"And in hell he lift up his
eyes, being in torments ..." (Luke 16:23)
Is Pope John Paul II in
Rev. Angus Stewart
Not even John Paul II himself, during his
time on earth, would claim that at death he would be with Christ in
paradise. For according to official Roman Catholic teaching, no one can
know that they will go to heaven when they die, except by special direct
revelation. The supposed merit of masses, penance, prayers to the
saints, fastings, pilgrimages, indulgences and all the rest cannot bring
the comfort and assurance of everlasting salvation. For who can say that
their works are pure? And when have they done enough? As the proverb
asks, "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"
Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church itself does not believe that John
Paul II is in heaven. Witness the requiem masses (masses for the dead)
and prayers offered on behalf of his soul. According to Roman
Catholicism it is only those in purgatory and not those in Heaven who
benefit from such masses and prayers. But purgatory is a fable! As the
Westminster Confession puts it, "Besides these two places for souls
separated from their bodies [Heaven and Hell], the scripture
acknowledges none" (32:1).
While many "well-meaning people" reckon that the pope is in Heaven and
the Roman Church thinks that he is in purgatory, the biblical Christian
realizes that he is in Hell. Below I will give two simple reasons for
this conclusion: his preaching another gospel and his idolatry.
(1) The deceased pope denied justification by faith alone in
Christ alone, which is called by God "the truth of the gospel" (Gal.
2:5, 14). John Paul II lived "in bondage" (4:9; 5:1) and under God’s
"curse" (3:10), for he did not obey "the truth" (3:1; 4:16; 5:7) being
"bewitched" by Satan and sin (3:1). God is not mocked: every one who
"perverts the gospel of Christ" (1:7) "shall bear his punishment,
whosoever he be," including the pope (5:10). The apostle Paul proclaims,
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto
you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed"
(1:8). Then the apostle repeats the solemn word: "As we said before, so
say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that
ye have received, let him be accursed" (1:9).
If apostles or angels are accursed if they preach another gospel, how
will the pope escape? As the leader of over 1 billion Roman Catholics,
John Paul II preached the false gospel of salvation by faith and works
on all continents leading millions upon millions of people to Hell. He
even presided as the head of a church which officially damned the gospel
of Christ and all who believe that gospel, for the Council of Trent with
all its anathemas (1545-1563) was affirmed at Vatican II (1962-1965).
(2) Think too of all his idolatries as the pontiff of the false
church of Rome. John Paul II is a life-long worshipper of the wafer in
the mass, and he adores and kisses religious pictures, idols, crucifixes
etc. He dedicated himself and his whole pontificate to the Virgin Mary
and has sought to promote Mariolatry all around the world. He made no
secret that his personal motto is totus tuus sum Maria (Mary, I’m all
yours). Then there are his blasphemous claims to be the head of the
church and the vicar of Christ on earth. God’s Word—the standard of His
judgment (John 12:48)—is very clear. "Know ye not that the unrighteous
shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Neither fornicators, nor idolaters
... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 6:9-10). Outside the
heavenly city are "idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,"
for "idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 22:15;
But there is mercy with God for all Hell-deserving sinners like us who
turn from the "dung" of their own self-righteousnesses (Phil. 3:8; Isa.
64:6) to God’s perfect righteousness in Christ alone!