To say we live in strange times is a tremendous understatement. Between the hype over blood moons and the Pope visiting the U.S. – apparently mesmerizing many with his charm – many Christians are wondering how close we are to the end.

We are seeing more and more people worshipping men and ‘signs’ rather than Jesus Christ. We’ve all been guilty of idolatry, haven’t we? And this is commandment number one! We place a person, activity, or thing above the one true God. People idolize celebrities, pro athletes, houses, cars, money, sports, a relationship, etc.

 

But as we saw news stories on the Pope where people were bowing, fawning, or kissing his ring, some of us cringed. Jesus Himself only allowed people to publicly worship Him one time, a week before He gave His life for our sins, as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on what we know as Palm Sunday.

We discussed some of the Pope’s controversial statements as well as why he mentioned global warming and government-backed social justice without sharing the gospel, quoting Scripture, and pointing people to Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis stated:

I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.

In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.

Unbelievers, those who follow a false god are brothers and sisters? Where is this in the Bible? But one of the more questionable statements Pope Francis made may have been:

The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.

The cross of Christ, a failure?

Certainly the most controversial  leader of the Catholic Church in our lifetime, the Pope continues to make statements that have many scratching their heads, even among Catholics.

Another question we asked during today’s program was: knowing the majority in our government (and society) are unbelievers, why didn’t the Pope share the gospel with them? God commissioned all believers to make disciples and preach the good news of salvation through Christ alone.

From idolatry to “signs” of the times: Last night, another blood moon has come and gone and as God would have it–no rapture; no end of the world, no cataclysmic event.

To discuss some of these things we were joined by Pastor Randy White this morning. Randy also shared some thoughts on church and the Christian life from the perspective of a pastor and ministry leader. We talked about passion, humility, wisdom (James 4:6-8), and the concern about some churches being operated more like a business than a ministry.

Check out today’s podcast as we believe you’ll be encouraged and intrigued by some of his “pastoral reflections.”

Jesus never built bigger buildings, never did parades, and no one else lived a perfect life, died for our sins and overcame death through His resurrection! God knows the number of our days and He does see the end from the beginning. So let’s just trust Him, study the Word of God, and not get sidetracked. As Jesus said, “watch and pray.”

 

Articles we referenced:

Words the Pope Never Used in His Speech

Pope calls Muslims “brothers and sisters”