Paul Rolland | Night Watchman Ministries | Petrus Romanus
‘False Prophet’ Pope Francis denies that Hell is ‘a place,’ says it is ‘a posture towards life’. He has also ‘forgotten’ that there is also an ETERNAL lake of fire and brimstone.
Michael Haynes Thu Mar 16, 2023 – 12:15 pm EDT
VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — In an interview to mark his 10-year anniversary, Pope Francis appeared to deny the existence of Hell, saying that “is not a place” but is instead simply “a state of the heart” and “a posture towards life.”
The pontiff’s comments formed part of a lengthy conversation conducted by Argentinian news site Perfil, one of a number of recent interviews the Pope granted journalists to mark his decade upon the papal throne. Touching on a number of topics he discussed with other reporters, Francis also spoke about his philosophical and theological thought, along with aspects relating to global politics.
As part of the in-depth discussion, Francis was asked, “What is your own interpretation of Hell and paradise, and what happens to people who go to Hell, and what happens to those who go to paradise?”
Giving a trademark lengthy, convoluted, and somewhat evasive answer, Francis appeared to deny the existence of Hell as an actual place. “Hell is not a place,” he said. “If one goes to attend the Last Judgment, and sees the faces of those who go to Hell, one gets scared. If you read Dante, you get scared. But these are media representations.”
Expanding on his answer, Francis described Hell simply as “a state” — a description which appeared to refer to a state of mind. “Hell is a state, there are people who live in Hell continuously.”
He clarified that he was not referring to suffering generally, but to “those who make a world of bad or sick self-referentiality, and end up living in Hell.”
Hell is a state, it is a state of the heart, of the soul, of a posture towards life, towards values, towards the family, towards everything. There are people who live in Hell because they seek it, there are others who do not, who are suffering. And who goes to Hell, to that Hell, to that state? They are already living from here.
Not content with appearing to deny the existence of Hell, however, Francis implied that there was no one actually in Hell — an about-turn in his argument that saw him appear to thus accept that Hell could be real.
“If you ask me how many people are in Hell, I answer you with a famous sculpture of the cathedral of Vézelay,” he said. Providing a description of the sculpture, Francis noted that the sculpture “has Judas hanging and the devil pulling him down, and on the other side they have the Good Shepherd, Jesus who grabs Judas and puts him on his shoulders with an ironic smile.”
“What does that mean?” he queried. “That salvation is stronger than damnation. This pilaster is a catechesis that should make us think.”
“God’s mercy is always at our side, and what God wants is always to be with his people, with his children, and not for them to leave him,” he ended.
His remarks echo those made in a controversial interview with atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari, in which Scalfari claimed that Francis denied the existence of Hell and argued instead that “lost souls” were annihilated upon the death of the earthly body.
The Vatican subsequently issued a process of damage control following Scalfari’s publication of the interview. At the time, Fr. Thomas Rosica, English-language assistant to the Holy See Press Office, told LifeSiteNews: “All official, final texts of the Holy Father are found on the Vatican website,” and since they were never published by the Holy See Press Office they “should not be considered official texts.”
They were, said Fr. Rosica, “private discussions that took place and were never recorded by the journalist.”
Catholic teaching on existence of Hell
Pope Francis earnest attempt to deny the existence of Hell, or the possibility of anyone being in it, runs in the face of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the subject.
The Gospels present the words of Christ on the matter. In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Christ warns how the greedy and selfish rich man, who died unrepentant, “also died, and he was buried in hell.” (Luke 16:22)
So also in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Christ presents the account of Judgment Day and the separation of the just from the unjust. Those who did not follow the law of God “shall go into everlasting punishment,” teaches Christ. (Matt 25:46)
In yet another discourse with His disciples, Christ explained the meaning of the parable of the sower, likening it to the final days of judgement. “The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt 13:41)
In his supplement to the Summae Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas draws upon the teaching of Scripture to clearly outline and defend the existence of Hell. Writing about where souls are borne immediately after death, the great theologian writes:
And since a place is assigned to souls in keeping with their reward or punishment, as soon as the soul is set free from the body it is either plunged into hell or soars to heaven, unless it be held back by some debt, for which its flight must needs be delayed until the soul is first of all cleansed.
“This truth is attested by the manifest authority of the canonical Scriptures and the doctrine of the holy Fathers,” he continues, “wherefore the contrary must be judged heretical as stated in Dial. iv, 25, and in De Eccl. Dogm. xlvi.”
