately made a spelling error. Thank you and have a good day.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            So, basically what you’re saying is, that all those tortured souls (you’d have to imagine they were in Hell before the arrival of Jesus), after many many decades/ centuries/millennia of suffering, they were given these options:
            start believing in this dude (Jesus) who supposedly is the son of an almighty being and get out of here, or don’t believe in him and stay where you are.

            Or are you actually saying, they were saved by default (through god’s promise), whether they believed or not?

            Neither way makes nooooo sense.

            Also, if your god is so perfect, how come he can’t even manage to write a proper new Testament from the beginning instead of interminable adendums and sacrifices. You’d think he was more able minded, being god and all…

          • Tony

            The New Testament is a fulfilment of the Old Testament. Both are critical to understanding. There was a sacrificial system put into place that was fulfilled by Christ’s sacrifice. Check it out before you judge it.

          • Melissa

            Tony I am not judging. #1 I don’t judge anyone’s belief. I am asking a question that puzzles me. I am sorry you feel judged.I just want to know the thinking behind the premise that if you don’t believe in Jesus you won’t go to heaven. As there are millions of people that have religious beliefs that aren’t Christian.

          • Tony

            Hi Melisa, You asked a question and my answer was that you are wrong if you think Christians discount the Old Testament. That is all that I said. As for the people who came before Christ being saved I answered that one too.

          • Melissa

            Okay then thank you.

      • Tony

        Read the manual and study it with others and you will find the answer to that.

        • Melissa

          I have, have you? I believe that unfortunately the interpretation of this bible by so many in so many ways has made some believe that there interpretation is the only correct one. This saddens me. Jesus taut only those with out sin can cast the first stone. From what I am reading there are a lot of people who have no sins. I don’t believe that to be true. So I will reread the book. You should probably do the same.

  • glenn m

    I am not angry when i say this , i am saying it out of love for all , believers and unbelievers as well. I had a supernatural Holy Spirit experience in 01 , and also in 03 . The first one happened at work . I was welding at the time. God took total control of my thoughts.

  • buenas dias

    This is a nice discussion thread.

    • Glenn

      this is false teaching , Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven , this might make you feel safe , but you are not without Jesus.

      • buenas dias

        I truly believe in Jesus Christ. I love him. His love. Loving God as much along with. I love their love.

        • bebop.tachikoma

          Here, let me translate your reply to Melissa’s question:

          “I have no arguments. I can’t possibly admit in writing that Hitler goes to heaven if he believes because that’s not a nice thing to say, even though I believe it’s true.”

          Fixed that for ya ;)

      • Melissa

        So a murder or child molester or rapes as long as they believe in Jesus they go to heaven? How about say Hitler if he believed in Jesus is he in heaven also? I mean from what you are saying is , it’s not what you do or are it’s only about whether you believe or not.

  • Matt Davis

    No faith required to be an atheist. Simply accept the various religions haven’t shown enough evidence to make a convincing case.

    • CraigOlsen

      I can prove Jesus lives and the kingdom is coming, but you have to observe the case completely before making a decision. Something tells me that you would not be willing to do this.

      • Matt Davis

        But would you be willing to reconsider your beliefs and admit you might be wrong?

        • CraigOlsen

          Nope. Can’t happen.

          • Matt Davis

            Spoken like Ken Ham himself. Who’s the closed-minded, hard hearted one now?

          • CraigOlsen

            Christ makes the decisions. Not you. Not me.

        • Glenn

          Matt Davis , Craig Olsen won’t because like me also . We know we are right.

      • Glenn

        God Bless you brother for your efforts. I know your heart and so does God . You can only tell them , but sadly for them if they don’t reach out and grab the truth. There belief will only lead them to suffering that i wouldn’t wish on anyone.

        • CraigOlsen

          Once we expose them to the Truth, they are without excuse. The only other thing we can do is pray that they might be chosen to become faithful. Blessings to you.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Believe in Oding! He is the one true god, king of kings.
            Accept him or ye shall suffer his wrath!

            And Loki will probably throw toilet paper on top of your house. He is the god of mischief after all…

          • CraigOlsen

            Enough with the comic books. The only book of Truth is the Bible. Read it.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Um, excuse you but Odin is a Nordic god who was worshiped at some point in human history. Just like Zeus, Aphrodite, Athena, Poseidon, etc.
            Just like Jesus, Allah and the rest in a few centuries…

            Gods come and go. “Truth” becomes legend. Legend becomes myth. It’s the natural course of everything.

          • CraigOlsen

            There is only one True God, Jehovah. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in your place, so that you may be pardoned, and receive life.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Yeah. And Gandalf the White is real. He forgives you too for failing to know of his existence.
            Oh and btw, so does Buddha, Shiva, Amaterasu, Krishna, and pretty much all the other gods around the world from various peoples and cultures.

            Hinduism is older than Judaism and it’s children: Christianity and Islam.
            Also, Judaism was founded on the Ancient Egyptian’s beliefs and gods.
            But you’d probably know that if you’d bother to learn about the history of the globe.

          • CraigOlsen

            You have to know Christ and He has to know you in order for you to properly comment about Him or even to know He is real. You have been duped by Satan and by men. Your only hope is to repent, and to confess all sin in the hope that you may be washed and receive the Holy Spirit.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            lol please…
            Every time someone says they don’t believe in YOUR god, you automatically call the satanists and the like.

            It’s the “either you’re with us, or against us” idiotic attitude that a lot of your religious morons display, the nail in the coffin when it comes to religion.
            So I guess, congrats for being the major reason for its demise worldwide.

          • CraigOlsen

            No, it’s God or nothing. Your trust in the beliefs of men over the Creator is why you cannot accept the Truth.

          • bebop.tachikoma

            Riiiight….

    • Volfos

      That’d make you AGNOSTIC… (or in my case ignostic)

      • http://avengah.wordpress.com Matt Davis

        Not exactly. Atheism and agnosticism cover separate spheres; belief and knowledge respectively. I don’t believe in any god but I can’t prove it, so that means I don’t know there’s no god. This makes me an agnostic atheist. A gnostic atheist is one who claims to know there is no god. In the same vein, you get agnostic and gnostic theists, who believe in a god and either say they don’t know for certain or they’re 100% sure. Given the current state of scientific knowledge, I’d say a gnostic position on either side is pretty arrogant.

        I would say, personally, that the god of the bible has contradictory attributes so it can’t exist. This doesn’t rule out other gods, like deistic gods, so I still consider myself an agnostic atheist.

        • Volfos

          Athiesm say ‘no’ firmly.- That requires confidence, which is a synonym for ‘faith’.

          • http://avengah.wordpress.com Matt Davis

            Google “weak atheist” and “agnostic atheist” to see the other types of atheist. You’re thinking of strong atheism. Even Richard Dawkins isn’t a strong atheist!

            I know there are thousands of other gods. This is why putting your faith in any one of them to the exclusion of all the others is so unlikely to be the right choice – the odds are far too long. Since there’s no evidence for any of them, it’s reasonable to dismiss every single one of them without requiring any faith. If you were to say you’re certain there’s no god then THAT would be a faith position, but simple lack of evidence isn’t.

            I already mentioned the other gods anyway. Like I said, a case can be made for a deistic god but Yahweh has inconsistent attributes (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent etc.) so he can’t exist. See Epicurus.

          • Glenn

            The thought of 5 months of suffering from the things that sting like a scorpions is a strong motivator !

          • bebop.tachikoma

            So basically you’re trying to get people to FEAR your god, in order for them to see his “love”.
            Brilliant. Man, the logistic acrobatics you nutters make know no bounds.

          • Glenn

            No they are only the evil fallen angels. There is only one true God

          • Volfos

            You do know there are belief systems wherein your god can be explained away as a genocidal member of a pantheon and this better fits a psychological profile (whether you use human psychology, animal psychology, or extract animal psychology influences from humans psychology you get the same result).

        • Glenn

          If you don’t accept Jesus you will have the wrath of God on you . Read my other post.

          • Melissa

            So Abraham,David,Moses and many others have the wrath of God against them????????

    • Glenn

      Read my other post . The Bible is the truth !

      • Melissa

        What part of it? The whole thing or just the new testament? You seem to choose which parts to believe that benefit what you’re point of view is.

  • Trooth

    In my estimation the moral atheist would be considered most holy by any supreme being. A moral atheist does not act out of fear of retribution nor to gain favor to get into heaven. A moral atheist is good hearted individual who considers others when he acts and is good for goodness’ sake. A just God cannot possibly condemn such a person.

  • Brandon Roberts

    i don’t think so let’s see you spend your free time trying to disprove him attacking his children and mmaking people doubt their faith (or at least trying too) oh yeah he loves that your in heaven for sure at least francis is trying to be nice

    • Volfos

      … *sigh*

      Yes a lot of atheists do that, but not all. Personally I can’t imagine any higher beings, whatever form they take, like preachy people whether they’re right or not. That may just be a failing of my imagination though. Its been my experience that most normal people don’t.

  • dancinbarefoot

    Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven people. Read your bible. What would he have died on the cross for otherwise….duh. The thief on the cross believed, and he was saved. Jesus said truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. Good works can be done by anyone, but they don’t get you into heaven. The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing…..and you can find that in the bible. Nothing you can do will earn you heaven. Believing is all you are required to do. Christ’s death and resurrection are sufficient. Nothing we can do will get around that.

    • Matt Davis

      Just as you can’t force yourself to believe in unicorns or Santa, non-Christians can’t force themselves to believe in a god that shows no signs of its existence. All you have is an old book; this is not evidence.

      • CraigOlsen

        You are correct and incorrect. You are correct that you can’t force yourself to believe anything without evidence. But you are incorrect that all that the chosen few have is an old book. That “old book” is incredibly alive only to those with the Holy Spirit. It is dead to all others.

        • Matt Davis

          The brain can play tricks on you. I know a couple of former Christians who had so much passion for Jesus, but they finally realised they’d been fooled and were fooling themselves. But let’s pretend the Holy Spirit is real and proof the bible is true – how can you convince others of that? Subjective religious experiences occur in all major faiths including Buddhism (which has no deity). Since they can’t all be true, it’s clear that people can be easily deceived by their own minds.

          • CraigOlsen

            Christ never knew your two friends. It is not my job to convince – just expose. The consequences are served because of the rejection of Truth.

          • Matt Davis

            So basically you’re saying that no matter how long someone’s a true believer with full missionary zeal, if he ever loses his faith, even after say 50+ years, that automatically invalidates every single year of his faith, such that he never really believed in the first place? You truly don’t know how zealous they were. How can you? You don’t know them. Very presumptuous of you.

            Given that you accept it’s hard for others to accept your claims on reason and evidence, this hardly seems fair to punish people who can’t force themselves to believe. A god that would do that is truly evil and unworthy of worship, even if it existed. I only wish you could understand my point of view.

          • CraigOlsen

            Yep. Christ doesn’t know most believers. That is why, after they argue with Him at their upcoming judgment appointments, He will tell them to depart and they will not enter the kingdom on earth. (Matt 7:21-23). They will be destroyed. Gone forever. No eternal punishment. You seem to keep inferring that it is all about what a person does. It is not. No human actions will receive eternal life. Only after studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit does it become abundantly clear that He chooses the few whom He chooses, period. What they do with this is because of being chosen.

          • Rantilla73180

            Explain please in detail how you can conquer to this or your friends? Thankyou! :)

        • Volfos

          And what of the immense feelings of joy and awe people feel when they are in proximity to the sacred texts of their own faiths? How can you tell that apart from what your ‘chosen few’ experience?

    • nishman B

      Exactly right. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through faith in me

  • batorsin

    Apparently the Pope does not know the bible. In John 3:1-21, you find Jesus talking to Nicodemus. Jesus tells him, “unless a man be born again, he shall not see the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus was talking about a spiritual rebirth. Nicodemus asked, “how could an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus explained it all. Although Nicodemus was a Pharisee, he went to see Jesus when no one was around. He believed! Proverbs 3:5,6 reads, “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Reading the bible is not enough. One has to STUDY it. For those who wrote nobody know what heaven is like, read the book of Revelation. It states clearly what we are to expect. I would recommend the Life Application Study Bible. It’s easy to understand and apply to your own life. Regarding judging others, read Matthew 7:1-6 and Luke 6:37-42. In Matt. 17:11, that passage does not mean reincarnation. Based on Malachi 4:5,6, the teachers of the Old Testament law believed that Elijah must appear before the Messiah would appear. Jesus referred to John the Baptist, not to the Old Testament prophet Elijah. John the Baptist took on Elijah’s prophetic role, boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God. Malachi had prophesied that a prophet LIKE Elijah would come (Malachi 4:5).

  • Christopher Finnegan

    Okay. Here is a question that has bothered me for while since we are in a world full of LIES. What if you weren’t taught about the whole God, Jesus, and Bible stuff? Does that mean you will go to hell. How can you believe if you don’t know what to believe in? People lie almost all the time so how do you know that the Bible hasn’t been changed or twisted? Also last I heard only God is the judge of who goes where after death and yet all you judgers out there are putting yourself in God’s place right this second when you try to tell people that they are going to hell. Murderers are most likely not going to heaven after stealing the life of another and once again only God decides who lives and who dies. But am I God? NO. Does my opinion matters about who goes to heaven or hell? NO. Nor does anyone else’s. Lies are sometimes needed to prevent problems for mainly kids who are too young to understand or be taught certain thing since most of them won’t accept that they are too young. When I was a kid, I got tired of adults treating me like I was stupid or immature, but when my mom told me that I had to wait until I was older, I gladly waited and now I understand more and better. I obeyed my mom and my abusive father. My dad didn’t believe the truth I told him. I couldn’t lie for some reason as a kid. I did bad things not knowing that they were bad and my mom asked I told her the truth but when my dad asked I told the truth but it wasn’t quite what he thought or what somebody else said so he whooped me excessively until I was covered in bruises in a matter of hours. After he told me what the other person said then asked me the question again I copied what he told me but had no reason at all to why “I was so bad”. Does that mean I dishonored my dad for making him so mad with disagreement? Or did I dishonor him for not continuing telling the truth and not extending my abuse? I’ve heard different stories each time I’ve asked this question. Some even lead to telling me that I was going to hell no matter what so what’s the point of living if apparently my future after death is already determined? The point is no one can tell someone where they’re going after death and if they do then they will have to answer to God for it cause only He can decide what’s right and wrong and the future of us all. God knows it’s not anybody’s fault that they don’t know what is true and what is not. Only God is the real Judge. Only his words and decisions matter. No one can say otherwise.

    • o3whatever

      It is right there in the Bible.. all will hear the word before that day.

    • Rantilla73180

      Liston this article is spam . God does not care if your a murder, a coward, an even a prostitute ( there are story’s about this in the bible and how he even forgave a murderer:)God loves you just the way you are and you don’t have to believe or follow him the very second you are born or your child hood . I am very sorry for you abusive father and what God is judging you on is you heart and what you are willing to do for him. people say that murders are going to hell because it says in the ten comandments; ten rules very stricked religious leaders that thought they were all that made them but God says these rules should not exist because the only thing he wants you to do is love! That’s it that’s the only thing he wants you to do but also love him. How can you believe in what the bible says ( and don’t believe no pope Henry he is not God or your judger)? The bible is made out of Jesus followers here on earth wrighting letters or songs of there account and miricles with Jesus! And you want to know what’s amazing all there story’s add up! Like a crime scene if one person doesnt tell the truth then there story’s won’t be the same as the other guys story.if you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you that’s all you have to do, no matter what good deeds or bad things you do God will allways love you and forgive you! If you want to get a bible verse a day about this topic or just want to ask me a question feel free to ask ( names,sex does not have to be given Away) just txt me at 909 556 5252 – my email doesn’t work sorry- kik app name is rantilla180 and so is my istagram

  • EdWalton

    It may not have been the last seconds of his life, but the repentant thief on his cross is now in paradise.

  • Xen

    Oh my, I made the mistake of reading through the comment section. As someone who just wants to see people get along, all this bickering back and forth makes me incredibly sad. God – or whatever you believe in – loves you all and wants you to be able to love each other in the same way. :(

  • Joe Bigliogo

    If I don’t believe in god then why would you think I believe in heaven? Ever heard of a logical syllogism?

