The beloved Pope Francis is well known for his dream for a global brotherhood that would forevermore remove "barriers of division and strife" from among the many faiths. His dream of unity would abolish intolerant doctrines that do more to separate than unite, bringing everyone in a personal commitment to a common path of love and tolerance for all. The Pope's dream is heartfelt. His dream is well scripted in powerful words that tug on the deepest longings of the heart.
While many find the words of the Pope easy to embrace, they are more than just words. They are words at work transforming a dream into reality:
The new Pope Francis has only been in office for about a year, but has laid much groundwork for the prophesied one-world religion. He has the Anglican Archbishop eating out of his hand, made nice with the Orthodox Metropolitan, assured Muslims that Allah and Jehovah are one and the same, pledged a continued romance with the Jews, and persuaded some evangelical Protestants to agree that 'Luther's protest is over!' [6.1]
Is Luther's protest really over? Are evangelicals ready to set aside salvation by faith alone, in Christ alone (Matthew 24:24)? Are they ready to embrace another gospel that sweeps everyone under the same umbrella of faith? Are evangelicals ready to uphold this new gospel of brotherhood that gathers all faiths under one leader? It would appear the answer for charismatic evangelicals is yes!
One recent example of the "gathering in of souls" is a *prophecy given by the charismatic word-of-faith leader Kenneth Copeland. On his website he wrote:
We are preparing for the largest most unusual gathering of souls into the kingdom of God in the history of mankind. And we're preparing the message that will explode throughout this earth and cause men to come to the foot of that Cross and come to the glory of His Resurrection and walk in the kingdom of God...thus saith The Lord. [6.2]
A few weeks prior to the prophecy, the Pope sent a message of unity (delivered by Father Anthony "Tony" Palmer) to the annual Charismatic Evangelical Leadership Conference hosted by Copeland. The Pope's message to the conference and Copeland's response can best be described as a "gasp." Simply put, the Pope shared his message of loving God and loving people followed with a call for all men to become one in Christ. Copeland (lacking end-time discernment) responded in a phone-video message telling the Pope they (Copeland speaking for the conference) are joining him in prayer and one spirit to unite as brothers in Christ.
Does this conjoining dialog of cooperation between two leaders mark the beginning of global unity under a one world religion (Revelation 17:1-18)?
Hidden within the social gospel of global unity is the dreaded altar of compromise. If the Pope has any hope for global unity, it will be at this altar where the religious elite will demand giving up offensive doctrine. The Pope has already led the way by conceding that Allah and Jehovah are one and the same God. What will the charismatic evangelicals be willing to concede at this altar of unity? Will they be asked to give up Jesus' priestly role as Savior and Lord?
While Jesus' role as Savior is clearly offensive to many, offering up this doctrinal truth on the altar of compromise is already in play. By getting rid of this fundamental truth the religious and political elite are redefining Jesus' purpose on earth to be nothing more than a "moral example" of a good man for everyone to follow. While speaking to a women's assembly in Louisville and with no mention of Jesus as Savior, Hillary Clinton said we need to follow Jesus' example of helping and feeding the poor (source: Dan Merica, CNN). While the religious elite will allow Jesus to be a prophet and teacher and a model for how to serve others, they will never allow Him to be Lord and Savior and herein the issue at hand!
The Son of God
movie denounced Jesus as the Messiah by failing to script the whole truth about his ministry. The producers, with surgical precision, withheld any verse laying claim to his deity and divine role as the Sacrificial Lamb of God (John 1:29). The producers did not script the reasons for Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection because to do so would offend the viewing audience.
The producers did not want the seeker-friendly movie goers to know the truth about human depravity (Romans 1) and the need for personal salvation (John 3:16) because they do not believe it to be true (Romans 3:23). These central truths about fallen humanity and the need for redemption explain why humanity needs the Savior (John 6:44). To remove any one convicting truth about sin and the doctrines upholding the sacrificial death of Christ would strip the Gospel of its saving power (Romans 1:16). What's left over is social redemption, the call to do good works by serving the global family of humanity.
While the Pope does not screen movies, several Catholic leaders praised the Son of God
film as wonderfully awesome and a truthful depiction of the time of Christ. Many evangelicals shared their enthusiasm. But, the movie is just another link in a long chain of deception that will eventually link the undiscerning to the same one-world religious system. These subtle trickeries promote incremental concessions, which is what the social gospel of unity must have to succeed.
Though the new social gospel looks and sounds wonderful, many will unknowingly pull this error of doctrine inside their soul. They will not see the markings identifying it as a religious Trojan horse. They will not see the altar of concession hidden in the belly of the wooden beast. Instead, they will embrace the gospel of unity believing it to be true and right. They will see the new shimmering pathway as promises leading to a new world utopia adorned in peace, love and brotherhood. But, they are mistaken.
As we approach the end of biblical Christianity, the apostate religious masses are living in the shadow of the Great Tribulation, of which Jesus spoke often (Matthew 24:21). He said that when you see these things coming upon the world, let not your heart be troubled (Matthew 24:33-34; John 14:1).
Although there are many signs leading up to the end-time gathering of souls followed by the Tribulation, Todd Strandberg (founder of Rapture Ready) spoke about another type of gathering we can look forward to. Todd said, "Surely, the Lord would not be warning us to keep watch (Matthew 24:42) for a day that would be coming at the end of the Tribulation. That type of logic would be like warning children, as they cross the road, to watch out for tail lights."
In closing, I like the Pope and I like his dream. But, if his dream means giving up foundational truths of the Gospel then who among us can join in global fellowship (2 Corinthians 6:17)?
While the imminent return of Christ for the saints grows nearer, the Bible reminds us there is victory over fear when we keep our eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3). God reassures us by saying, "Be still and know I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Be still means to be at peace by remembering there is a mighty fortress of protection around every believer (Psalm 91).
God's irrevocable promise to you and to me is that our faith will keep us from the hour of trouble that is coming upon the world (Revelation 3:10).
*This article views personal prophecy as extra-biblical revelation and unbiblical.
6.1 Chick Publications, "'Humble' New Pope Making Firm Push for One-World Religion
6.2 Kenneth Copeland Ministries — "A Gathering of Souls" — A Prophecy by Kenneth Copeland — April 15, 2014