Is Just Following Your Conscience Good Enough For God?

Repubblicacover-255x337Does God “forgive those who are unbelievers and do not seek faith?”

The Catholic Pope, Francis, was asked this question by Eugenio Sscalfari, an avowed atheist and founder of the liberal Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The Pope responded with a recently published front page letter.

Here’s what he wrote.

“Given that — and this is the key point — God’s mercy has no limits, if you go to him with a sincere and repentant heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”

Francis added, “Sin, also in those who are without faith, exists when it goes against our conscience. Listening to and obeying one’s conscience means, indeed, to make decisions in relation to what is perceived as good and bad. And on this decision rests the goodness or evil of our actions.”

The Washington Post reported that the Argentine pope’s letter “also addresses one of the themes of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who had often condemned “relativism” — the incapacity of modern societies and men to recognize any “absolute truth,” such as God — as one of the evils of our time.”

“For Francis, there is no such thing as an ‘absolute truth” if that means a truth that can stand by itself “without any relationship.’”

The opinions of the uninspired Catholic leader are not in harmony with inspired writings of the apostle Paul. Peter.  And the head of the church–Jesus Christ!  If Francis is correct, then why did Jesus come to earth?  Why did he die?  If one can be saved apart from Christ, then his mission to earth was a waste of time!

The Bible teaches that all accountable people are guilty of sin (Rom 3:23).  And that the wages of sin is death–spiritual separation from God.  However, God loves the sinner.  He sent Jesus to die for our sins (John 3:16).  However, without faith in Jesus one cannot be saved (John 8:24).  Peter preached that salvation is in Jesus’ name (Acts 4:12).  Paul proclaimed the salvation only comes through the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16-17). And it is only through Jesus that one has access to the Father. (Jn 14:6)

God’s love, grace and mercy are extended to everyone.  The unbeliever.  The atheist.  The infidel.  But they must come to Christ.  Believe on Him.  Accept Him.  And obey Him.

Conscience is not a reliable guide.  And it will not bring one into a right relationship with God.  Paul said he lived in good conscience, even when he was an unbeliever and killed Christians! (Acts 23:1).  The conscience is trained by what it is taught.  A conscience that is not taught the truth will guide one in the wrong direction. Of course, when you reject absolute truth, as does Francis, then I guess it makes no difference!

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32).  The Gospel is the God’s revealed truth (Eph 1:13).  It is absolute.  Unchanging.  Infallible.  And we are all accountable to its commands.

The consequences of atheism are sad. And tragic. The Bible plainly says so.  

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power (2 Thess. 1:6-10).

God will forgive.  But we must seek Him.  Submit to Him.  And serve Him.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Conscience, Salvation

5 responses to “Is Just Following Your Conscience Good Enough For God?

  1. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Wow, Pope Francis seem to be leading people on a dangerous road.


  2. Very interesting post! It makes one THINK, and leads one to PRAYER, to check Scripture for truth. I love posts that make one ponder & turn to God for answers! May God lead us ALL in HIS direction…


  3. Stephen Segrest

    Ken — remember I come to you with the heart of a “student” to a “teacher” (which I consider you to be). The topic you discuss today is more complex than a simple black/white description. As a “teacher” please tell us your perspective of Cornelius (before his vision from God to contact Peter). Also, “teach” us about OT Scripture where God’s Word tells us about God imparting “conscience” to non-Jews that didn’t have the teachings of Moses to follow. My question is not “questioning” the “authority” of the Good News (which I believe in 100%). Scripture tells us there is a big difference to God between a Cornelius (prior to Peter) and lets say, a Hitler. I think this is what Pope Francis is trying to communicate — that no matter what you believe, Christ’s 2nd most important command is universal. Scripture clearly tells us that all souls, BOTH saved and unsaved are going to be judged on our actions here on earth. I just don’t believe (although no man knows what will really happen for eternity) that a person like Cornelius (pre Perter) will be in the same place as a Hitler — unless you believe in Calvinism? (as I understand it)

    Thank goodness for accepting the Good News so that I don’t have to worry about this.


  4. Sharon Wimberly

    Ken, Today’s article points to why we follow only one “Father” and He is in heaven.


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