    • o3whatever

      We are talking about the pope after all… It should seem obvious, why..?

    • Brandon Roberts

      wow your being catty too a guy who says you can eternal life and p.s the buddhists don’t believe in god but believe in heaven. but i think they have to show kindness to everybody and believe all religons lead to salvation. not true probaly but a nice belief

  • Steve

    The Pope is in error and that’s a dangerous statement. For the record without Jesus as your Lord and Savior it’s down you go! It’s not about being good it’s about being obedient to the Alpha and the Omega. Too much to discuss here catch my national radio show. http://www.thestevesanchezshow.com

  • Mark

    Have you guys ever stopped to think: “what if we’re wrong?” if you devoted your whole life to doing good deeds, but practice Buddhism. You wouldn’t be allowed into either the Muslim or Christian form of paradise. That seems very wrong to me.

    • Ika Bik Diggitle Diggitle

      Romans 9 11 – 24 (It’s God’s sovereign choice) ****16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,but on God, who has mercy.**** Your works are meaningless. You can’t please GOd through good deeds! Only through faith!

      11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

    • bigjoe

      Why is it that those who say, as you did Mark, “what if we’re wrong?”, only refer to those who ARE doing “the good deeds…” an NEVER suggest that those who are drunks, whoremongers, child molesters, cheats, liars
      … You know, from the OTHER end of the spectrum, could be WRONG as you put it?

    • Brandon Roberts

      yeah but look we don’t hate these people and what we do comes from love and buddha was a good man probaly i don’t know where he is nor do i care

  • Rose

    The Bible has several instances of fathers who are asked to sacrifice their sons and stories that illustrate the tremendous value of a son, especially the first son or only son. That is a cultural phenomenon of the times in which Jesus lived and the Bible was written. Sons were of great importance. They carried on the family name and lineage. They helped in the fields and trades so the family could survive. They took care of parents and siblings in old age. Isaac was asked to prove his devotion to God by sacrificing his own son. God proved his devotion to man by asking his only son to suffer and die on the cross. It is the most violent story of human sacrifice ever told. Other societies have required human sacrifice of course. We laugh at them and barbaric stories of young virgins being tossed into pits of fire. Satanists supposedly sacrifice children. But we Christians have our own horrific story of human sacrifice. We sing of being washed in the blood of Jesus. Some Carribean religions sacrifice chickens and drip the blood as a symbol of something. Our Christian churches, Catholic or Protestant, drink the “blood” of Christ and eat his “flesh” at communion. Even our story of resurrection of Jesus is not a new theme. The ancient Egyptians believed in resurrection of the body and spirit and filled their tombs with necessities for the after-life. Buddhists believed in The Way before Christians described Jesus as The Way. Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet but not the son of God. Maybe the Pope is giving us all a challenge to be more realistic about ancient myths from whatever source.

    • Rose

      Excuse me, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar, slitting the boy’s throat as he would a sacrificial lamb. He was stopped by God at the last minute, after proving his willingness to kill his son. We actually teach our children this story.

      • Robert Lyles

        You are right, it was Abraham! I’m just not sure about your comment at the end, but I will say this children are a lot smarter and understand more than we give them credit for. I will say this if you are worried about teaching your children this simple but great story of faith, then my guess is you don’t have faith yourself! when you look all around you in the world you cant help but see where without faith and obedience to Yahovah, this world is doomed. even the church, “Christianity” has fallen to the wiles of the world and man. the simple reason is we have turned our back on his Commandments and his Laws. and yet we don’t mind following mans laws, seems a bit crazy don’t it? even the church has laws they tell there people to follow, but they turn there back on God’s commandmants and laws? when your honest with your self ask this, who is been allowed more control over man, Yahovah or Satan?

    • bigjoe

      Not several, but ONE time, was it EVER asked or commanded by God for ANY sacrifice, and God Himself stopped it before it was done, when God saw that Abraham would actually DO as God commanded. God wouldn’t permit it to be done…. then or any other time since creation. The Devil, however, expects and entices people to do just that to keep people from receiving God’s best for them.

  • Ian

    The Great Whore of Babylon at it again spreading her lies. The Catholic Church is the enemy clearly telling people that it’s ok to not believe in God. That is like the greatest of the commandments love the Lord your God with all your heart. The sacrifice that Jesus had to endure in order to save us was a pretty big deal to God the Father so he is not going to just let people go in to heaven that don’t believe in Christ. The bible has numerous references about belief but the main one “I am the way the truth the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” I do believe, however, that God being as merciful as he is will give people endless chances to accept Christ as their savior, which is why I believe in reincarnation. If you don’t believe in this life it’s possible God may give you another chance. And yes reincarnation is possible because John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah, just in case you find it an odd theory.

    • Rose

      The Bible mentioned reincarnation in several ways or at least humans and angels coming to earth in other forms. We are told to be kind to strangers because we might be “entertaining angels unaware.”

      I do not take the Bible literally and neither does anyone else really. We all emphasize some parts and ignore or dismiss others. Modern Bibles gloss over some of the more out-dated themes. Nobody knows what happens after we die. We each have our faith or belief but that is not knowing. There may be nothing after life or a host of things, both good and bad.

      Creation stories are present in ever culture. We all wonder and have wondered how we got here, who made all the stuff around us, what it all means and our lives are spent searching. Are the streets of Heaven paved with gold or are they just another version of here?

      I once read that the dead outnumber the living 10 or 15 thousand to one. You do the math. An awful lot of people—an innumerable caravan—have gone before us, and the caravan keeps on moving.

      • Ian

        Actually I’m not 100% if reincarnation is an option I just like to think it may be a possibility. All I know at the end of the day is that I believe in Jesus as my Lord and savior and that he who doesn’t accept him is toast. Of course it’s up to God to decide who to accept into his kingdom. Mind you I was reading Leviticus the other day and I just don’t agree with a lot of stuff, it makes God sound pretty mean. A lot of people don’t agree with God or the idea of God whether they believe or not because of all the bad things in the world. However I am no one to question his policy because he created everything so he can do whatever he wants. If he decides that you only have one life to accept Christ then it’s over. But you’re right about reading the bible literally, however a lot of people do take it seriously which might as well be literal at least when it comes to the old testament. I just don’t like it when people feel its ok to pick and choose.

        • batorsin

          In the Old Testament, God used his wrath to bring his people back to him. They kept sinning and sinning. The purpose of Leviticus was a handbook for the priests and Levites outlining their duties in worship, and a guidebook of holy living for the Hebrews. It was written by Moses in the wilderness during Israel’s wanderings, somewhere in the Sinai peninsula. Holiness is mentioned more times (152) than in any other book of the bible.

      • Robert Lyles

        Rose there are mistakes in the Bible only because men have put them there. Not because of YHVH. If you do some simple research and of course with a open mind if you can, and first learn of the customs and life of the people of the Bible. The Jews for example and learn there language Hebrew, then you can not only understand the Bible more, but it will bring fourth truth that will be very simple and good. but if you keep following western mans way of life put into the Bible, you will continue to be confused and will become the victim that Satan wants you to be! listen to me, if you go into a library to get a book to learn how to do electrical repairs, you don’t check out a book on pluming! does that make sense? so to understand the Bible you have to learn about the people it was written around and the lifestyle it used as a example.

        • bigjoe

          And, to Rose, you have to at least read the Bible from cover to cover as least one time.

        • o3whatever

          lol.. mistakes in the Bible, now that’s funny.. Not one..
          With the first 7 prophesy’s it’s like 1 x 10 ^ 87

      • bigjoe

        That is your main problem, you do not take the bible literally or believe what god said in it. The word “reincarnation” is not found in the Bible. You speak of something that you know very little about. Like a sixth grader teaching the teacher. And what does it mean to you that the dead outnumber the living? Do you think that life started when you were born. For more than perhaps 10,000 years, until 130 years ago, every person born has died. If there are 7 Billion people on the earth now, that is only a small portion of those who have died. So What? it is YOU and I whose life is in the balance upon our death unless you’ve made provision for it. And that is done by realizing that Jesus actually LOVES YOU. What could it hurt you to accept Jesus? Nothing.

        • batorsin

          Well said.

        • Matt Davis

          I can’t force myself to believe. It’s not as easy as you might think it is. Try forcing yourself to believe in Santa or allah and you’ll see why we can’t force ourselves to believe in god or Jesus.

          • CraigOlsen

            You are correct. The only thing you can do is to repent and confess your sin to Jehovah through Jesus. This opens the door for Him to work on your behalf. HE does the choosing.

      • batorsin

        Not all, Rose. The bible is the Word of God. Yes, he does send angels from time to time. If you really love the Lord with all your heart, your soul and your mind, you would not dismiss any of it. Modern Bibles do not gloss over the Word and nothing is out-dated. Perhaps it’s time you STUDIED the bible. It will put your thinking in proper perspective. Read the book of Revelation in a Study Bible and it will tell you want to expect if you get to heaven.

    • batorsin

      Where do you get the idea that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah? I’ve studied the Old Testament and the New and I have not found that to be true. Please give me the scripture. Thank you.

      • Ian

        Read Matthew 11:11-15, Mark 6:14-15, Luke 1:5-17, Luke 7:18-35, John 1:19-28, in one of them he denies being Elijah, but scripture is always interpreted differently. I’m sure there are probably more verses, but these were the ones I found.

        • batorsin

          In Matt. 17:11, that passage does not mean reincarnation. Based on Malachi 4:5,6, the teachers of the Old Testament law believed that Elijah must appear before the Messiah would appear. Jesus referred to John the Baptist, not to the Old Testament prophet Elijah. John the Baptist took on Elijah’s prophetic role, boldly confronting sin and pointing people to God. Malachi had prophesied that a prophet LIKE Elijah would come (Malachi 4:5).

    • batorsin

      See my latest post. It makes your reincarnation theory not true. You have interpreted it mistakenly.

  • vesicular

    I am a Christian and I refuse to believe that God would let more than 60% of the world’s population rot in hell because they did not believe or followed a different religion. What if you were born in a third world country in which it is a law to follow a different religion, would that mean that this person would go to hell? If so then clearly God is not as merciful as we have been told. Only around 2 billion out of the 7 billion on Earth are Christians. If the people in the comment section are right, 5 billion of God’s creation (a very vast majority), will not share the afterlife in Heaven.

    • Peter Castro

      Sad to say but yeah 60% may go to hell. I mean in Revelations it says the number of dead will be about waist high around the world. Think about it. Sucks but that’s why we must spread the word and pray. You only get in one way, through believing Jesus Christ. Jesus even told Nicodemus, man can not get to heaven through works alone

    • o3whatever

      In the entire world in the day of Noah, only 8 made it on-board.. I also think, just me mind you.. you don’t have a clear understanding of death.

  • Garett Crook

    Not four six why autocorrect why forsaken me to the internet.

  • guest1992

    To enter to heaven you HAVE to believe in Jesus Christ, love Him and serve Him. There is no other way in. If you don’t believe in God, then why would you like to enter to heaven, if it does not exist? If you believe heaven exist, then obviously God has to exist too. God is real.! The pope is NO ONE, ABSOLUTLY NO ONE to say you don’t have to believe in God to enter to heaven. haha what a leader teaching lies, like always.

    • texasjo

      You are not the judge.

  • danny

    Ernard goldberg is extremely wrong how dare him to say that you dont have to believe in god to make it to heaven all christians and catholics clearly know that you must believe in the lord. He should not be preaching wrong things hopefully one day god will let him know. And when that happen i hope the lord will have mercy on your soul

    • Bill

      How can he be wrong when he is not the one who said it? Did you just read the 1st 2 sentences and decided to post your comment?

  • Michelle

    This is soooo stupid!! How can you enter heaven if you don’t believe in heaven or the creature of the heavens!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!! The bible clearly states 1 John 5:11 “And this is what God has testified: he has given us eternal life and this life is in the Son. Whoever has the Son has life whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life”
    An this is only one example in the bible! if you’re really concerned about going to heaven maybe you should study the bible because thats the only TRUE way you will get there. God Bless you all. I hope the light of God takes the blind fold off that Satan has placed on people who actually believe in this article.

    • michelle

      Creator**

      • guest1992

        Amen. The only way is Jesus Christ. we will not be saved by only doing good things, we have to believe in our Savior, Jesus Christ. God bless you.

        • Bill

          Have you ever considered that all the time that you spend in church praying and singing could be spent actually helping people.

    • texasjo

      God is Love. If people have love in their hearts and minds, and not evil, they are baptized “by desire.” They are saved.

    • Mark

      The Quran clearly states that you have to believe in Allah to enter Jannah. This piece of paper I just wrote on clearly states that you have to believe in the spaghetti monster to enter imagination-land. WAKE UP MICHELLE! Just because it’s written in a book somewhere doesn’t make it true.

  • Ignatz

    The problem with fundamentalists is that they think God condemns people for the same reason THEY would. And they think the only reason to follow God is so you can go to heaven.

    God MAY choose to save the honest atheist instead of the hypocritical “Christian.” Who are you to say that He can’t or shouldn’t? As the Lord said, they will come from the east and the west to the kingdom, and some of the sons of the kingdom will be left outside.

    If the only reason you are a Christian is for a reward, maybe you AREN’T really a Christian.

    • Michelle

      hey,
      Listen… the bible clearly states and Jesus himself spoke if you do not believe in God and his son you will not see the kingdom of heaven. No one is judging anyone I am clearly stating what the bible says.

      • Ignatz

        Everybody will believe in God and His Son after they die, won’t they?

        “I am the way the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father except through me.”

        Scripture says that you can’t get to the Father without going through the Son. That is NOT the same thing as “You have to be a Christian when you die or you’re going to hell.” Those are totally different statements.

        Jesus IS God and the source of all salvation. Of course you can’t get to God without going through Jesus. If God chooses to save an atheist, it will be through Jesus. Of course.

        But don’t presume to know who God will save, He is FAR more merciful than his followers. Not less merciful – more.

        • Peter Castro

          Jesus told Nicodemus, man shall not get through heaven by works but only through accepting Jesus as Savior. That being said you must accept Jesus into your heart. Says nothing about being Christian but you must follow Jesus. Problem is atheist don’t see Jesus as their savior.

          • Ignatz

            [Jesus told Nicodemus, man shall not get through heaven by works but only through accepting Jesus as Savior.]

            John chapter 3 says nothing about “works,” nor does it mention “accepting Jesus as savior.” Jesus told Nicodemus “You must be born again” or “born from above.” Not “You must accept Jesus as savior.” And that’s not what “born again” means. “Born again” is not repeating some prayer on the back of a tract or responding to an altar call – neither of which are mentioned in the New Testament AT ALL. (Do fundamentalists even READ the Bible?)

      • texasjo

        The bible has many parables, and odd wordings. It can go like this. Jesus is God’s son (and God in the flesh), God is Love. If you do believe in Love (and do no evil, or repent if you do) you will see the kingdom of heaven.

    • vesicular

      Could not have said it better myself.

    • texasjo

      Many are called, but few are chosen.

  • rommell

    What the pope says comes from the spirit of this world, he shosuld not change god’s character to suit the spirit of the lost because if god alowed the wickid to enter into heaven, heaven would not be clean and if he let athiest in then another battle in heaven just as there was when lucifer rebelled against god, and god will not alow that to happen again.

    • Michelle

      Amen! thank you someone who has not been blindfolded by the devil! May God continue to bless you!

