There will be another pope.
This question concerns whether we are getting ready to hear the shout and be raptured out of here. A lot of people believe that the pope will be the antichrist or at least the false prophet. So, whenever a pope dies, there’s always a concern among Bible believers that his successor might be “the one.” And the thinking is not without a reasonable foundation.
The translators of the KJV wrote an epistle dedicatory for their translation. In it they stated, “So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish Persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God’s holy Truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness,” etc. They knew that the popes were enemies of the words of God. While they pretend not to be today, they still are.
Take for example some of the things you saw surrounding the recent funeral for Pope John Paul II. You saw:
The keys of the kingdom of heaven crisscrossed on an emblem. These came from Matt 16:19, since Peter was supposedly the first pope. Basically, the church has taken these keys to itself and granted itself the authority over the kingdom of heaven. Remember, following Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus said he would build his church upon a rock. The rock is Jesus (1 Cor 3:11; Deut 32:3-4; 2 Sam 22:32), not Peter.
The pope in red apparel. This matches the red apparel of Jesus Christ at his Second Coming in Is 63:1-4. It’s the apparel of a conquering king.
The pope called “Holy Father.” Holy Father is the appellation used by Jesus Christ to address his Father, God Almighty, when he prayed to him in Jn 17:11. These are never to be used by men to address another man (Matt 23:9).
The pope buried in a white sepulcher. Jesus was critical of the Pharisees and likened them to whited sepulchers which appeared beautiful on the outside but inwardly they were full of dead men’s bones.
The letter “M” on the coffin. This was for Mary. But in the Bible, while Mary was blessed, she was not venerated because she was not the “mother of God”. The queen of heaven is found in Jer 44:19, 23 and in Rev 2:20-22 and she is responsible for teaching the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.
False apostles. The line of the pope’s is supposedly a line of apostolic succession. According to Paul, these are false apostles. These are Satan’s ministers who are transformed as the ministers of Christ (2 Cor 11:13-15).
Celibate priests. Celibacy and forbidding men to eat meat (like on Friday) are doctrines of devils according to Paul (1 Tim 4:3). Note that the antichrist will magnify himself the way the pope is magnified and will not desire women (Dan 11:36-37).
Nicolaitans. These are men who represent the clergy over the laity to keep the people in spiritual bondage. Where they are is where Satan’s seat is (Rev 2:13-15).
Mystery Babylon. A city with religious and political ties that is responsible for the death of the martyr’s, whose symbol is a golden cup [chalice] and which has ruled over kings in the earth. The pope is the head of a church as well as the head of a state (Rev 17:1-6; 18).
Nations Assembled. The antichrist will obtain his kingdom by flatteries and will assemble the nations. He’ll be a world traveler and he will transgress by wine. The heads of 100 countries (there are only 191 in the United Nations) were present at his funeral. That’s quite an influence and gathering of nations (Hab 2:5-6; Is 8:9-10; Zeph 3:8).
A plea for World Peace. While this may sound good, it is impossible on earth without the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. The antichrist will promote and seek world peace (Dan 8:25; 11:21). But he will fail miserably. Just when everything will look like men have achieved peace in the earth, everything will be destroyed (Rev 6:2-4; 1 Thes 5:3).
Smooth, soft words. All of the piety demonstrated by the clergy is a disguise for the underlying motive. The ultimate desire is war (Ps 55:21). We were flying back from Europe in 1995, reading a newspaper in which the cardinal from France confessed to and apologized for the complicity of the Roman Catholic Church in the murder of 6,000,000 Jews under Hitler. They knew what he was doing and had an agreement with him to look the other way. Hitler was Roman Catholic as were most of his staff.
The Vicar of Christ. By claiming that he is the vicarious Son of God, the pope will eventually show the world that he is God. After all, Jesus, the true Son of God, was God manifest in the flesh, so why not the pope, the Vicar of Christ (2 Thes 2:4).
The conclusion to this matter is to follow the Lord’s command. In 2 Cor 6:14-18 and in Rev 18:3-4, the Lord commands simply “Come out of her” and “come out from among them.” It would take a person with some real courage to follow this command and go against the tradition of the church in which you were raised and to which many in your family still belong.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder