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Atheists can go to heaven according to Pope Francis!

Atheists can go to heaven according to Pope Francis! (Part Two)

Catholic Online stated a little while ago that Pope Francis based his homily on scripture from the gospel of Mark where Jesus disciples attempted to stop a person doing good because he was not part of Jesus’ posse. And in response Jesus told his disciples to leave that person alone. Jesus did the same when Mary (not his mother) a ‘sinner,’ did good and was humiliated by those around her for doing a good deed.

What does scripture have to say about this?

The bible tells us to love one and other, and treat others the way we would like to be treated ourselves.

When a lawyer asked Jesus who to consider as his neighbour, Jesus told the following parable.

About Being a Good Person

A lawyer asked Jesus, Is it possible to live forever? What do I need to do if I want to live forever?

And Jesus answered, What do you think? What does the law tell you?

The man replied, The law tells me to love Go(o)d with all my heart and soul and strength and mind and to love my neighbour as myself.

And Jesus said, Well done. If you do this, then you shall live.

Who Is My Neighbour?

Then the lawyer said to Jesus, Who is my neighbour?

And Jesus answered; a person was traveling from a town called Jerusalem to another town called Jericho. And as he was travelling, a bunch of thieves attacked him; they took his clothes and beat him up so bad that he nearly died.

And when this poor man was lying on the road, half dead, a priest saw him there and quickly walked across to the other side of the road pretending not to see the poor man.

A little bit later a minister/pastor (levite) did exactly the same thing. He also saw this poor man who desperately needed help and then this minister also walked over to the other side of the road continuing his journey, without helping the wounded man.

Religious People Did Not Help

So here were two religious people, possibly leaders of churches and neither one of them helped the person who had been beaten up and robbed by thieves.

But a man called a Samaritan (Keeper [of the Law*]) saw the man lying on the road and he felt sorry for him and went over to him. He cleaned up and covered his wounds and put him on his own animal to take him to a motel where the traveler continued to took care of this wounded man.

And the next day when he had to continue his journey the Samaritan went to the person in charge of the motel, gave him some money and said please look after this man. And if you have to spend more money than what I am giving you now, then next time when I visit I will pay this money back to you.

After Jesus told this story He asked the lawyer, There were three people who all passed this poor man on the road which had been beaten up and robbed of everything he had by thieves. Now which of the three do you think was acting like a good neighbour? Was that the priest or the minister who saw the man laying on the road but pretended not to see him and crossed the road so that they wouldn’t need to help him? Or was it the Samaritan who cleaned his wounds and took him to a motel to look after him and make sure that he would recover?

Who was the good neighbour?

And the lawyer who had asked Jesus the question about eternal life answered, The good neighbour was the kind man, the Samaritan, the law-keeper who took care of the poor fellow who had been robbed and beaten up.

And Jesus said, You are absolutely right. Now you go and do the same.

I love to hear a good Samaritan story.

Many Christians believe that unless one follows Jesus one has no chance to enter heaven. Is this true? Not according to the Pope. And not according to the parable about the Samaritan, where we are told that it is our actions that count and not our religion.

THANK  YOU for sharing your feedback and good Samaritan stories with me in the comments below.


REFERENCES for the good Samaritan story.

Jesus asked, What does the law tell you?

Which law was Jesus talking about? Jesus was referring to the Jewish Law which includes the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. For the Jewish nation God’s law is the law.

Who was this Samaritan?*

The Samaritans (Hebrew: שומרונים‎ Shomronim, Arabic: السامريون‎ as-Sāmariyyūn) derive their name not from a geographical location, but rather from the Hebrew term שַמֶרִים, “Keepers [of the Law]” from  David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 5:941 (New York: Doubleday, 1996, c1992).

A modern day true Samaritan story is told by Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post on 24.12.2010 where she reports that,  This year’s It’s A Wonderful Life Award goes to Gregory Schauer, the unemployed man who demonstrated the true Christmas spirit by taking in a homeless woman and her three children for the holidays. Remarkably, when we contacted Greg to tell him about all the people who had written in offering to help him, he told us: “Please let them know that the best thing they can do is pass it on so to speak. Instead of sending me anything, call a shelter, sponsor a family for Christmas, give to the food pantries, spread the spirit of Christmas to as many people as they can.

God works in mysterious ways. Another modern day true Samaritan story is told by Victor Perez who says that a higher power was involved in the rescue of an abducted little girl. 


Australian translation from Matthew 6:24-34 reprinted with permission from BabesandLittleChildren copyright 2011

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He that denieth me … shall be denied.

Disowned before the angels of God …
Is it true that atheists don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven? (Part One)


Mark 8:38, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 9:26, 12:8-9 He that denieth me shall be denied.

Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels … 

whoever disowns me before others
will be disowned before the angels of God.

the right kind of  profit Prophet.

One of my last posts I mentioned that if you want to be considered a candidate for the Good Afterlife,  make sure that you follow the right kind of  profit Prophet. Many Christians believe that unless one follows Jesus one has no chance to enter heaven. Is this true? Not according to the Pope.

Is it true that atheists don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven? (Part One)

A little while ago it was widely reported in the news that Pope Francis assured atheists that they don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven.

It’s an interesting concept because none of the atheists I’ve ever met believe in heaven. It is hard to imagine that atheists would end up in a place they have no desire to go to nor believe in.

Is this indeed what Pope Francis said? Were his words quoted accurately in the news?

This link will give you the original Italian version of what Pope Francis really said and this link will give you a rough English translation. Summed up the Pope said, don’t go in against your own conscience. This of course would apply to all of us; believers as much as non-believers.

The Pope said in a nutshell,

“God’s mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. Sin, also for those who don’t have faith, exists when one goes against one’s conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision.”

What does the bible have to say about this?

As far as God is concerned we all know about good and evil. In the bible it is written,

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil

Not surprising then that those that have done good can be expected to be rewarded as such .. and same in reverse for those that have done evil.

And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 


Read next week’s post for Part Two of  “Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!

Part of the above post was first published on TheLordsPub 03/06/2014 and reprinted here with permission.