      • Brock

        Jesus describes the way into heaven as “good fruit” you should have and bad fruit you shouldn’t have. Here are many examples of values and attributes of believers who love God and love thy neighbor that Jesus and the apostles gave:
        Loving (John 13:35)
        Compassionate (Mt 25:35-40; Lk 10:33)
        Service-oriented (Mt 23:11)
        Sacrificing (Mt 19:21; Jas 2:14)
        Giving, Generous (Mt 5:42; Lk 3:11; Jas 2:15-16)
        Merciful (Mt 5:7; 18:33)
        Long-suffering (Mt 5:41)
        Patient (Lk 8:15; Jas 1:3; 2Pe 1:6; Rev 2:2-3; 19)
        Peacemaking (Mt 5:9)
        Forgiving (Mt 18:21, 35; )
        Fidelity in marriage (Mt 5:27-32)
        Taking action on Jesus words (Mt 7:24-27)
        Meek, Gentle (Mt 5:5, 22)
        Humble (Mt 18:1-4; 23:12)
        Trusting, Faithful (Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:21-24)
        Moral (Mt 15:19-20)
        Honorable, Having integrity (Mt 5:33-37)
        Prays (Mt 6:5)
        Fasts (Mt 6:16-18; 9:15)
        Value the Word of God (Lk 8:21; Mt 10:40-42)
        Not Materialistic (Mt 6:19-21; Rev 3:17; Lk 12:15)
        Not Judgmental (Mt 7:1-5)
        Not Self-righteous nor Hypocritical (Mt 24:51; 6:2, 5, 16; 23:13-29)
        This is what you need. True “belief” is found through doing the big man’s will, not by branding yourself to him like your favorite sports team or favorite television series. Just “belief” that there is a God and that Jesus was his son isn’t accepting it into your heart of hearts. Condemning others and casting your judgement onto them is just as likely to send you to the land of “fire and brimstone” as much as not believing. Because those who don’t believe, if they are acting fruitful then they have accepted Jesus into their hearts. Acceptance of the lord isn’t something that can be measured by saying your a Christian, or by going to church or stating your beliefs or reading the bible. It’s doing the will of God for no other reason than the fact that you want to. It seems as though the devil has blindfolded you my friend. I’m sorry that you’re casting judgement and being self-righteous but it’s never too late to start acting open the true lessons Jesus taught. I hope you can see the light for we all fall short in this life so there is no one that can say who will and will not go to heaven. Because even if you don’t believe in Jesus or God, if you act on his word regardless of whether or not you know them, you have accepted him in your heart. It’s metaphorical acceptance. It means that you cast out the primitive and animalistic impulses you’re so used to and acting with love and compassion towards all man solely for the fact that they are flawed like you and deserve love like you and are in many ways just like you. We should all try to hold ourselves with more love, compassion and acceptance. If’n you just say that you believe and you pick and choose which bible verses agree with your core values such as “oh, well I get to go to heaven because I accept Jesus Christ and everyone else shall burn” Jesus will tell you that he does not know you for you do not truly know him.

  • EdWalton

    What we believe or what we don’t believe, has no consequences on the truth; we can’t alter GOD’s character, nor diminish HIS attributes by wishing real hard.

    What we believe and don’t believe of GOD determines who we are.

  • Olmis

    What I am seeing here is a lot of conservative literally idiots. People who do not think but live by words. Either they don’t think about this hard or they are straight up not smart. It is obvious people. Everyone says God’s will is over man’s, but they don’t figure out that people wrote the Bible. We do not know God’s will and you are a liar to think you do.

    • Wjrican

      All Scripture is inspired by God -2 Timothy 3:16

      The phrase “inspired by God” is literally translated as “God-breathed”. So the Bible is not merely a collection of wise men’s writings, but is actually authored by God, through men, by the Spirit.

      Since the Bible is God’s word, then it would be most wise to follow it as a child follows a mother’s command.

      • vesicual

        So the proof that the Bible is the word of God is a line from the Bible? Nice argument.

        • stillwaiting aka Basho1644

          Right. The Bible is the word of God because it says so in the Bible, which, being the word of God, cannot be wrong.

  • Christopher Sadoun

    What is Prophecy?

    Prophecy is always a promise of God. God gives prophecy-promises of hope to His children. God also gives prophecy-promises of judgment to those who disagree wither are indifferent to Him.

    Can men give prophecy?

    No! Genuine prophecy comes only from God. “No prophecy was ever an act of human will” (1 Peter 1:21)

    Why is prophecy (a great gift from God), avoided today by many? Why do Lutheran pastors often avoid preaching on prophecy?

    In recent years a small group of Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Dispensationalist preachers have predominated television preaching. These preachers claim that the key prophecies of God deal with the state of Israel. These misguided preachers have twisted God’s prophecies and removed Christ from the center of prophetic preaching. By doing this, they replace Jesus Christ with the geographical state of Israel. This misuse of prophecy has cause many Lutheran pastors to avoid teaching about prophecy altogether, thereby leaving their people in the dark and without the hope that God desires to give His people through Christ-centered prophetic preaching.

    If you were to make a tree diagram of all Old Testament prophecies–with a branch or twig representing each specific prophecy–why would Genesis 3:15 be the root of this big “tree” of many old testament prophecies?

    There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. Already in the third chapter of the first book, God gives His “root,” His “foundation block,” or His cornerstone prophecy. This cornerstone prophecy on which all other prophecies are built is Genesis 3:15. Every activity of the entire Old and New Testament is tied in some way to Genesis 3:15, just as every branch and smallest twig of a tree is in some way tied to the root.

    WHY IS GOOD NEWS DEVOTING AN ENTIRE ISSUE TO PROPHECY?

    The primary purpose of GOOD NEWS is to give its readers hope. As You turn these pages and see specific prophecies explained, you will also experience the hope God desires to give you.

    HOW CAN YOU EASILY DETECT THE HERETICAL TEACHING OF TODAY’S TELEVISION PREACHERS AND DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE SOLID AND RELIABLE TEACHING THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH HAS ALWAYS USED REGARDING PROPHECY?

    Popular and heretical preachers of prophecy usually focus on the Bible books of Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. These books are then used to explain current world politics, especially current events, and to guess when Jesus will return. The greatest condemnation of these charlatans is the clear teaching of Jesus: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36)

    WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW ABOUT THE TWISTED HERESY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?

    As already noted, the Dispensationalist teaching of prophecy takes Jesus from the center of all prophecy and replaces our blessed Lord with the state of Israel. In Luke 24:44, Jesus says, “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Dispensationalists, in effect, have recast this section of God’s Word to say, “All things written about the state of Israel in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Furthermore, as Luther points out, Israel, even in the Old Testament, has always referred to those who believed and followed God, not to a particular race of people or to a certain geographical area.

    WHY IS IT ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR CHRISTIANS TO KNOW WHAT THE WORD ‘ISRAEL” MEANS TODAY?

    Over the centuries, in its worship services, the Christian church has always used the Psalms. The Psalms regularly refer to Israel. When the Psalmist is referring to Israel, he is pointing to those whom God has promised to bless. In their false understanding of Scripture, the Dispensationalists have misled millions to believe that the Psalms are referring to God blessing the state of Israel, when, in fact, the Psalms refer to a blessing God wants to give to all who are worshiping him. In other words, the heretical Dispensationalist theology twists and redirects God’s promises of blessings from children who are His through Baptism to those they believe are His through geography.

    So, the bottom line is this. When people in your congregations are hoodwinked into believing Dispensationalist theology, they do not experience the blessings that God has to give them as His New Israel! (Romans 9:1-8)

    WHERE ARE THE CHIEF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS THAT TEACH DISPENSATIONALISM?

    Among themselves Dispensationalists would agree that the leading schools teaching their interpretation of the Scriptures would be Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. One of the founders of Fuller Theological Seminary was also a major promoter of Dispensationalism.

    WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE LEADING AND MOST POPULAR TEACHERS OF THE TWISTED THEOLOGY OF DISPENSATIONALISM?

    The most popular teacher of dispensationalism has been Hal Lindsey, the author of The Late Great Planet Earth which sold some 35 million copies and was translated into over 50 languages. In more recent years, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins authored the Left Behind series of books, which netted each author over fifty million dollars. These figures demonstrate how widely this 19th-century American heresy has been spread and the threat that it poses to Christ’s church. Jesus says, “Many will … mislead many” (Matthew 24:5).

    WHY DO THESE RELIGIOUS FICTION BOOKS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT DEAL WITH PROPHECY, SELL SO WELL?

    All people, even those committed to secularism, are interested in getting a peek into the future. Thus, when a charlatan comes along who claims to be interpreting present and future events ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, there are many buyers! Even members of the U.S. Department of Defense were known to be reading The Late Great Planet Earth in the hope of seeing the future of world political and military movements. One author noted that reading The Late Great Planet Earth was like getting an advance copy of tomorrow’s newspaper!

    Finally, on e could read many, many books explaining how the twisted theology of Dispensationalism has impacted politics in the United States and other parts of the world. But politics is not our mission at GOOD NEWS. While we have taken some space to point out the deadly menace of Dispensationalism, you can see that the greater percentage of this issue is devoted to the true and correct Biblical understanding of prophecy, a great blessing God wants you to have!

    Dispensationalism is effectively exposed in volume XIII of Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics: Escatology by John R. Stephenson. p. 83-97, in the essay titled, “Fictitious Signs of His Coming: Sundry Dreams of the Dispensationalists” (Published by the Luther Academy, Fort Wayne, IN. 1993).

    For Bible Study questions about this page, turn to page 41 and use questions 43 through 45.

    43. The heresy of Dispensationalism has been promoted by many popular evangelical preachers on television and radio. Major schools of theology, such as the Moody Bible Institute, promote Dispeationalism. Bestselling books like The Late Great Planet Earth, and even the series, sow the tares of dispensational thinking in the minds of million of Christians (Matthew 13:24-30). Nevertheless, Dispensationalism is not a God-Pleasing doctrine. Jesus warns us: “Many will come in My name … and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:5).

    44. Jesus claims that the entire Old Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). Dispensationalism removes Jesus from the center of Biblical prophecy and replaces Him with the modern state of Israel. Dispensationalists base their teaching on obscure passages while ignoring the Bible’s clear teachings, such as: “But of that day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36). Finally, Dispensationalism robs God’s children of the comfort of their Baptism. By focus-ing on bringing back the political state of Israel, Dispensationalism denies God’s promise that, through Baptism, He has established the Christian church as His New Israel (Romans (:1-8)

    45. No matter how persuasive and exciting television preachers or popular books may be, always remember: Christ, not the state of Israel, is the center of all Scripture (Luke 18:31). When you hear novel interpretations drawn from books such as Revelation or Daniel, keep in mind: “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). Search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), and compare the claims of Dispensational teachers to God’s clear testimonies, such as Matthew 24:36 and Romans 9:1-8. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), knowing that the entire OLd Testament speaks of Him (Luke 24:44). And bear in mind that all prophecy springs from the root of Genesis 3:15. When you are armed with these clear Biblical teachings, and refreshed by God’s forgiveness in Word and Sacrament, you will be able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

  • Matt Miller

    Blasphemy! Truth is not relative. There is but one truth; that no man comes to the father except by the son. Here’s why:

    We are all really bad sinners, even Gandhi, that really need saving; is Gandhi going to heaven then, based upon his goodness? if that’s the case, then who’s standard of goodness are we using? God’s standard, or a man’s standard? Appearantly, no one would go to hell if we use a man’s standard of goodness in determining what is just. True love believes in justice, righteousness, and Holiness. True love punishes evil wherever it is found. If we use a man’s standard of truth than how can righteously punish evil where it is found? How is there Righteous and Holy, justice in a man’s judgement? Relative truth allows for injustice in the world to flourish. Ask yourself; Is there something greater than Jesus taking the wrath of the father for our sins, upon himself so that we would be made clean before God when we enter His presense, and worship Him for eternity.

    • Seth A. Yellin

      One of the only few verses one needs to know from the #Bible:

      “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 #Corinthians 3:16

      King James Bible:
      Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
      #Luke 17:21

      #Fundamentalist are dangerously stupid and they’re TROLLOLOLOL’N all over the place at times… They pick-and-choose #scriptures and think each and every #MALEWRITTEN #scientifically contradicting belief from a dead-language is accurate even when disproved. Supposedly according to some Bible Scholars that “The New Testament was fabricated by the Romans to pacify the poor.” Who knows..

      -_- ;D <3
      <3 ~Namaste.Bless~ <3

      • Matt Miller

        “Trolling” a term for what fisherman do… I’ll take that as a compliment. Christ taught us to be fishers of men.

      • Matt Miller

        The above passages refer to Christ’s divinity and his Kingdom being comprised of saved souls; your soul being eternal is of his kingdom, so it is His to judge. All souls can gain entry into his kingdom but only if they humble themselves to accept Christ’s gift of redemption. Christ is God’s mercy and his word was with him in the beginning made flesh to service the perfect sacrifice for all mankind. If one does not believe their soul is of His kingdom how then can they be saved? Christ is the way the truth and the life.

  • Mike F

    Are you an idiot? You do have to believe in God to get into Heaven.. but not only that, you have to be a Christian! No sin can enter into Heaven. Read your word.

    • Seth A. Yellin

      One of the only few verses one needs to know from the #Bible:

      “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 #Corinthians 3:16

      King James Bible:
      Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
      #Luke 17:21

      #Fundamentalist are dangerously stupid and they’re TROLLOLOLOL’N all over the place at times… They pick-and-choose #scriptures and think each and every #MALEWRITTEN #scientifically contradicting belief from a dead-language is accurate even when disproved. Supposedly according to some Bible Scholars that “The New Testament was fabricated by the Romans to pacify the poor.” Who knows..

      -_- ;D <3
      <3 ~Namaste.Bless~ <3 xD

    • tommy

      Wide is the gate that leads to distruction, but narrow is the gate to eternal life. Yes God is going to turn a lot of people away, even good doers. You won’t get to heaven by works but by faith ye are saved. Believe it or not, you’ll find out when you die, then it will be too late…

      • tommy

        The Holy Bible is the only book, and the only belief that people that don’t believe are trying to get others to new against it, also this country was founded on Christian principles.

        • Joe

          It was founded by deist. Actually read a book some time.

          • tommy

            Sorry that you believe that your God abandoned you. My God said ,I will never leave you nor forsake you. And I do read. The Bible is the greatest book ever written.

          • danny

            The bible is the greatezt book written i agree :)

  • Karma

    Kind of illogical seeing that God owns eveything.

  • Jack

    How can any human being tell another human being where they will go when they die? How does another human being know this? No one, no religion, has a copyright on what created the universe. Sorry. If you think you do, think again. That’s why it’s called “faith”. Faith is something you believe in that you hope to be true. It doesn’t mean it is true. You can believe in your religion all you want to get you to the afterlife. At the end of it all everyone’s end is most likely going to be the same. However, It is my HOPE that the mean, rotten, bad people go to a place they deserve and those who have loved all they can will go to where they deserve. People think they need Jesus because they’ve been programmed by the church to believe that. Again, more humans telling other humans what and how to believe based on old writings.

    • CraigOlsen

      The dead go to the grave and await resurrection. Once resurrected, those who were not confessional will be consumed in the lake of fire, and those who secured the forgiveness of their sins while they were living get a free pass to the coming kingdom on earth.

      • Matt Miller

        Being a Christian is no “free pass” to God’s kingdom. Repenting your sins in the name of Jesus Christ while knowing in your hear that you are a sinner for which no words or works could ever match the gift of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, so that upon your judgement, God see’s you as righteous. Our God is a God of wrath and ; infinitely merciful and infinitely just.

        • CraigOlsen

          Many are called, but few are chosen. Most fellowships don’t even discuss the very goal of Christianity, which is to enter the coming kingdom on earth. Most believers will enter the lake of fire immediately following their judgment appointment during which they will argue with Christ.

          • tommy

            Yes and Christ will say get away from me I never knew you.

    • Matt Miller

      Blasphemy! Truth is not relative. There is but one truth; that no man comes to the father except by the son. Here’s why:

      We are all really bad sinners, even Gandhi, that really need saving; is Gandhi going to heaven then, based upon his goodness? if that’s the case, then who’s standard of goodness are we using? God’s standard, or a man’s standard? Appearantly, no one would go to hell if we use a man’s standard of goodness in determining what is just. True love believes in justice, righteousness, and Holiness. True love punishes evil wherever it is found. If we use a man’s standard of truth than how can righteously punish evil where it is found? How is there Righteous and Holy, justice in a man’s judgement? Relative truth allows for injustice in the world to flourish. Ask yourself; Is there something greater than Jesus taking the wrath of the father for our sins, upon himself so that we would be made clean before God when we enter His presense, and worship Him for eternity.

  • Dawn

    I love how people say you wont get into heaven without jesus when the jewish faith has been around since long before christianity and one thing so many choose to forget is that jesus was jewish. Not to mention other religions that are even older that have similar views on the after life and being a good person to reap those benefits. In the over all scheme of things christianity is a very young religion and it is not the only one that says you should be a good person.

