By Katie Altobellis
Recently, Pope Francis responded to questions by a co-founder of an Italian newspaper who describes himself as a “non-believer” and his 2,500 word response made international headlines. I have to say that a couple of the Pope’s answers to Eugenio Scalfari made me raise an eyebrow.
Scalfari asked the Pope if the Lord extended forgiveness on those “who do not believe and do not seek to believe.” The Pope’s answer was that “God’s mercy has no limits” and to those who do not believe, they have to “abide by their own conscience” and that their consciences will let them know what is good and evil.
Really? But an unbelieving heart and an evil conscience will not get you into Heaven. No one gets into Heaven just because they think they are good. We do not get to make our own rules and reap divine rewards. Every time I have listened to my conscience outside the will of God, I’d wished I had not.
And where in the Bible does it say God’s mercy on us lasts forever? His mercy is great and repetitive but to abuse His mercy has its limits and consequences. This is but one example…look what happened to the people in Noah’s day. Mercy finally ran out, did it not?
Not all consciences know the difference between good and evil, either. Hitler and Mussolini’s consciences told them they were doing “good” in their evil.
I respect the pope and I am not taking a swipe at him but no one person on this earth, no matter who they are, has all the right answers.
God is good to all of us and His mercy covers us all too, including atheists. That’s just who He is. However, just because Jesus redeemed us (atheists included) does not mean we will be saved; God does not force us to be a branch on His vine.
It takes but just a sliver of light to penetrate the tiniest crack…
Psalm 14:1 – The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God”… (NKJ)