Later in the same section, St. Thomas reaffirms the physical existence of Hell, drawing as always from the Fathers of the Church and Sacred Scripture. Citing St. Basil, Aquinas writes that:
at the final cleansing of the world, there will be a separation of the elements: whatever is pure and noble remaining above for the glory of the blessed, and whatever is ignoble and sordid being cast down for the punishment of the damned: so that just as every creature will be to the blessed a matter of joy, so will all the elements conduce to the torture of the damned, according to Wisdom 5:21, “the whole world will fight with Him against the unwise.”
This is also becoming to Divine justice, that whereas they departed from one by sin, and placed their end in material things which are many and various, so should they be tormented in many ways and from many sources.
So resolutely did St. Thomas teach regarding the existence of Hell, that he outlined the manner in which the tormenting fire – of which the Scriptures speak – would be real. “However, whatever we may say of the fire that torments the separated souls, we must admit that the fire which will torment the bodies of the damned after the resurrection is corporeal, since one cannot fittingly apply a punishment to a body unless that punishment itself be bodily.”
Aquinas further cites the teaching of Pope St. Gregory along with that of St. Augustine to support his writing.
In comments provided to LifeSiteNews, catechist and author Deacon Nick Donnelly highlighted the importance of teaching the physical existence of Hell, since doing so “upholds the objective reality of God’s Justice.”
“When our Lord referred to the punishments of Hell — the eternal fire and undying worm — He described them in very physical terms, not in terms of psychological or spiritual states of mind,” said Donnelly.
The Church Fathers understood Jesus’ depiction of Hell as being a literal description of a physical place. It is essential to teach the nature of Hell as a physical place because it upholds the objective reality of God’s Justice — God determines the punishment of the damned — and the objective reality of the resurrection of the body — the bodies of the damned suffer real punishments.
The English cleric slated Francis’ comments on Hell as ultimately being an “example of his dethronement of the true God for one of his own making.”
Pope Francis’ caricature of Hell as being a psychological state is yet another example of an idolatrous humanism that reduces everything to this world, as if man’s experience is the measure of God, rather than God’s eternal design and plan as being the measure of man’s destiny. Pope Francis’ offhand dismissal of our Lord’s description of the physicality of Hell is yet another example of his dethronement of the true God for one of his own making.
Night Watchman Note; ‘Hell’ is a real place. Think of it as a ‘temporary jail cell’ until the final judgement at the WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT. It is a ‘holding place’ until the evil dead are resurrected and receive their final judgement. Once final judgement is exercised, the evil resurrected are cast into the ‘LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE.’ This is an ETERNAL PUNISHMENT and described as the ‘SECOND DEATH.’ (Hell being the ‘first death,’ until final judgement.) There are only two human beings recorded in the Bible that God foregoes the White Throne Judgement. The False Prophet and the Beast / Antichrist. Both of these are cast ALIVE into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. They do NOT die and go to Hell.
Seven-fold Reference to Lake of Fire Judgement:
“He that hath an ear, let hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death (lake of fire).” (Rev. 2:11).
“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosover receiveth the mark of his name.” (Rev. 14:10-11).
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20).
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev. 20:10).
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” (Rev. 20:14).
“And whosover was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:15).
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8).
Commentary: The lake of fire is also known as the ‘second death’. This is the final place of burning, everlasting torment for Satan, the antichrist, the false prophet and those un-saved, un-believing souls from throughout the ages found NOT to be in the book of life, at the White Throne Judgment at the end of the millennium. The lake of fire and second death are also reserved for those deceived during the Tribulation who took the mark of the beast and worshipped him and his image. The evil dead are resurrected to be judged by Christ for their evil works and for their rejection of Him who offered himself for their salvation and forgiveness of their sins. As a result of their sins and judgment, they are cast into the lake of fire that represents a second death (the first death being physical body death and souls/spirits being in Hell). The evil dead are resurrected into bodies and cast into the lake of fire to be severely tormented, having no rest day or night, and are absent from a loving God and their Savior who offered himself for them.
The great irony is that these people received exactly what they wanted. They refused Christ and wanted nothing to do with him, they wanted to exist in eternity without communion with God and Christ, on their own terms. They literally received what they asked for. The stench of their physical and emotional torment rises up in smoke, for eternity. God made both man and angels as eternal beings, hence they will exist forever in one state or another. Which state will any of us choose to exist in? The choice is up to us, and God grants us the freedom to make that choice for ourselves. For better or worse, we have no one to blame (certainly not God) except ourselves for whatever choices we make on earth.
But how can they call on him (Jesus Christ) to save them unless they believe in him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they believe in him (Jesus Christ) if they have never heard about him (Jesus Christ)? And how can they hear about him (Jesus Christ) unless someone tells them?” —Romans 10:14
In His Service,
Night Watchman Ministries
Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Categories: False Prophet Update, Lake of Fire and Brimstone
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