    • CraigOlsen

      It’s the only one that proves that no human is good enough on his own to receive eternal life. It’s the only one that provided a savior to make us good enough by purchasing us through 100% pardon – free of obligation. It’s the only one that is directly tied to the Creator of all things through His Son, and it’s the only one that provided a resurrection as proof of a firstfruits for those few that are His own.

      • Matt Davis

        None of that comes remotely close to “proof”. And it’s not free. Christians are expected to go to church, pray, tithe etc. so I hate it when people pretend it’s a “free” gift. Not to mention that it’s not easy to force yourself to believe in something illogical with no supporting evidence except an old book.

        • CraigOlsen

          No, you have it completely backwards. Any works performed by a chosen one are because he has been chosen, not a means to become chosen.

  • CraigOlsen

    Bernie, you got it wrong. Although I have great issues with the Catholic cult, “God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart” certainly does not mean that atheists have a sincere and contrite heart! They do not. That’s the whole point here. Unless they do, they will NOT be a part of the coming kingdom on earth (not heaven, btw).

    • Romgtr

      What do you mean Catholic cult?

      • CraigOlsen

        The Roman Catholic group (along with many Protestant groups) has strayed very far from and has attempted to add to the original teachings of the Word and has now become the apostasy. They will be crushed when Christ comes and will argue with Him at their individual judgments (Matt 7:21-23). Sons of God, however, are focused on the coming kingdom on earth and Christ as the Way to get there. The Catholic cult is focused on heaven (where no man will go) and their behavior (which can never be good enough) to get there. Huge difference (of many).

  • Giggle

    And then there’s the problem that Catholics and Christians are different, therefore the Pope is not necessarily a reliable source of Christian doctrine, though he may be considered quite reliable for Catholic beliefs.

    • Romgtr

      Catholics are the original Christians. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. You don’t have the authority to disagree with him.

      • CraigOlsen

        They have strayed massively and no longer resemble Christ in any way. They have made up their own Bibles and could not care less about the meanings the Holy Spirit teaches. They refute all that Christ taught. As a result, many men have placed their eternal futures into the hands of other men. I can prove this but not in these tiny paragraphs.

        • MarioG

          That’s not true at all. Your the one who makes up stuff.

          What Jesus taught is enshrined in the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount and the parables he used to make various points.

          The Catholic Church is the original church established by Christ through Peter. The other Christian denominations split off over the years each for their own reasons.

          Wise up.

          • CraigOlsen

            You have subscribed to men and ignored the Word. The Catholic religion has become the apostasy. They have subtracted from and added to the Word over the years according to their own human desires, with no regard for the Truth or the consequences. Their beliefs no longer resemble Christianity. Some of their additions include: Going to heaven, living eternally in hell, a soul is not a person, spirit is not life, assumption of Mary, purgatory, indulgences, changing the 7th day to the 8th day, and the list goes on and on and on. And you think this is wise. You’d better repent soon, or you will be included with most believers – they will argue with Christ at their judgment appointments (Matt 7:21-23) They will tell Him that He is wrong and the Catholic church is right.

          • MarioG

            If by “men” you mean Christ, whose message was continued by his Apostles, you are absolutely correct. You judge a religion not by what some nuts think is “the Truth” or even by its rules, but the character, attitude, philanthrophy, and how they treat those around them, especially those less fortunate.

            You sound like you belong to one of these sects that broke off from the original church of Christ, some out of honest conviction, others out of hubris, some because their founder was an entrepreneur, one because an English King wanted to screw around.

          • CraigOlsen

            Nope.

            Psalm 146:3 Do not trust in mortal men, in whom there is no salvation.

            Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

            1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales.

            Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not lean on the understanding of men.

            2 Tim 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching. Instead, to suit their own
            desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

            John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them you have eternal life.

            Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to men, but it leads to destruction.

            You will find your gift of salvation only in God’s Word. You will not find it in men or religions.

          • MarioG

            You can believe whatever you want – if it fails to make you a better person no amount of Bible-thumping is going to save you.

            The secret lies in the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the messages in the parables of Christ.

            The rest is all fluff.

          • CraigOlsen

            Why are you so negative about the Word of God? It is there to save you. If you are condemned, that is your doing. Salvation is found in the Word, not in works. Works is a result of salvation, not a means to obtain it. You can make up your own religion and/or follow men all you want, but you must know Jesus personally in order to receive an inheritance into the coming kingdom on earth.

          • MarioG

            The only thing that will save me and everyone else is if we are good people – the more Christ-like the better. The words you spout don’t contribute to that. Your notion of salvation is bogus – it has no standards or suggestions or insights that anyone seeking Christ can follow.

            If you quit tap-dancing on the head of a pin and read Matthew 7:12 and follow its precepts, which sum up Christianity in a few pithy words, you will be saved.

          • CraigOlsen

            That is fine, but only if you have the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, everything you do is all in vain.

            Let’s check. The Spirit does not lie. You said one must keep the ten commandments. Let’s consider number four, the least of the commandments, which represents the upcoming millennial earthly reign of Christ. Are you remembering God’s seventh day, or man’s eighth day?

          • MarioG

            You are still trying to see how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.. I live in Real-ville. How do you “have” the Holy Spirit? Let me tell you. If you follow the Golden Rule the Holy Spirit is in you, by definition.

          • CraigOlsen

            Again, you are trying to rely on one of man’s sets of rules instead of the rules the Father laid before us in His Word, there for us to understand, by studying. You trust men, and I trust God. Nowhere in His word does it even hint that anyone will receive the Holy Spirit by following the sum of the commandments. That would wipe out the new covenant completely. Instead, we no longer do the work nor pay the price, He did it already through His Son. Any work we do for Him is therefore a result of His full payment for our sins. I’m sorry sir, but you cannot work your way into the kingdom. The Bible is very clear on this.

          • MarioG

            Just like the Pharisees of old, you keep missing the woods for the trees.

            What do “receiving the Holy Spirit” and “result of His full payment for our sins” even mean unless they make you a better person?

            I’m not sure what Bible you keep referring to. Please read:

            Matthew 19:16-17

            Matthew 5:

          • CraigOlsen

            You have been duped. You are living a manmade religion. Repent and receive the Holy Spirit. Only He can show you that works are a result of salvation and never a means to enter the kingdom.

          • MarioG

            Jesus is the Son of God so I don’t know what “man made religion” you are referring to. We have free will so no one can can tell us to be good people. We are on our own with our choices. BTW, what cult do you belong to?

          • CraigOlsen

            All beliefs without the Holy Spirit’s leading are man made religions. You already admitted that you understand how to be a Jew by accepting what Jesus said about the sum of the Old Testament. But in the new covenant, you must become one of His by surrendering to Christ and accepting His gift to the coming kingdom by the confession of your sins. Only then will you receive the Holy Spirit, and only those with the Spirit are children of God (Romans 8:14).

            I belong to the cult of Jesus Christ, if that’s what you wish to call it.

          • tommy

            If an unbeliever runs out and saves a kid from getting run over from a speeding car, and he dies, he won’t go to heaven for his action cause he didn’t believe in Christ. Like the two men beside Jesus on the cross when he was being crucified. The one said now I know who you are, and Christ said today you will be with me in paradise.

          • tommy

            Jesus is the way…

          • tommy

            Jesus said, only believe in me, and the one who sent me, and you shall be saved.

          • MarioG

            Vatican II clarified the position of the Catholic Church, which is the original Christian Church founded by the successors to St. Peter:

            http://www.staycatholic.com/salvation_outside_the_church.htm

            Quote:
            Vatican Council II addressed this point in its “Dogmatic
            Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium),” “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who
            nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience
            – those too may achieve eternal salvation” (no. 16). In short, those who are truly unaware of what God requires of them are not held responsible; rather they are judged by what they did with the truth they had.
            Unquote.

          • MarioG

            That’s not true, Tommy. If the murderer and unbeliever, or the other one on on the cross repented before he died you will meet him in Heaven, too, just like the other one. YOU don’t get to decide who will be saved and who won’t. Christ didn’t die and assign you to take his place, thank God!

          • tommy

            Yes repentance, but i would doubt that an unbeliever would have the time to repent while he is running out to save the kid and think about repenting at the same time, although I would hope so for his sake.the point is to accept Gods word for the truth now, and not wait or you might not have that chance.

          • MarioG

            You doubt, but you don’t know. In any case, you and I don’t get to decide these things.

          • tommy

            Ok Mario, just remember that Christ said, by faith ye are saved not by works. Hope to see you in Heaven some time, ok.

          • MarioG

            That’s a deal. However, let’s not judge others lest we be judged. Leave these judgments in a better position to make them. I grew up in a country where 97.5% of the population are non-Christian and I personally know several who are more Christ-like than most Christians. I seriously doubt Christ would leave them out of HIS home.

      • tommy

        But the pope is a man, Christ is the son of God, and none can compare to him. The catholics make him equal, and that’s not right.God wants you to come to him on you’re own.Jesus, and the holy spirit intercede for you to the father not the pope. That’s why we say in Jesus name, and other believers in other religions say to kill other people. Christians preach love not war.

  • Giggle

    Ah ha, but if you are an aethiest, then you obviously have denied your conscience at one point, which means you will go to hell. So yeah.

  • Susan Roman

    I’m sorry that you are so focused on making yourself believe that you don’t need to live for God to get into heaven. Good deeds will NOT merit your salvation. Titus 3:5 says “Not by WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

    • Romgtr

      The works is Works of the Law not good works as a Christians. Washing of regeneration is Baptism.

  • Paul Hooper

    2 Corinthians 11:14
    And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.2 Corinthians 11:15
    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. John chapter 3, Jesus told Nicodemus, you must be born again of the water and Spirit. Peter told the crowd in Acts 2:38, Repent and be baptized everyone in the name of Jesus Christ and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. You must believe! You must Repent of your sins and turn from your wicked ways. You must be baptized in Jesus name! Mark 16: says, he that believer and is baptized shall be saved. Don’t believe someone that comes in sheep clothing yet speaks lies. Remember Satan doesn’t care how he takes you to Hell, he will use anyone he can. He is using men who claim to be of Godto deceive many!

  • Sandra Mahmoodi

    Dear friend I was hired as store manager in reedley ca in a thrift. Shop associated with a church after 3 mo my boss acso called christian told me im tertorist and have no right in usa and called me satan phony liar I quit my job and filed lawsuit now after a yr they still dont want admit their abusive way these are hard core christian so dont tell me they are going to heaven they asked me to go back to work but they demoted me from assistant manager position to a regular worker some one like them with all the abuse should rot in hell

    • Giggle

      Unfortunately, just because someone calls themselves a Christian doesn’t make them one. But it’s much easier to tell if someone is wrong with corporeal things, which is why it’s such a problem with religion.

  • andi281

    you do what you want.,, Maybe God will let you in the Gates of Heaven- and maybe he wont. I am not taking the chance. I am gong to as many good deeds as I can AND know God as best as I can .. Im going to work for my scholarship!!.. I still think in the end.. it all comes out to be equal. if you didn’t do your good deed here on earth. you should be expected to make up for em in heaven. All you evil no good deed doing will be fetching me and my other goody good doer fancy la las- our Fresh Squeezed Wine in Heaven!

    • CraigOlsen

      The whole point of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ did the work, not you. This is called mercy. You cannot possibly be good enough (read about the young rich ruler) to receive an inheritance in the coming earthly kingdom by yourself. You need a Savior – One who will take your punishment for you – all of it – Jesus Christ!

  • Nicola Hodson

    Dear Bernard We do not get to heaven by mere works, we get there through our belief in Jesus Christ who has forgiven us and out of that gratitude we do good works. Works without faith is dead! Faith and belief in God is paramount in our salvation. This is what the whole gospel is based on. Not sure what bible you are reading?

    • andi281

      well said

    • CraigOlsen

      Not bad, but saints seek the kingdom, not heaven.

  • George Penwell

    This new Pope reminds me of Obama. Anything to get a vote, be popular or to get a donation regardless of the truth.

    It has been quite obvious to even me, a half assed aspiring Christian lo these many years that you do not get into Heaven by your acts but by his grace and only then by accepting his Son as your Saviour. Even that is easier than any one deserves and frankly easier than being a “good” person. especially as the definition of a “good’ person changes in this world on a daily basis. Good luck to all you folks that believe this Catholic pope’s senseless drivel. he is a false prophet for sure.

  • Kevin Hubble

    In this matter, the “infallible” Pope could not be more fallible. Conscience is what a person has been taught is right and wrong. The Apostle Paul, before his conversion while his name was still Saul, lived in “all good conscience” with his actions of persecuting and killing Christians. He was a devout Jew and had been taught and believed strongly this was right and proper for him to do so, yet after his encounter with Jesus in Acts 9 realized that his conscience had been a fallible guide. The human conscience of the 21st century is no better equipped than the conscience of the 1st century. Why is it necessary for a church to have a prohibition on murder? Does not God cover that adequately enough in Genesis 9:5, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5? Concerning your theoretical about the man in San Quentin: It’s not as theoretical as you might think. Consider the reprobate thief on the cross in Luke 23 who-while in the very process of dying-believes and accepts Jesus. The Lord’s promise to him: Paradise. Concerning the Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and many Christians for that matter: Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord’, ‘Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21) Now, if Jesus said that concerning those who worship Him, how would you suppose He would deal with those who worship another God?

  • Barbara Enna

    Mr. Goldberg,
    Please excuse me for not being as articulate as you are. I would like to explain the pope’s words in relation to what I learned in Catholic school.

    1) As long as someone is alive he has the privilege to ask God’s forgiveness.

    2) That person does not go immediately to Heaven. He must spend time in Purgatory. He still must pay for his sins.

    3) The Catholic Church has a Doctrine called “Invincible Ignorance.” It states that a person that has a good conscience, and he follows it, is entitled to go to Heaven. This gives Salvation to all the people that were just. They simply did not have the exposure to Christ’s message.

    I am not a religious person, or even a practicing Catholic. I guess I would be called a “secular Catholic.” Just like “secular Jews,” I love my religion and I do not want it misrepresented. Believe me I admire you and I mean no disrespect.
    Please check this out with Father Jonathan on FOXNEWS.

    Paul J. Enna

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      “….he mus spend time in purgatory?” So Jesus Christ only paid for some of our sins. Amazing!!

      • Barbara Enna

        Christ gave us the opportunity to be redeemed for our sins, not a free pass to Heaven. In life we are expected to follow His commandments. Why does if bother you that someone can ask God’s forgiveness and he would be denied? I do not understand why some people abhor the notion of Purgatory?

        Paul J. Enna

    • MG

      I think Paul means that of course Jesus paid for your sins. However, while your sins are forgiven, your sins left an impact on you which must be remediated and from which your soul must be healed, sort of like washing splatter off a towel but a stain remains that requires treatment (Purgatory as spiritual Spray and Wash, perhaps?) At least, that’s what I remember from the Baltimore Catechism!

      • andi281

        like

    • George Penwell

      The Catholic faith is kurazzy any way. Why shouldn’t the pope be a nut job as well? They pray to graven images of Saints for cryin’ out loud.

    • CraigOlsen

      Nobody goes to purgatory. Nobody goes to hell. Nobody goes to heaven. The choices are: The lake of fire (consumption), or the coming kingdom on earth that Jesus Christ will soon come to establish. You have been brainwashed by men. Repent and stick with the original Word and you can’t go wrong.

  • Snorpheus

    We can spend much time and effort debating how atheists and other non-believers are judged, and whether or not they will go to Heaven. However, we would do much better to spend the time examining our *own* consciences, and praying for God’s mercy for everyone, especially those that do not know Him or reject Him. Jesus wants us to be merciful, just like He is.

    • George Penwell

      Yep!

  • David_in_Va

    Good commentary that highlights a very important development in religious thinking by a leader of Catholics. Let’s hope this view – which I have long thought is the only interpretation possible if one accepts that God is good – spreads widely.

