With yesterday’s confirmation of Pope Francis I, it has sparked a considerable amount of criticism and debate among many people for numerous reasons. One in particular could not escape me. It has been one that came up before with the passing of Pope John Paul II and the appointment of Pope Benedict XVI. It was even a question that had been posed to me on yesterday as people all across the world were glued to their seats to see the announcement that Pope Francis I was the chosen one and waiting for him to emerge for his first blessing. The question, “will this Pope be the last one before the coming of Christ?”
I didn’t have to take long to think about the answer because it is the same as it was after the last transition for the Catholic Church. It is no secret that it is a widely held belief among many in the Body of Christ that it is believed that there will soon arise a Pontiff who will be the one to precede the ushering in of the Antichrist. Many have pointed to prophetic scriptures and tied in many of the words that Jesus himself spoke as to the things that will signal his second coming. I am one who particularly does not believe that this Pope is the one who is that person, if in fact it is a Pope at all.
First, the signs of the “end of the age” that Jesus alluded to in Mark 13. When his disciples came and ask him to explain to them about what he meant, he stated that the signs of the end of the age would include, “many who would come in His name claiming to be Christ, then there would be wars and rumors of wars, nations would rise against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms, and then there are the famines and troubles which in turn would signal the beginnings of sorrow.” Then Jesus goes into certain things which reference things spoken by Daniel the prophet. Jesus goes further to depict the great tribulation.
In all of this, you have to decide first whether you’re going to be a pre-tribulation Christian, or a Christian that will endure the tribulation period. If you hold to the belief that you will endure the tribulation period, this would be no comfort for a Christian. If you’re a Christian who believes that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation occurs, then there is another reason why this Pope is not likely to be the one.
In Ephesians, Paul illustrates how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. In that description, he makes mention of how Christ is in process of perfecting the Church so that he might present her to himself without spot or wrinkle. He states that the Church will be holy and unblemished. To believe that this Pope is a final sign of the return of Christ would preclude that the Church has been perfected to the point that she is holy and unblemished. At present, I think it is apparent that there is too much disunity and there is lacking a true victorious image within and of the Body for that to be the case.
The thought that Christ is coming for a glorious Church suggest that the Church will truly appear as overcomers, having reclaimed the 7 mountains of cultural influence. The world needs to see the Body of Christ in her true glory before Christ can return in His Glory. I think more than any reason possible, this one for me solidifies why Pope Francis I is not the last.
QUESTION: If you doubt this, what is your reason(s) for why you believe this Pope is the one?
- Pope Francis : 10 Facts (indiatimes.com)
- Reaction to The Election of Pope Francis I (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
- Pope Francis warns Church could end up just an NGO (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Pope Francis – did you notice? (hughosb.wordpress.com)
- “When is the Rapture going to occur in relation to the Tribulation?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- Rapture (shelleywilliamsblog.com)
- Pre-tribulational rapture of the church. (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
- A Church In Transition (apreachaskid.wordpress.com)
- Argentinian is now Pope Francis (vineoflife.net)
- There is No Such Thing as a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (propheticamerica.wordpress.com)