Imagine Pope Francis talking about the final judgment and the second coming of Christ.
“Human history begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with the final judgment of Christ. We often forget these two poles of history, and above all faith in the return of Christ and the final judgment is sometimes not so clear and strong in the hearts of Christians,” Pope Francis said April 24.
Speaking before 25,000 people at a papal audience, he quoted the creed (not the Bible), which says, “He will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead.”
Pope Francis could have quoted 2 Timothy 4:1, 2 which says I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom, Preach the word…” But he didn’t.
The pope reveals the papal priority of putting tradition (the creed) above the word of God.
He then expounded on three parables of Christ concerning the final judgment, the 10 virgins, the talents and the final judgment. He emphasized the need to work for the good of others.
Then the pope started to sound like an evangelical when he said, “Of course, we must always keep in mind that we are justified, we are saved by grace, by a free act of the love of God, which always precedes us, we alone cannot do anything. Faith is first of all a gift that we have received.”
“Looking to the final judgment must never frighten us,” Pope Francis concluded.
In an ecumenical age, the pope is speaking in terms that will attract evangelicals and draw them closer to Rome. But he still maintains the unbiblical principle of placing tradition above scripture.
It happens that evangelicals do the same thing by keeping Sunday as a day of rest. Sunday sacredness is a tradition of Rome, which evangelicals acknowledge. In doing so they acknowledge the authority of Rome. By speaking in terms they understand, the pope is reaching out to them.
All the world wondered after the beast… Revelation 13:3