  • http://theromancatholicvote.com/ catholicvoter

    Hi Bernie! As Sue pointed out already we Catholics believe people of faith, be it Christian or not, can indeed go to heaven. This bit about Atheists going to heaven is something I’ve never heard of from a Pope. If he means that God does not hold people accountable for things they have no control over (they have never been taught about God, for instance) I understand that. But Atheists consciously denouncing God getting into heaven? If that’s what the Pope meant it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it.
    Blessings from one of your Catholic fans.

    • Snorpheus

      The Pope said nothing new. There is a difference between invincible and vincible ignorance, and that is covered in the Catechism. We are called to pray for everyone, especially those most in need of God’s mercy.

    • Michelle Ryan

      So basically you are saying that by spreading the Good news! We are doing skeptics a grave disservice? By being ignorant about the good news of Jesus as Lord and Savior we can get Into heaven but if we hear it yet reject it we cannot….?????

      My Reason for leaving the Catholic religion…things are made up and changed along the way, and encouraging parishioners to actually read and study the bible has never been in the forefront. Following the Bible and Jesus’ words rather than a religion, for me, is the way. I pray for all people to hear about and accept Christ and i cant help but talk about how wonderful life is with Jesus at my side, and i do spread the Gospel, but I will not force or bully my beliefs on anyone.

      • noncatholic anything

        Jesus did not actually write any words in the bible. It’s all second- hand stories passed down over many centuries. It was put together by men who picked and chose what they wanted in it. Doctrine of Original Sin was made up by the Catholic church. It doesn’t exist in Judaism which is a polar opposite religion. No original sin, no need to be “saved”. Being “saved” is a mental status within yourself. There are many paths to follow and learn about creator of the universe. God is too big for any one religion which is interpreted by man. It’s only when people hold exclusive beliefs without learning about the entire world does it become an issue. I think this Pope is spot on. The Pope does understand the bible. Those who think he doesn’t want to hold onto their superior feeling of the God’s elect status.

        • CraigOlsen

          Jesus laid out the requirement to be saved in order to enter the kingdom, but you say we do not need to be saved. Good luck with that.

  • happylada

    Not sure the popes ever mentioned the KJV. It was the many other translations – for example the Cloverdale, that he hated. BUT it j had nothing to do with which version – the popes refused the scriptures in the peoples language and the service in the peoples language – keeping them in fear and bondage – they had no idea what the Bible stated, and were dependent upon the priests – many if not most of whom were totally corrupt and exceedingly wicked.

    Pope Joan gave birth in a procession, another pope was a pirate who bought the papacy – not the finest hour in the parallel Christian church. The statue outside the vatican is NOT Mary, but a pope’s mistress. The list of their evil is endless.

  • keith hart

    The
    Georgia 9th wasn’t at Gettysburg? The
    Library of Congress records says otherwise.
    I saw their regimental insignia sewn to shoulders at less than arm’s
    length — there — at the Wheatfield.
    My neighbors. Yes, a southern boy
    can fight for the Union — at the Angle …. at the Angle. And yes, you’re not alone in this universe
    — this crowded galaxy even. The only
    difference between you and I is a million years — by your sun’s time — the
    DNA is the same. Oh, yeah, I have full
    capacity of my brain, which makes the physical world attentive to my every ……
    what? Still, I can’t change anyone else’s
    will, even when they are so — yeah.
    Yes, you can travel anywhere.
    Einstein is so cute — like a toddler cute. Oh, there is that other one small matter. But, never mind about that for now. All the shouting and crying, the anger
    ….the screaming — comes first. The piercing screaming always comes first. It
    never ends, never stops. The pain inflicted — need for… what? It never ends.
    It’s overwhelming. No. It’s not overwhelming. I just need to sort through it. Go to whomever needs me most. The
    folks in hell, they’re there because they want to be. Like attendees at an unsanctioned,
    underground UFC fight — fans. The
    glare — the blood glare — in their eyes.
    I know who they are. Every damn
    one of them, by name. The shame of it …
    it’s not at the Angle [July 3, 1863, the most important day in the 19th
    century], nor Normandy, Omaha beach [June 6, 1944 the most important day in the
    20th century], hand-to-hand, feel breath on each other’s face,
    desperate. Fighting on hope — for
    something, anything, better. No. This is standing around, twisted bored,
    waiting, like at the Colosseum, watching the lions approach the bound
    Christians. They could get out at anytime. Take
    a look at Mr. Charles Darwin, an important guy in human progression. His fact gathering — impeccable. His conclusions, not so much. Take a string of events. Each event is 50-50 in its outcome. Each event’s existence is dependent on its
    predecessor’s outcome — that string is random. Take another string of
    events. Each event is a billion to one
    and each event’s existence is dependent on its predecessor’s outcome — that’s
    Life. Intelligent Design. Deliberate.
    Oh so very much deliberate. Why?
    The power is awesome. How? I keep meaning to ask, but the moment never
    comes up. Take a look around, are you
    not shielded in this bubble from constant bombardment of deadly x-rays. Atheists: loveably stupid, so long as they do no harm to
    other folks’ faith. Religious leaders
    with their need to intercede, that’s a whole other thing, dealt with in its own
    good time. I tried on several occasions
    to explain this to Mr. Darwin, in private.
    I attended many of his presentations at the Royal Society. He is a charming, engaging, impassioned
    public speaker — persuasive. But he
    brooks little patience with critical query, particularly from the floor in a
    public forum. Therefore, my private
    attempts to spare and avoid triggering hubris.
    Unfortunately, after his young daughter Annie’s prolonged illness and demise,
    Mr. Darwin had a real hard-on [a term arising in 1890] against spiritual belief.
    Completely understandable. Belief can fail to overcome pain, at
    times. It happens. God doesn’t hold it against anyone. There’s too much other important — vital,
    even — stuff going on. When I used the
    expression ‘hard-on’ with Mr. Darwin, the look of puzzlement on his face compelled
    me to quickly explain. His hard laughter
    caused such a coughing fit and heart palpitations so serious I had to lay a
    hand on his chest, gently. I didn’t
    think it was all that funny. You never know. Folks can be so unpredictable. In
    the big things? Hardly. No. In the little things — moment to moment? Absolutely. Getting to London from my home in Savannah
    takes either five weeks, pitching and rolling; or, in the blink of an eye. Which would you choose? All of the time? Nothing like an invigorating sea voyage,
    under sail — wind and spray. Even,
    taking a turn aloft unfurling the top gallants. Sometimes. Little
    Annie died of complications of scarlet fever and tuberculosis.

    Mr. Darwin’s father — Robert — is a
    gifted medical doctor with an intuitive approach to confronting contagious,
    infectious diseases, years ahead of his colleagues. But, there’s years to go. With the right touch of ‘coincidental
    chance’, here and there — just whispering which way to take when a fork in
    the road arises, it becomes vital to feed and nurture true talent and selfless
    commitment. “Could I have saved
    Annie? If only I had followed my father
    in his work and not dropped out of medical school. To do what?
    Follow adventure, notoriety and the high pride of yet undiscovered
    ideas. If only … I could have built on my father’s efforts
    and perhaps saved Annie?”
    “That’s a hard call to make, Charles. Be assured — no, rest assured— you will
    one day see Annie. You will see once
    again the delight in her eyes, hear her giggles, see the demanding arms thrown
    up for an embrace as she rushes toward you.
    Count on it.” He lay his
    hand over mine and clutched it. To his
    passing breath, he could never ease up on that hard-on of his — for random
    chance. Can
    you live forever, a thousand years even — or more? The technology is there. When you tire of it, it’s not suicide —
    just go out doing something heroic, somewhere it’s really needed — you ask
    God’s permission first. No, it’s not
    prayer, you actually talk with God. Like
    Abraham walking down the road with God and his two angels. Call him, God will actually walk with you. He very much likes taking on embodiment —
    watch out for whom you speak with, you never know — though the two angels,
    what’s with that? I wouldn’t think God
    needs security, although there is Louis Cipher — could sell sand to the Arabs
    and ‘chosen people’ to the Jews. That’s the trigger that nearly ends it
    all. A bright, brief flash in this part
    of the galaxy. It brings everyone to
    come look, to see if there’s anything they can do. But that’s a little ways down the road —
    not too far, not so far. Takes ten
    millennia to recover. Funny, how
    stupidity can get scorched away by so much pain. I guess funny isn’t exactly the right word,
    huh? Ironic. “Father, I would like to go
    home. I just wanna go home, now. Can I go home?” …… “Can
    you? Yes. May you? That’s entirely up to
    you, my son, my beloved son”. When I
    call him father, I love watching his eyes brighten, light up and shine. And he has a smile and touch just to die
    for. I would never ask him about the two
    angels, I figure, he just likes the company — Michael and Gabrielle, boy do
    they ever just glare. Next time, I think
    I might just offer each of them a pair of sunglasses……… “No, uh-uh, don’t’ look at him. Put them on. Now! Thank you”.
    I’m not so much a turn the other cheek kinda’ guy. I’m more of a preemptive sort of soul. Get it
    done before it happens. That way no one
    has to turn the other cheek.

    • D Parri

      Mr. Hart, keep writing…I believe you are on-track for verifying the principle of infinity. I see no end in sight!

  • D Parri

    Bernie, relax…this is not an angry email. I just want to bring into the DISQUSsion the examples of Dismas and Gestas. One of them was promised that he would be with Jesus later on in the day, and the other one chose to chide Jesus by saying (paraphrased) “If you’re so great, then why don’t you save yourself!” It is obvious who was penitent and who wasn’t.

    This was a last-minute conversion. It also shows where even Jesus called on the Father to grant forgiveness. Thus, it can happen but it will never be ours to grant.

    • T Ko

      Well, it’s nice to see when someone puts it into proper perspective.

    • CraigOlsen

      Not later on that day. Jesus didn’t ascend until many days later, as He later told Mary M. He was not speaking of heaven, but of the coming kingdom on earth that He will return to establish very soon. There were no commas in Greek writing. Remember, interpreters are not inspired – only the writers were. Be careful with placing your trust in the opinions of men.

      • D Parri

        Precisely. That is why I feel compelled to try and take in the information available to me, contemplate it, pray for discernment, and then make a determination on my own, based on as clear of an understanding as I am granted.

        I believe that God knows what is in each and every one of our hearts, and this is what takes place when we are judged.

        An individual might be capable of deluding their fellow brother or sister, but this is not possible with God at the time of our judgment.

  • Sue

    Bernie: The Catholic Church believes that anyone, be it Jew, Muslim, or the Great Man In the Sky, any denomination or religion, anyone at all, who believes in God is saved. If they repent for their sins before they die [and only God knows what is truly in their hearts] they can be saved. Yes, there are some denominations who believe that you have to achknoledge Jesus Christ as your Savior, but not all.

    • floridahank

      Does that mean Jesus was a liar when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.: John14-6.

      • CharlesMaglaughlin

        Thank you Hank for bringing truth and sanity into the discussion. As a former atheist and left wing nut job, I’m of the “Jesus got a hold on me and won’t let me go” crowd. Bernie…who else fits Isaiah 53…other than Yeshua”He was wounded for our transgressions…? He’s coming a second time. He’s either a liar, lunatic, legend or the truth. Pick one.

        • Giggle

          Oh. That’s from… gah! Can’t remember the guy’s name! I think… Josh Mcdowel? But yes, very true.

  • Rev. Chuck

    What everyone needs to do is read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. You will discover that the Jesus of Christianity is not the Jesus of Catholicism, nor the Jesus of Mormonism. If Bernie does this, he will also discover that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

    • CraigOlsen

      And the gentiles have been grafted in. All who seek forgiveness are forgiven. Only the children of God receive the Holy Spirit and an inheritance into the coming kingdom on earth. And only those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God.

  • Jesustheonlyway

    Looks like neither the Pope nor Bernie know the Bible. Sin cannot enter heaven – not even one – and it isn’t simply believing in Jesus as the Son of God that opens heavens gates for us. God doesn’t even look at what our opinions or beliefs are, He looks on the heart and soul for the Blood of His Son Jesus – everything we need is in His Blood and that’s our ticket into heaven.

    • Swampfox1965

      Faith is the key word: faith that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for one’s cumulative sins (past, present and future), and that saving faith is the gift of God. It cannot be earned or bought, and to whom that saving faith is given is the sovereign choice of the most holy sovereign God of the Bible.

    • CraigOlsen

      No, that’s our ticket to the coming kingdom on earth. Those with the Spirit seek the kingdom – the brainwashed seek heaven.

      • Jesustheonlyway

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. The **Jesus Kingdom** spoken of in the BIBLE is the 1000 years reign with Jesus on earth following the tribulation period. After that the BIBLE says there will be a NEW HEAVEN and new earth. All will be finished by that time and eternity will be spent in HEAVEN. STOP spreading FALSE DOCTRINE.

        • CraigOlsen

          Yes, after the 7 days of history, including the 7th day with Jesus in charge, on earth, there will be an eternal state, with Jehovah in charge – the new Jerusalem. The new heavens and new earth. The earth as we know it will be destroyed and rebuilt after 7 days (7,000 years) of history. It will then be here forever (Ecc 1:4, Deut 4:40, Ps 37:29, etc.) in the eternal state.

          People don’t go to heaven. The kingdom is clearly on this earth, according to the Word of God. Stop subscribing to myths and Satan’s word through men. Repent, ignore your feelings, confess, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you the Truth. He will!

          • Jesustheonlyway

            YOU are deceived because YOU want to be deceived. The Holy Spirit HAS taught me the truth. It’s dangerous to spread FALSE DOCTRINE as you are doing. GOD holds people like you accountable.

          • CraigOlsen

            The chosen few are certainly held accountable and will be rewarded for spreading the Truth. Please look in the mirror. Your idea of people going to heaven when they die is straight from mythology, not the Holy Spirit. He does not lie. You will have to repent and confess your placing man’s word above God’s Word. It’s very important for your future. Please take it seriously.

  • FloridaJim

    That is not what the Bible says. I thought the Pope understood the Bible, perhaps, only Billy graham is left.

  • Otto Maddock

    One teaching from my youth which I never really understood was that babies who aren’t baptized go to limbo and not heaven. I’m not sure but I would imagine that line of thought has probably gone the way of cigarette ads on television.

    • Jesustheonlyway

      “babies who aren’t baptized go to limbo and not heaven” That would be false doctrine.

    • happylada

      That was a false teaching then, it hasn’t gotten any better with age. There is NO place in the Bible this is mentioned, and the Bible is the ultimate guide to faith and doctrine. That some pope said it does NOT make it so. As you may note from this popes mouth, heresy is not reserved for non-popes.

  • Fish and bones

    No sweat, you can go to Heaven if you are a good person; that is, if you have kept all the Ten Commandments without exception. ( which at last count no one has….One exception: He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified as the sin offering, raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Lord God Almighty. And to all who will receive Him, He gives Grace, Forgiveness and Eternal Life.

    • CraigOlsen

      Yes, the rich young ruler found that he could not be perfect. Darn close, but not quite. People need Jesus to receive the kingdom. We must not seek heaven, but the coming kingdom – when Christ returns and the kingdoms of earth become the kingdom of God.

  • Pearl

    Pelosi and Kennedy are Catholics, they celebrate the murder of unborn children and the Catholic church does nothing.

    • Vivian

      Great Response…
      Thank you,
      Vivian

    • Jenn

      who the hell said the Catholic church does nothing??…Pelosi and all those other morons who claim to be Catholic have been told to denounce the faith if they don’t wish to follow the Catholic Church….what the hell else do you want??

  • Rev. Chuck

    The pope is an ecumenist who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Otherwise, Bernie said: “Let’s say a serial killer, seconds before they put the needle in his arm at San Quentin, honestly and truly accepts Jesus. He goes to heaven but a
    Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist who has done many good things
    here on earth — but does not accept Jesus as his savior – goes to hell? -” That’s absolutely correct. Jesus said you have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God. Therefore, anyone not born again will not make it. As far as good works, that’s one of the great misconceptions people have. Actually, the Bible repeatedly says that good works, in and of themselves, are not enough (Titus 3:5: Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus paid a horrific price for our salvation; therefore, how can we think it’s possible for us to earn it through works?

    • jq2intx

      Don’t forget the thief on the cross. He saw Jesus as the Christ. Luke 23:39-43.

