Blog Date: Monday, Sept. 28, 2015
WATCH: The Pope’s Visit to the USA
In Matthew 24:42–44, after speaking of the end times and the signs which herald His return, Jesus told His followers, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. . . . Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Far from the “prophetic agnosticism” that marks so many Christians today, Jesus calls His people to an informed awareness of how prophecy is being fulfilled and harbingers the nearness of His return. To that end, I’ll post regular “WATCH” blog updates here that sync current events to Bible prophecy of the End Times.
We begin with a consideration of Pope Francis’ visit to the US last week.
If you listened to the news last week, what you heard was a lot of coverage of the Pope’s visit. He met personally with President Obama, spoke to a Joint Session of Congress, addressed the United Nations, and attended an event on The Family in Philadelphia.
What was remarkable about Pope Francis’ visit is that while he gave a mass and tended to the Catholic flock as their shepherd, when he addressed Congress, his speech was purely political. He did not mention the name of Jesus even once. He did however, make it clear that his agenda was decidedly to the liberal side of things, as even The New York Times noted. Pope Francis spoke about immigration, endorsed environmental legislation, condemned the arms trade, and made a plea to abolish the death penalty.
Noticeably absent from the Pope’s remarks were the traditional concerns of the Catholic Church; abortion and marriage. While Francis spoke generally about “the family,” he never championed the cause of the unborn or the Church’s committed definition of marriage as being one man, and one woman for life. Marriage is one of the sacraments of the Church, but Francis omitted dealing with it. Odd, in that the same-sex marriage debate and the funding of Planned Parenthood have dominated the news scene in the US for the last months.
But most egregious of all, is the Pope’s, that is, the man called by Catholics, “The Vicar of Christ” – His neglect to name Jesus, EVEN ONCE!!!
While there are many ways to analyze this, what it fore-shadows in terms of the End Times, is the drift of the Pope’s office away from being a religious leader of a large portion of the Christian Faith, toward more of a political figure with a vague spiritual dimension. That’s precisely the role we see the End Times False Prophet playing in the Book of Revelation. Bible students have assigned this role to some future Roman Pope for a long time. Time will tell if The False Prophet is the Pope or some other religious leader. The point is, we’re already seeing a major Church figure shifting away from the Gospel mandate into the role of advocate for political causes.
It’s simply stunning Pope Francis never even mentioned Jesus once when speaking to Congress. That speaks volumes in itself.