Some Thoughts on the “Blessed” Pope John Paul II

With the beatification of Pope John Paul II, he is now called “Blessed” by the Roman church, declaring that it is “worthy of belief” that he is in heaven, having come to salvation, and is worthy to be “venerated.” This is the last step before canonization, the act by which the Roman church recognizes a deceased person to be a saint.

But is this doctrine and process Biblical? It will be well to consider these:

  • When the Apostle Paul wrote to the churches, he called the congregations “saints” (Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:1; Phil 1:1; Col 1:1). They were saints in this life, at the moment they became united to Christ by faith, not after death. For example, he calls all the Christians in Rome saints, “To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7).
  • The word saint (Greek hagios) has a double meaning. First, as a saint, a person is one dedicated or consecrated to the service of God. He is “set apart” (Greek hagiadzo) for God’s purposes. Second, a saint is one who is pure, perfect, and worthy of God (Rom 12:1). So a saint is one who is holy.
  • A person does not become blessed only after the church declares him to be in blessedness in heaven. Jesus declares all his disciples to be blessed in this life (Matt 5:2-11). Every saint is blessed by God, “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places … [who] has blessed us in the Beloved” in this life (Eph 1:3, 6).
  • If a person is not a saint before he dies, he goes to hell, not purgatory, because purgatory is not found anywhere in Scripture. This is because a saint is a person who is united to Christ by the Holy Spirit through faith alone in Christ alone and evidences his sainthood by the fruits of the Spirit in his life (1 John 2:4; James 2:17). So if a person is not a saint at death, there are no more second chances, because physical death is only once, and Judgment Day follows (Heb 9:27). Purgatory or hell—This is the sword that hangs over the heads of all Roman Catholics, because no one can go to heaven, except when declared by the Roman church. This is what the Roman Council of Trent declares, a tragic reality that confronted Martin Luther, as he struggled with the question of his destiny after death:

Whosoever shall affirm, that when the grace of Justification is received, the offence of the penitent sinner is so forgiven, and the sentence of eternal punishment reversed, that there remains no temporal punishment to be endured, before his entrance into the kingdom of Heaven, either in this world or in the future world, in purgatory, let him be accursed (Council of Trent, January 1547).

Luther agonized over the possibility that after all the works-piety he has done, he would go to purgatory at the end of his life. But after Luther rejected the Catholic doctrine of works-righteousness, the assurance and joy of God’s gracious salvation replaced the terror of God’s punishment.

  • No church, person, or group has any business declaring anyone blessed and making anyone or anything a saint. Only the Holy God can declare a person or a thing blessed or holy.
  • No one should pray to or venerate any saint in heaven, because “there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Not even Pope John Paul II or Mary is to be venerated, and no one is ever going to become another Mediator.
  • Veneration of relics is idolatry, worshiping creation instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25).
  • Pilgrimages to “holy” places (Holy Land, Holy Sepulcher, holy churches, etc.) are of no avail, because there is nothing holy today except those that the New Testament calls “holy”: the Triune God, angels, the Word of God (Rom 7:12), the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:27-29) and water baptism (Eph 5:26-27), and the church made up of “saints,” and their children (1 Cor 7:14).
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admin says:

Is the Roman Catholic Church a true church? Does it preach the true gospel? No. Does it rightly administer the true sacraments? No. Does it rightly exercise church disciple? No. Therefore, it is not a true church.

Nollie says:

So you don’t believe that the Scripture as God’s revelation to man regarding doctrine, worship and life is sufficient. This is why there are many cults and false teachers. Anyone can say anything and then claim to be of divine origin. Deut 4:2, 12:32 and Rev 22:18-19 therefore is false.

Kevin Largo says:

To claim only things that are biblical must be believed is lacking. Though our beliefs are leaves, fruits and flowers rooted in Sacred Scripture, one cannot deny that the branches that connect us to it and to the true Vine is the historicity of one, holy, apostolic and catholic Church.