    • Sue

      Oh yes, Rev. Chuck: it is like the insurance agent, who scams me 10 day after my husband died and then informs me ” he is a Jew turned Christian, baptized in the River Jordan and also that the only way to Heaven is to achnowledge Jesus Christ as your Savior, what you do on earth does not matter” . Well, I believe that Jesus says something about how widows should be treated….certainly not deliberately scammed to make more money on her policy.

    • andi281

      I still believe we should have to make repayment of our sins, If nothing it because tis the right thing to do!

    • stillwaiting aka Basho1644

      I have to say, this is a really sick point of view.

  • bathmaster7

    Then what’s the point in being a christen???

    • Fish and bones

      It’s just the difference between Life and death.

    • Michelle Ryan

      If we are true Christians and truly have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will naturally attempt to do the good works. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

  • joespook

    God help us. It’s like having Joe Biden for our Pope.

  • floridahank

    Hey remember that the Pope is a mere man. He isn’t blessed in any special way and doesn’t have any unusual contact with God. I can say anything in opposing him and it has the same value and meaning. Catholics get all emotional thinking that the Pope is somebody special. I feel sorry for these millions of deluded believers. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and that’s all that counts for me.

    • Swampfox1965

      Right on! The Pope is a man elevated to his present position by way of an election by other men. Much like Obama was elevated to his present position by way of an election. Two, in fact.

  • D Parri

    If you want to ‘guess’ who can go to heaven, then that is absolutely possible…but not recommended.

    • CraigOlsen

      I can guess. Zero. In fact I can state the Truth in this matter, because Christ has revealed it to only those who want the Truth. His own seek the kingdom. The brainwashed seek heaven.

      • D Parri

        Seek ye out the truth, for it will be revealed before you.

        Diligence is necessary in seeking the truth. Therefore, I choose not to be brainwashed and I am eager to find the answer to the spiritual challenges put before me.

        This quote from http://www.kjvbible.org/thekingdoms.html:
        “Because the Lord used the terms “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God” interchangeably in places in the four Gospels, most Christians think they are one and the same. They will be, but not until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when He rules the world for a thousand years on the throne of His father David (His father in the flesh, His human side) at Jerusalem.”

        Mistakenly, perhaps, but out of ignorance more than anything many Christians use the terms very loosely interchangeably. It is in this context that I refer to one who wants to “go to heaven”, or the Kingdom of God, which will one day be one and the same.

        • CraigOlsen

          Then choose to study the following, over time. Men will not go to heaven. Ever. Both heaven and hell as destinations for humans have been added to the Scriptures. Both came from mythology. I know it sounds surprising, but if you repent of the foolishness of men’s teachings and ask the Holy Spirit to teach only the Truth, it will come. The grave and the garbage dump example are not hell. The kingdom on earth Jesus is soon coming to establish is not heaven.

          • D Parri

            Very interesting.

            What belief do you subscribe to? Are you a believer in the scripture? Do you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God? Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, so that whoever would accept him into their heart and proclaim him as their savior would be saved from eternal damnation?

            If you do not, then I will pray that the Truth will be revealed to you by God, for without the light we remain in darkness.

          • CraigOlsen

            What belief do I subscribe to? The Word of God, Not the changes and additions by men. Jesus is my Savior. He is the Son of the Father, and they are One, but He is not the Father. Whoever receives Christ and knows Him will live forever – next for the 7th day of history on earth (1,000 yrs), then in a more spiritual existence on earth forever. The rest will die and will be dead forever. This is what the original manuscripts teach.

          • D Parri

            The Bible is about the struggle for a Kingdom; the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom with its Capital City (Jerusalem) on this Earth.

            “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
            (Luke 17:20-21 KJV)

            Accordingly, I am not compelled to repent of the teachings of man because I am not a follower of the teachings of man. I am a follower of Christ, and I study the teachings given of the Gospel.

            “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:”
            (Romans 11:28-30 KJV)

  • D Parri

    As a believer in God and my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, then I have only one judge…none other.

  • Tony

    Quick reply. Our belief in god shouldn’t be regressive or static. The knowledge base of humans IS increasing. Fox did a story on 1 atheistic woman in the 60’s that had god removed from nearly all public space aside from dollar bills. This is a misinterpretation of the first amendment that gives people the right to worship god. Public space cannot be for 1 specific religion. The historic context was catholic vs protestant at the time the Constitution was written. Public space paid for by tax dollars could have representation of Catholics, protestants, Jews, Hindu’s and Muslims.

    The Clinton’s will have a hard time getting into heaven ‘IF’ they can. They started as atheists and will end as atheists misusing the power/money printing they stole. To sum that includes some rich people who do bad with money. Part of the bible isn’t dated. Lou shall not lie, cheat and steal. If they do good with the money it makes it easier to get into heaven. Poor people can get into heaven if they do good with what they have.

    Some or the majority people start as atheists or agnostic and believe in god when they know ‘science’ IS HOW god made the universe. Atheists want no god and that IS probably what they will get unless they do good. Church helps though isn’t necessary to get into heaven. People who ‘believe in
    science/evolution/Darwinism’ are misguided. If they are mostly good why wouldn’t they convert from atheists or agnostic to a belief in god? God notes improvements. Anything goes would not be a test for the afterlife.

    • D Parri

      It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Obviously, you can’t take it with you.

      • Otto Maddock

        I guess that’s what purgatory is for.

        • happylada

          There is no such thing as purgatory. Never was, never will be. That is a heresy of the Catholic church, with NO scriptural basis. It was a method of extorting money from the ignorant by corrupt popes.

        • T Ko

          According to catholic doctrine and teaching, yes.

        • CraigOlsen

          Purgatory would be a substitute for Jesus Christ. Not gonna happen.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, at that moment just before a convicted serial murderer is put to death, who is his judge at that point–and going forward? At what time are we–as Christians–ever under the judgment of anyone other than God?

  • D Parri

    When a pathological liar or murderer ‘follows their conscience’, does that square everything with God? What about following God’s law? Jesus did not come to destroy God’s law, but to fulfill it.

  • D Parri

    Pope Francis stated that “…if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart…” in his advice to atheists. Why would an atheist ‘go to God’ if they did not believe in God? Sounds rather convoluted and illogical.

    • happylada

      It is. The thief on the cross went to heaven. I love Bernie, but he’s all wet on that issue. That is the glory of forgiveness – it does NOT require works. Works follow grace, they do NOT create grace.

      • CraigOlsen

        I agree about Bernie – he should never discuss what he has not yet learned. But, the thief on the cross did NOT go to heaven. Read John 20:17 and then the whole new testament 10 times. Find all the translation errors, and you will start to understand what the coming kingdom on earth that we seek is all about.

  • D Parri

    Bernie, I’m not preachin’ here, but it is my understanding and belief that this is known as free will, and it was always parts of God’s plan. I want to emphasize MY in this statement because that is the crux of any free will doctrine.

  • Retired02

    I’m sorry Bernie but you have joined the ranks of the misguided and misinformed.

    Want to know the TRUTH….read the following commentary by

    By Phil Lawler

    September 12, 2013 3:10 PM

    The Pope’s actual words were that “the mercy of God has no limits if one turns to him with a sincere and contrite heart.”

    The headline for the story in The Independent was: “Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.”

    How would a responsible journalist get from those words to that headline? He wouldn’t.

    The venerable London Times didn’t do much better. Today’s headline reads: “Catholic priests maybe allowed to marry amid Papal changes.” The story begins: “The Vatican has opened the door to the possibility of married priests, a move that would go against an established Church tradition.” The next paragraph provides the actual facts: Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the incoming Secretary of State, told a Venezuelan newspaper that priestly celibacy is not a matter of Church doctrine.

    So where are the papal changes? Where is the open door? Nowhere. An archbishop said what every informed Catholic already knows. No policy has been changed, no discipline has been relaxed.

    A piece of advice for discerning readers: Never, ever rely on English newspapers for objective—or even competent—coverage of the Catholic Church.

  • GailWehling

    Read that! I love him as I think he truly care for all human kind……….but he has gone off the wall on this one and he needs to be back in serious bible study!!!!

  • Haaseline

    Agree with the Pope, not Catholic… but He is the man… those that want Heaven to be a form of the greek system, or golf club …need to check their judgments at the door!!

  • Ed in Albany

    Finally, a Pope that Martin Luther would love.

  • Andy Trimble

    The Pope is a boob. First of all, the bible talks about a new paradise. The new promised land is what we will inherit. “Heaven” is any place above the earth. Anyone who is willing to read the scriptures will see that, if they leave their church dogma behind.

    The bible also says that a person’s good works will be weighed against the bad, and that will determine their eternal life. Jesus is the way to guarantee you have eternal life, because you allow him to pay for your sins. Everyone else needs to pay for their own.

    • happylada

      No where in the Bible does it say your good deeds will be weighed against your bad. You show abysmal ignorance to make a statement like that. IF you could make it to heaven on your own, for ANY reason, Jesus need not have died.

      Jesus said he was the ONLY way to heaver – Not good works, NOT a church, NOT Mary – only Jesus. Not one way among many – but the ONLY way. Your statement stands in contrast with the clear teaching of the Bible.

      • CraigOlsen

        hap, one who is not a child of God WILL be required to prove he is qualified for the kingdom. Of course, he will NOT be able to do so. Enter Jesus Christ, who removes the sins of those who ask. .Andy’s statement shows that only Christ can remove sin and is the only Way to the coming kingdom on earth. I thought he stated it well.

    • CraigOlsen

      Well said, Andy!

  • joepotato

    Slow news day …

  • RoscoeBonifitucci

    Great. Just what the world needs…another freaking Marxist!

  • Alexander Shaskevich

    So Bernie, you are a Jew without enough faith? Naw, your a Jew with a different faith. God Bless you.

  • Drew Page

    Funny how things change. I can remember my eight years of Catholic grade school education (1950 – ’58) when the good nuns ran the show. Back in the day we were assured that eating a hot dog on Friday or missing mass on Sunday or a holy day of obligation would land us in the bowels of hell for all eternity. Yep, we would be down there with Dan Scratch himself and the greatest mass murderers in history, In fact, those who weren’t Catholic, no matter how good or kind the person could never get into heaven, maybe they wouldn’t go to hell, but they sure wouldn’t get into heaven. No sir, that was reserved for all us good Catholics.

    • CraigOlsen

      So I’m assuming you ditched all those ridiculous manmade teachings, repented, asked for forgiveness, asked the Holy Spirit to give you understanding, then went to town studying His Word daily, which then revealed many new Truths, most of which were contrary to the teachings of men. Right?

  • lemonfemale

    I believe you mix up “belief” and “fact”. I am free to believe God never said anything about “seething a kid in its mother’s milk.” Someone can point me to Ex. 23:19 where it says not to do that. They won’t necessarily think I am bad for believing that, just wrong. So when you say a “true believer” does not want you to believe whatever you want, well neither does a math teacher.
    My religion …I call myself atheist but its because I reject God rather than because I don’t believe in Him. I won’t need a sweater where I am going.

    • happylada

      That is sooooo true. By the way, that rule was given at a specific time to s specific nation, and was never intended to apply to anyone outside that nation, nor to anyone past the death of . Just thought I’d clear that up . . .

      • lemonfemale

        I believe that Jesus said He had come to fulfill the law. There were a few things the various apostles kept such abstaining from blood that the Witnesses parlay into refusal of transfusions. But in general, the sacrifice has been made. Things are different now. (And whether that verse parlays into having two complete sets of dishes, one for meat and one for dairy is another question.)

        • happylada

          And other things throughout history have bee beneficial, but not required. Handwashing saved millions of lives over 3000 years before science discovered the truth of the Bible. As did the prohibition on pork and shellfish.

          Today we understand why God gave those commands. Many still prefer to keep those laws, and that is their privilege, but not their obligation. Abstaining from drinking blood is still a valid prohibition, as is sexual sin, and idolatry, etc.

    • L.L.Smit

      You don’t have to go there. Christ died and rose from the grave to save YOU. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and you can be saved. I pray you make the right choice. I hope to see you in heaven.

      • lemonfemale

        Thank you for that. I do not believe you can be a Christian and pick and choose what part of God’s will you will accept. There are some things I do not agree with. Paul on women for one. The gay thing for another. (I’m not gay.) So. But again, thank you for your kind thoughts.

        • CraigOlsen

          You must place your faith in Christ to be saved, not in the assumptions of men. Why would you want to risk your eternity so that you can hold a couple humanistic viewpoints for a few short years?

          • lemonfemale

            Because it’s the morally correct thing to do. To paraphrase Jesus, “I will not, not for all the kingdoms of the Earth.”

          • CraigOlsen

            Sorry, but sinning and condoning sin is not the morally correct thing to do. God alone established right and wrong. If you don’t know Him, you will condone sin, you will not be forgiven (because you didn’t ask), and you will be destroyed.

          • lemonfemale

            What this all boils down to is God’s threat. “Do this or burn in Hell.” And I say “Correct.” But that still doesn’t make it right. Or wrong for that matter. As long as two adults treat each other decently, I do not see where gender plays any part. And the place of women, though it is supposed to be that the husband cherishes his wife as Christ did the church in that He gave himself for it, in society it never works out that way. Women are held to be inferior. Even Paul “I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over as man but to be in silence.” If God could not see how that would play out, He is stupid. And I will not do it- for any threat or any reward.

          • CraigOlsen

            It goes much deeper than your assumptions. We can’t understand the negative ramifications of the addictive behaviors of humans such as homosexuality. Therefore we must simply trust God. He tells us plainly it is wrong, therefore it is wrong. Women are not inferior. They are men’s needed helpers and must be loved and made secure at all times. God knew how things would play out because of our evil desires. That is why He sent a Savior. If one has not trusted God, He has not received the Savior and he is doomed to the second death – the lake of fire.

          • lemonfemale

            It’s one thing to have faith where there is no evidence. It is another to believe in spite of the evidence. Homosexuality is a moral wrong. And this bag which I am to keep and not look in until the guy gets back really does hold several thousand dollars and not newspaper. I don’t buy it. ( No disrespect meant to any conservative Christian )

          • CraigOlsen

            Whatever that means. The point is that you must trust God or you are out. If you want to set up your own rules, then you have not repented and you are not forgiven. Only the forgiven (those who trust God) have the Spirit and are God’s children.

          • lemonfemale

            As I recall you are correct. I hope your Christmas is good.

  • JT

    The other day I read in the local paper a historic article about the local state University . It mentioned that enrollment at the school is now at the highest level ever. Never before have there been so many student on campus.

    I’d guess most who read that piece thought it good news. The towns Universities services are needed at record levels.

    Personally, I doubt this to be a positive development. A number of months perviously University officials were mentioning funding shortfalls. The state is broke and unable to provide for the University as in the past. Local officials said that was alright, to make up for lost funds alumni would be called upon to make larger donations. Most everything at the school could remain the same. Appears now there has been a change in plans. With new higher tuition prices, and now record levels of students being admitted, I suppose the school is doing their best to turn out more alumni, in order to get needed future donations.

    Historians say that Judaism used to be the most popular relgion in the middle east. Then expensive schooling demands were placed upon Jewish followers. As a result the new religion of Christianity became the big winner. Christian leaders took the opposite view. Followers of their religion were not required to spend funds on religious school learning. All comers were welcome. As a result Christianity flourished and the Jewish religion fell significantly in numbers.

    Well, it’s unorthodox with that the pope said. He could use work on his marketing. Maybe he will get more to flock to his religion with this, devout or not come anyway. Personally, I’ve never been a religious person. I’ve not much understood the appeal. As I was reminded the other day by a lady that visited though, for a good many church provides helpful services for families. In a world economy that appears to have less need for college graduates, and with record high student debt levels, I wouldn’t be surprised if more eventually turned toward the services religion provides.

  • Stimpy

    More interesting than this latest papal statement is the discussion regarding celibacy. Imagine the church being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

  • teamfrazzled

    The Pope said if the atheist goes to G*d with a sincere and contrite heart. That’s a BIG if. What he left unsaid is how extremely unlikely that would be. Every atheist I know or have ever known was defiantly and arrogantly proud of being an atheist, insisted man represents the highest authority, that there were no consequences for evil other than those by man so not getting caught is the atheist’s first commandment. They leave zero room for the possibility they just might be wrong and uniformly insist if they are wrong, it is G*d’s fault for not making sure He proved it beyond all doubt, reject the very defintion of faith -and usually finish with some form of “so f*** Him”.

    Do I believe it is possible that G*d could and will forgive the sincerely contrite who not only realizes he was wrong, but ALSO immediately loves and worships G*d? Of course I do. But just because the Pope didnt qualify his statement in that way doesn’t mean he doesn’t know there is a very big “if” that goes with it. Only G*d knows someone’s true heart as opposed to what comes out of their mouth and an atheist who merely simply discovers he was wrong and finds out G*d really does exist isn’t going to save him when he still lacks any love or desire to worship Him. Something they already lacked in the first place.

  • MarioG

    Here’s how you get to Heaven according to one who knows, Mother Theresa:

    People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive
    them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind
    anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine
    enemies. Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and
    sincere anyway.

    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create
    anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy
    anyway.

    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

    • Vivian

      Beautiful…Thank you very much…I am being honest and sincere anyway…

    • Swampfox1965

      Apparently Sister/Mother Theresa doesn’t know. The only thing that gets someone to heaven is saving faith in Jesus’ finished work on the Cross, that his death was the sacrifice required by God to pay the penalty for the sins of those He chose before creation. Read Ephesians 1.

      • MarioG

        Oh, she knows alright. It is you who are turning into a pretzel because you did not understand a word of what she said above, all of which applies in the real world we live in. Ephesians 1 or any other mumbo-jumbo in the Bible is useless unless it inspires a person to live a life that seriously tries to be Christ-like. Far more useful than “saving faith blah, blah, blah” are the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.

        • CraigOlsen

          You must be Catholic. The Bible teaches that good works are a result of conversion. Catholics teach that good works are a means to conversion. Good luck. The rich young ruler didn’t make it.

          • MarioG

            You have no way of knowing who made it or not. Just follow what Jesus taught and you’ll make it.

          • CraigOlsen

            How do you define what Jesus taught? He taught that man is not good enough to receive the kingdom on his own. Catholics teach the opposite, and because of it, will be destroyed.

    • CraigOlsen

      If you are seeking heaven, you are a mythological cultist and you will be very disappointed. Repent and seek the coming kingdom.

      • MarioG

        Craig – lighten up. We will all find out who was right soon enough.

        • CraigOlsen

          No lightening up. This is the most serious thing there is.

    • Saitej

      Totally I agree with what Mother Terasa said.. Thanks for posting such a wonderful teaching. God can be in any form.God wants us to forgive all and help the people who are in need.Like Jesus god has taken birth in Earth in many forms just to teach us how to live and not to advertise him/herself. If some unknown person teaches/advises us do we hear to them..? thats the reason he asked us to believe in him first then only we can understand his teachings and live happily.

  • Joseph papalia

    Catholicism sure has come a long way since my days in parochial school. We were taught by the nuns that we were the one, true holy faith and those who were outside of Catholicism once realizing this must convert or they would end up in hell. They further taught us that Protestants and Jews who were unaware of this. as long as they led a good life would go to heaven. However, they would not be as happy there as we Catholics.

    • MarioG

      I know what you mean. It never made sense to me. Thankfully, Pope John XXIII changed all that in Vatican II

  • MarioG

    Mahatma Gandhi said he would have become a Christian if more of them were more like Christ. Nuff said.

    • Swampfox1965

      The mere fact that someone claims to be a Christian does not make him one. The Holy Scriptures are full of the many evidences of a person being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, no one is perfect (save Jesus himself) — which reminds us daily of why we need Him.

      • MarioG

        Claiming to be a Christian is a good first step to being a Christian. We don’t have to go to the Holy Scriptures to find good examples of people seriously trying to be Christ-like – they are all around us.

    • CraigOlsen

      Gandhi, like most men, placed his faith and trust into the apparent behaviors of other men! Very foolish!

      Christ alone is the WAY to the KINGDOM. Not to heaven, but the coming kingdom on earth that Christ talked so much about.

  • seenitbefore

    Read up on what St. Paul says about the importance of faith in God and what happens when you don’t have it.

  • Paul Van Name

    More apostasy from Romanism. The last Pope tried to make Mary the 4th person of God. When will Catholics wake up ?!
    signed
    A recovering Catholic

    • MarioG

      The last pope did no such thing – he was too busy trying to provide cover for the pedophile priests and obstruct the civil authorities from getting to them. He was also busy trying to quickly shoe-horn his mentor Pope JP-II into Sainthood before history could catch up with what he failed to do to confront the pedophiles and root them out.

      • Paul Van Name

        ah…yeah he did. And it was reported wordwide. Also in Time and Newsweek. Better do some homework. The counsel of the 13 Cardinals that decide the validity in a major change in dogma voted against 13-0. Look it up. There are accessible records

        • Paul Van Name

          I stand corrected…it was JP II.

          • MarioG

            Maybe you need to sit, and take a breath :-))

  • Floyd Hillman

    To Mr. Goldberg,
    Sir, I really agree with you on all of the issues. I may not see it in the same light as you do but your analysis is always on target and makes one think with an open mind.
    Good is always doing the right things and over coming the evil that all are wrestling with, the duality of the inner self and just do what is right. to my own self be true.
    This is a creed I follow when I look metaphorically into what God want me to do!

  • JBubs

    I see the procedure for electing incompetents into office is no longer unique to the U.S. presidential election. It now includes the Papacy. I remain, and always will be a faithful Christian, but I am no longer a Roman Catholic.

    • MarioG

      The trick is to be Christ-centered and not institution-centered or Pope-centered. The Popes are humans and many have screwed up starting with the first Pope.

      Roman Catholics are the original Christians and all the others later split off for their own reasons. No one has done more for the poor and downtrodden where the rubber meets the road than Roman Catholic priests and nuns in their schools, hospitals and missions, without asking for anything in return and being largely taken for granted.

      • JBubs

        Mostly true, Brother! The Eastern Orthodox Catholics would give another argument. In any event, that was then and this is now. Semper Fidelis.

      • CraigOlsen

        Even the Catholic Church split off from the elect long ago, by making up their own rules.

        • MarioG

          Since the Catholic Church is the original Christian Church founded by Christ’s Apostles it cannot, by definition, split off – it was all the other Christians that split off, each for their own reasons.

          • CraigOlsen

            The catholic church is not the original church. It moved away to man’s desires. Later, a few groups attempted to move back to the Word. The bottom line is that only those who repent and confess man’s assumptions and accept God’s rules can receive the Holy Spirit. Only the children of God will enter the kingdom. And only those who have received the Holy Spirit are the children of God. This certainly does not describe the current catholic cult that you are a member of. Repent!

  • Thor

    All the Pope is saying is that an all merciful and loving God would not condemn so many good people to hell. The path is difficult for non-believers because they don’t have Christ in their life nor the beneficial and expedient grace of the sacraments.

    • CraigOlsen

      That’s because hell is a manmade concoction. Hades is the grave – it is not hell. Gehenna is a garbage dump where everything thrown in is CONSUMED. Hell came from Greek mythology and was unfortunately added to the bible. Remember – the original writers were inspired, but most translators were not.

  • Hugh Petersen

    I am not so all knowing to either believe or not believe in God. I do believe that if there is a heaven one will enter based by one’s actions in life rather than by one’s blind faith. If God created this universe he should be above having his ego stroked.

    • Fish and bones

      Sounds like you have a rather elevated view of your understanding, as though your understanding will “carry the day” so to speak. Lets’ pretend for a moment that there is a being sufficient to create a universe such as we are in….and you and HE had a difference of opinion. Who do you suppose would prevail?

  • WhiteHunter

    Reminds me of a story I heard a few years ago. An atheist was on stage in an auditorium, loudly denying that God exists and taunting believers as deluded fools. Then he sneered, “If you exist, God, why don’t you strike me right now? Go ahead!”
    A Marine hopped up onto the stage and decked the atheist with a single, hard punch to the face. Struggling back to his feet, the atheist sniveled, “Why’d you do that to me?”
    “God’s busy helping our troops in Afghanistan right now, so he sent me instead!”

    • Vivian

      Dear WhiteHunter,
      Great anecdote…
      Thank you,
      Vivian

    • Josh

      Well, that one isn’t quite as outlandish as the usual stories that make the rounds, like the one Christian Marine in an atheist brigade who was being made fun of. The Captain pointed him to a truck without an engine and said “If your God is real, go park this truck,” and so the Christian got into the truck and it started up.

      At least the one you told seems to be rooted more in reality, though it sounds like an unnecessary act of selfish aggressiveness and not some divine intervention. It sounds more of less like the type of behavior that leads a lot of good people away from zealotry. But it’s more believable than, say, Footsteps.

  • sheltiemom2007

    Christians can believe anything they want. I do not care. Just leave me and mine alone. I’m not so thrilled about the constant bombardment to convert (to save my soul of course, gee thanks). I’m not crazy about muslims blowing me up to get me to convert. I like my religion’s position. The afterlife is unknowable, why obsess about it, obey G-d’s laws, treat your fellow man with dignity and respect, and when I die G-d will sort it out.

    • Ralph Hahn

      Why? Why do people spell God G-d???

      • sheltiemom2007

        In my faith spelling out the name of G-d in it’s entirety is a form of using His name in vain. It’s a small way of keeping holy the name of G-d. We humans are not worthy of referring to Him directly.

        • MarioG

          This has nothing to do with your faith, but some sophistry concocted by some ancient Rabbi who was too clever by half. Your faith says not to take God’s name in vain. Taking God’s name in vain and spelling it G-d to pretend you are not doing so is not fooling anyone, least of all God.

      • MarioG

        Only Jews do so – they think they’re fooling everybody, including God, and not taking HIS name in vain when they spell it that way :-))

        • sheltiemom2007

          Whatever. Anti Semitic garbage makes me yawn.

          • MarioG

            Is it anti-Semitic to correct your spelling or point out your duplicity? Do you think you are fooling God?

        • lemonfemale

          But that is not His name. God’s name is transliterated YHVH, pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah. So they do this as a mark f reverence and don’t have to “fool” anyone as they are using God’s title rather than His name.

          • MarioG

            No true, Lemonbabe,

            HIS name is Yahweh in Hebrew. It’s God in English. It’s Allah in Arabic. It’s Bhagwan in Hindi.

          • lemonfemale

            The Hindi you have somewhat right, but “Allah” is Arabic for al-lah or “the God” translates “God”. The only name He has in the Bible other than “I AM that I am” in reply to Moses is “YHVH”. Your name is your name, like Barack Obama’s name is Barack Obama and not also Mr. President. Note also that in Hindi, Arabic and English his name is still Barack Obama. The others are descriptors,
            And, “lemonfemale”if you would. Thanks.

          • MarioG

            Somewhat right? Trying to make lemonade from a lemon, are we? LOL! Sorry. That was too easy.

            I believe the discussion was why Jews spell it G-d and think they are fooling anyone that they are not using HIS name in vain.

          • lemonfemale

            And the answer was that isn’t (according to Jewish belief) His name.

          • Josh

            “God” isn’t a proper name like Steve or Mark, no matter which language you’re translating lol

            “God” is a designation, more like “Captain.” There are many more gods worshiped in the world than the one you’re beholden to, by the thousands, and they’re all gods.

      • CraigOlsen

        Jehovah is the best name. Jesus is His Son.

    • MarioG

      We’ll all find out who was right soon enough. BTW, it’s spelled GOD, not G-d. Who are you trying to fool by pretending to not take HIS name in vain?

      • CraigOlsen

        It’s because sheltie is not yet chosen. But if she asks the Father through the Son for the forgiveness of her sins, she might have a chance!

    • Fish and bones

      Actually, you can believe anything you want as an exercise of your sovereign free will, however you can not pick the consequences of your choice.

  • Jim Pell

    Good one, Bernie.
    I heard Dennis Prager on the radio the other day, explaining that the big difference between religious and secular people is that the secular struggles against the world, whereas the religious struggles against himself.

  • Curt Parker

    Human beings cannot earn their way to eternal life with the Lord (Heaven, if you prefer). In other words, “good deeds” do not substitute for repentance. We must humble ourselves, turn away from willful wrongdoing and accept the free gift of God’s grace. Once you accept Jesus as your Lord, the Holy Spirit will inspire you to love your neighbor as yourself (“good deeds). If this isn’t true, Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection were for naught. But because God isn’t a trickster, you can trust in His Will for you.

    • CraigOlsen

      Except for the ‘Heaven’ part, you are absolutely correct.

  • Jim Vaney

    Bernie, although I’m a fan of yours, I would respect you more if you’d stay out of the invisible man in the sky debate. You may cling to the desperate hope of life after death by pretending to believe in such nonsense as talking snakes, a 6K year old earth, fashioning a human from a rib, etc., but those of us who are not so desperate for an afterlife don’t. We prefer to think for ourselves and have thrown off the shackles of religious nonsense. Nor do we care one whit what the pope says. He needs to spend his time trying to right the wrongs of his molesting flock of priests. A snarky piece on gobbly gook does not serve you well. My suggestion is stick to politics.

    • fedupwithstupid

      Yet millions believe we started as pond scum that arrived from a distant star and scientifically divsersified itself, and developed everything needed to feed and reproduce. Then it moved onto dry land and voila the whole process started all over. I think you know where this is headed for Darwin’s sake. This is science and it is true not some bible thumper dribble. I just hope you can get some faith. The preceding was and is scientific gobbledy gook.

    • Vivian

      Dear,
      It is all politics… I believe Mr. Goldberg is attempting to lead people to think, stimulate and communicate…
      See it worked!!!

    • CraigOlsen

      It takes much more faith to believe that everything happened by chance than it takes to believe there is a Creator.

  • Chuck

    Years ago, I heard an interesting sermon by a Methodist minister. He said he had an issue with who did and didn’t get to heaven. On the one hand, he knew people who were Jewish, Muslim, and Hindus who were strong in their faiths, did lots of charitable work, both for their religion and other causes, donated to their religion and other causes, followed the “Golden Rule” and so on. Yet, since they didn’t believe in Jesus, they supposedly couldn’t go to heaven.
    On the other hand, there are Christians who are believers, but certainly don’t follow Christ’s teachings. He cited a letter than John Wesley wrote, in which he said that he had an issue with Catholics who went to confession, then went out and committed the same sin that they had just confessed to the priest.
    He liked to think that there were different levels of heaven, with a level for non-believers who lived the kind of life that Christ commands his followers to lead, and another level for believers who never tried to live a Christian life, and yet another level for non-believers who still followed Christ’s teachings.

    • CraigOlsen

      If one intends to sin again (such as a democrat in the USA going to the voting booth to murder more babies), he is not saved because he has not yet repented. Repentance means that one has changed his mind about sin, and is willing to confess it and put a stop to his known sins.

  • Mark W.

    “The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”
    So… Those Islamists who attacked us on 9/11/01, 9/11/12, et al, are welcomed into Heaven because they obeyed their conscience? And all those Nazis? There are millions of evil people “obeying their conscience” that I would not expect to have a heavenly reward.
    I had such high hopes when Pope Francis emerged; followed shortly after by fears that he wasn’t what he appeared to be, fearing he might support liberation theology, socialism etc. Now the real Pope Francis is slowly emerging. Is he truly Pope or the Anti-Christ?

  • ted

    That was nice of the Pope, now if only the Global Warming Religists will only let us believe as we wish.

    • CraigOlsen

      …or as the numbers prove, for starters.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    Conversely, even if you accept Jesus as your savior, upon your death you may still return to earth as a grasshopper.

    • sheltiemom2007

      I’m laughing. That’s great!

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      …..or believe in nothing and come back as a fire hydrant with dogs pissing on you every damn day. LMAO!

    • CraigOlsen

      If you did, it would be a great favor to you.

  • TRONRADIO

    I’m a ‘trust but verify’ kinda guy. I trust Christ for salvation, but even He said to ‘verify’ His claims. I did just that; His plan made perfect sense so I went with it, am going with it, and am going to Heaven because of it. I was quite shocked to hear what the pope wrote, but then realized I shouldn’t be too surprised.

  • docww

    We attempt to use our simple human minds to understand something that is beyond our comprehension. Organized religions are man’s attempt to understand what is beyond what we can possibly know. I’m with Bernie on this one. I’ll hedge my bets by believing that there is something beyond the confines of our limited minds, even if I don’t fully understand it.

    When I married my Greek wife I joined the Orthodox Church. Years earlier I was Catholic. I like the Orthodox Church because it retains the mysticism without most of the dogma. Mysticism from the past is good because it acknowledges the limitations of our logical minds.

  • Perry

    Great column for me as am a religious person not to be guaranteed heaven but
    find people of religion generally have more obedient children and have a great
    relationship to others.

    • Jim Vaney

      As an atheist, on THAT point, I agree with you. I’ve noticed that myself, but it’s still not enough to force myself to swallow the fairy tales.

      • DonaldYoungsRevenge

        Have you swallowed the adult fairytale that claims that a frog took a leap and eventually became a prince? Now there is a fairytale for ya and we are teaching that nonsense to our kids. God help us!

        • Fish and bones

          Please, please realize that an atheist has enormous faith, how else could one believe that energy, matter, time and space came from nothing at all and without anything but random chance and time assembled itself into the awesome universe we now dwell in and all that without a modicum of intelligent input.

          • Josh

            Fish, that has to be the strangest take I’ve ever heard. Who says that?

            What is “nothing”?

  • Thewryobservator

    3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world in order that he should judge the world, but in order that the world should be saved through him.
    Joh 3:18 The one who believes in him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
    Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: that the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.
    Joh 3:20 For everyone who practices evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed

    Joh 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
    Joh 3:36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who disobeys the Son will not see life–but the wrath of God remains on him.

  • Mark Moore

    No atheist can get into heaven – because there isn’t one. No pope can either. It would be a lot more interesting if the pope admitted there is no god heaven or hell than extending make believe to those that laugh at it.

    • Jim Vaney

      Agreed. Just admit it’s the biggest hoax since man walked the earth and let’s get it behind us. Of course, that would not only be bad for the business of religion, the weak minded and those desperate for an afterlife would have to face the reality of life and death. I envy the true believers for their childlike beliefs and pity them at the same time for their lack of ability to reason. As long as they keep their simple, incredulous beliefs out of government, they are harmless and I hold no ill will towards them. But cross that line, and I will always side with the atheists.

      • DonaldYoungsRevenge

        The simple minded are those who don’t even realize that they all are living their lives based upon the Chrisitan world view. It is when human beings get further and further away from that Christian world view that the world sinks into ultimate evil. So Vaney will you admit that you are attempting to live by the precepts of a Christian world view? Don’t lie!!

      • CraigOlsen

        Basic faith is very simple, but the Word of God is very deep – to the extent that although one learns more exciting things every time he studies with the Holy Spirit, no man can learn it all until the 7th day comes. You are obviously one who likes to spout off about something that you have put relatively very, very little time and resources into.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      Only about 5 % of the American civilized population believe what an atheist believes. Who is laughing at who? In a recent article Bernie was upset that Ann Coulter used the word “monkey” when talking about Barack H. Obama. Obama is a campaign debate at Messiah College boldly proclaimed he was an evolutionist thus declaring that his ancestors at one time swung from trees. Now there is a whopping fairytale if there ever was one.

      • Josh

        That 5% (assuming it’s true; it’s low-balling big-time, but unimportant) is a large number when you consider the practice of religion and its historic relevance.

        It’s passed down from parents to children without question. It uses fear and intimidation to be the dominant force in a person’s life. It’s still being taught in a large percentage of public schools, and even more so in private schools. It’s on money, in the Pledge, in the courthouse, there with you at the marriage alter, on millions of billboards, all over TV and radio, and I could go on for days with just how pervasive religion is in society.

        And it continues to grow, with new creation museums, new channels, new churches, new policy makers, etc. Yet the numbers of nonreligious continue to grow in concert.

        Why? The answer is very simple: Information itself is growing in terms of availability. Some people ask questions. And when they want answers, the scientific method helps where holy doctrine does not. And when someone goes to respond to this, thumbs it down, or even when they read it, realize you’re doing so from a computer that was not prayed into existence but rather constructed using methods which are not even remotely related to religion.

        I don’t think religious people quite comprehend that every major advance we’ve ever had as humanity has come by way of people deciding to do things for themselves instead of praying for it or having it miraculously appear.

        People will continue to be religious. It’s that big a part of history and life. But Christianity’s message has NEVER been so widespread, and never before have so many people questioned it, found it fundamentally lacking, and moved on about their lives without it.

        That 5% isn’t much of anything to brag about. Check back in 10 years and see which is gaining more ground: Belief or skepticism.

        • DonaldYoungsRevenge

          It is one thing to be a skeptic but another to be an atheist. A person who believes IN HIS HEART that their is NO God is called a FOOL by God. There are many skeptics but very few atheist.

          • Josh

            What do you presuppose an “atheist” is, then?

            We all know that words take on an entirely different meaning depending on what one believes. For instance, I take “atheist” to mean: One who does not hold a belief in a deity or deities.

            For believers, many seem to claim “atheism” means: Stating unequivocally that the existence of God is an impossibility and that all religious people are the bane of existence.

            But there is middle ground. There are people who don’t believe in holy scripture, who don’t believe in a god/gods, but yet they do hope there’s something more — they really want to believe there’s something more to the universe. But they’re skeptical because they’ve seen no evidence, and so they don’t believe.

            I’d call those people atheists. That’s a lot of people. And I don’t call them that to claim them for any numbers, as the numbers are just an appeal to populous or authority and are meaningless, but I call them that because they’re not theists.

            So, what’s your personal standard for what an “atheist” is? I won’t put words in your mouth or thoughts in your head, but it appears as if you’re presenting a scenario where only hardened God decriers and deniers are considered as “atheists.”

            Why’s it one thing to be a skeptic but another to be an atheist? While every skeptic may not be an atheist, every atheist would be considered a skeptic, at least in that one category.

            Is it fair to say you’re personally a skeptic of other religions? And if so, does that not make you an “atheist” in regards to those other religions?

          • CraigOlsen

            That’s right. And most skeptics pretend there is no God (at least to others) because they think they could do a better job than Him!

    • CraigOlsen

      You are correct about one thing. The Word of the Creator is silent about the masses entering heaven. But references about a few people entering the coming kingdom on earth that Jesus Christ will soon come to establish (to your surprise and horror) are plentiful.

  • Markus River

    If it’s a straight choice between a heaven full of pompous, pious Christians, and a hell full of open minded atheists, I’ll take the ticket going down.

    (Of course, the likelihood of either is on a par with the existence of Santa Claus)

    • Jim Pell

      No Santa?

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      You are very brave when sitting around in good health, when your time comes to face death you will be singing a very different tune. Thank God we have a God of mercy who will accept your repentant faith while you are taking your last breath. Only biblical Christianity offiers that salvation.

    • BillRiedel

      Your mistake is that you think all Christians are pompous. I’m sure there are some, but certainly not all are. But I see you just as pompous and actually very closed minded. So you couldn’t even go to heaven nor go to your idea of hell. You would need a different special place that may be more painful then even hell.

    • CraigOlsen

      That’s not the choice, Markus. It’s the new kingdom on earth, or complete destruction.

  • garbo77

    Hi everyone!

    Bottom line: Do we believe the Bible?
    God Bless!
    Dr. Gary

    • Jim Vaney

      Howdy. Try to grasp reality and see how that works for you. You might be surprised. It’s very liberating.

      • garbo77

        Hi Jim!

        God liberated me years ago. Wow! i wouldn’t trade it for anything! However, it was a choice that I made; God didn’t force me to accept Him. Romans 10:9-10 great if you follow it!

        God Bless!
        Dr. Gary

      • CraigOlsen

        That’s exactly what garbo is doing – grasping reality.

  • Josh

    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie! Mr. Goldberg. You’re missing the actual point of this story. If I may:

    You have to realize that, for Christians, the rule is very simple. Accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior, or fall directly into the fiery pits of hell. Now, of course, people always like to cite that it’s the atheists who are going to hell. But that earns a new-age LULZ.

    It’s not just the atheists going to hell, people. It’s the vast majority of people who live on this planet this very second! It’s every single man, woman and child who doesn’t accept Jesus. It’s not just atheists; it’s Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Jews, other Bible-spun religions, Wiccans, all polytheists, etc. Over five of seven billion people, should the world explode today, will be sent directly to hell by this loving, forgiving Christian God, if the Pope is incorrect and the Bible is correct. (Over six of seven if any one denomination is the path.)

    Not only that, the overwhelming majority of all people to ever live on the planet (well over 90%), are currently in hell. We must be talking about tens of billions. Heaven is that country club located on the outskirts of a rough neighborhood. The people who see the greens aren’t allowed to walk on them. Only a chosen few get to heaven.

    Many religious people love to focus solely on atheists. But what about all those billions of people who believe in another religion? The omnipotent, all-controlling, all-knowing (irony awaits) god of Christians is sending every single one of them to hell if the Pope’s wrong.

    People spin this issue many different ways. Ask 10 Christians what the measure is to get to heaven, get 12 answers.

    But being an atheist and just rolling your eyes at that stuff is what takes faith, I guess.

    • Bob Hadley

      Now I know where the phrase “you’re joshing me” came from. :)

  • EddieD_Boston

    I was raised a Catholic and went to a Catholic high school in Boston and then a small local Catholic college. I got a great education at both and am glad I went to both. However, after the pedophile scandal I honestly believe the Catholic Church and the Vatican should just go away. Evangelicals though are completely over the deep end. I heard one tell her children that Harry Potter was the devil during a documentary I watched on TV called Jesus Camp. Huh? The Tampa Bay Devil Rays changed their name to the Rays b/c 1000s of their fan base wouldn’t root for a team with the word devil in it. It’s a friggin fish! Evangelicals are the worst thing to happen to the Republican Party b/c they frighten people. My belief is Romney lost b/c millions of them wouldn’t vote for a Mormon. Thanks for assuring the Clueless-in-Chief got to bleep up the country even more during a second term!!!!
    That said, Christian are generally nice people who do well and raise their children to be successful. They help out others way more than progressives do. They walk the walk so to speak. Liberals mostly just talk the talk. Plus, Christian don’t kill non-believers like radical Muslims.

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    If one were to take an objective look at Papal history the Holy See would look more like a cesspool. Biblical Christians do not fret over anything a Pope would have to say because Roman Catholic religious system has so many unbiblical doctrines that they are hard to number. The system has always had a salvation based on works as do all religious systems, biblical Christianity being the exception.
    Here is a fair question posed to those who consider themselves “religious” and think that it would be appropriate for God to use “works” as the qualifying factor to enter heaven. Set up a scale one (1) thru ten (10), one being reserverd for the Devil as the worse person and ten reserved for the Lord Jesus Christ as the best person. You can place yourself on this “righteousness” scale, don’t pick 2 or 3 unless you are a rapist and/or murdered someone. I reckon most would place themselves somewhere around 5 thinking there are some who are worse characters than themselves and there are some who are better charaters than themselves. I guess you are kinda hoping God has set 5 as the standard. Damn what if it were 5.5, wouldn’t you think that was very unfair of God. Thank God we have an All Knowing God and a All Just God and He doesn’t think “stupidly” like us.
    The God of the Bible gave us an ALL JUST way for ALL folks to enter His heaven, no scales, no works, just FAITH and placing your individual faith in the ONE (not Obama) whom He sent to settle the world’s sin debt. Believing that this ONE, God’s only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died for ALL your sins, past, present and future, who assured you that His death paid in full the penalty, rose again three days later. Now you tell me, what is a more just way, your silly righteousness scale or placing your faith in the Person who created you and the system.
    Bernie, one of the thieves that died with the Lord Jesus Christ that day had every vile sin forgiven him that dastardly day, the other thief is with all those unrepentant Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Hindus, Budhists and Atheist who went to their graves sitting somewhere on that “self righteousness scale.” I am going with the ONE who fulfilled more than 300 prophecies during his life, death and resurrection. Good luck with your scale.

  • http://facebook.com/lisadesign Lisadesign314

    Actually, most Christians understand that it’s about accepting Jesus as the son of God and the savior for our sins. But you kind of have to believe in God to believe in that. And it’s not like he’s going to win over Atheists by saying that because why would they be concerned about not going to a place they don’t believe in to begin with?

  • Lonesome George

    That’s great news

  • Phil

    Great column, Bernie!

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      Bernie knows how to generate a discussion.

    • Jim Vaney

      If you believe in talking snakes, walking on water, parting of seas, fashioning a person out of a rib, a 6,000 year old earth, I would think you’d enjoy this article.

      • CraigOlsen

        …and if you have been deceived by Satan and men, you will not believe the Truth.

  • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

    As a Christian, I must say that I’m far more concerned with my own relationship with God than I am about what other people THINK it should be.

    When I hear individuals (even the Pope in this case) comment on the criteria for getting into Heaven, I find myself largely indifferent to it.

    I certainly believe in Heaven, but ‘man’ is not the judge of who gets in. In my view, only God is. So it seems pointless for me to worry about what others think about it.

    I’ve long believed that living your life as a Christian and letting others observe you as an example is the best way to spread God’s message. I’m a “true believer” who isn’t at all offended by others who don’t believe what I do. When we try to impose our faith on others, it doesn’t work. It only annoys people.

    • DonaldYoungsRevenge

      As Christians we have a “commission” some have labeled it the “great commission.” That commission is not just living as a Christian, it is telling others the “good news” about the Lord Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on that cross and rising from the grave three days later. We are called to be “ambassadors for Christ” telling the world that God made Christ “to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5: 20,21). Thank God the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament saints didn”t just walk the talk, they evangelized the world around them. No one is perfect in their evangelism but it is biblical to evangelize, it is our commission.

  • Mike Triplett

    What Bible has this idiot been reading? Probably more appropriate, what is this idiot smoking? Do you really believe that the Pope in infallible?

    • BillRiedel

      The Pope is infallible when he speaks “ex-cathedra”, that is “from the chair” and applies only to matters of faith and morals.

      When the Pope

      (1) intends to teach

      (2) by virtue of his supreme authority

      (3) on a matter of faith and morals

      (4) to the whole Church, he is protected by the Holy Spirit from error.

      His teaching act is therefore called “infallible” and the teaching which he articulates is termed “irreformable” which means it can never be changed because it is certainly true.

      There have been only two ex-cathedra proclamations. They are that Mary was born without original sin and that she was “assumed” into heaven, that is taken up into heaven without having to suffer death. Catholics believe that it was as a result of original sin that people had to suffer death. Without original sin, Mary did not have to die to go to heaven.

      The Church can also teach infallibly through the Ordinary Magisterium. (see Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, no. 25). The Ordinary Magisterium is just that — the ordinary way in which the Church teaches truth. The Ordinary Magisterium is an extension of the collegial unity of the college of bishops. An example of central
      truths taught in this way would be the Church’s prohibition against
      murder in any form, including euthanasia and abortion. As Pope John Paul II explains in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae), the Church
      throughout the ages and throughout the world has consistently and
      definitively condemned such attacks on human life. While a Pope has not proclaimed these truths ex cathedra, we certainly believe that the Church teaches them infallibly!

      So, in answer to your question does anyone really believe the pope is infallible, YES, I do.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    I really don’t get why some folks, who find Christians telling them they’re doomed to hell, get so upset??? First, they’re offering no threat to you whatever in this life? Second, if you don’t believe in a risen Lord (whether Muslim, atheist or Buddhist) why would you care?

    • Jim Vaney

      Actually, we don’t. Just as long as you keep it out of government, of which WE pay taxes to support. Believe it or not, that’s all we ask for. But even that seems too much for the religious folks. You are free to chase your dreams of an invisible man in the sky all you want. It’s as simple as that.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        Were that only true. Yet throughout North America there are humans rights tribunals that routinely hear cases against Christian practices in private settings. a Pastor, who wrote he still thought out of wedlock intercourse was a sin, (including same gender intercourse) spent years fighting a lawsuit. As well several businesses have had to close for refusing to participate in same gender weddings. And the list goes on. And it’s only getting worse.

  • golfmax13

    Wow, that’s quite a revelation. Luckily it says it many, many times in the Bible. Oh, —- wait…….