Is My Daddy in Heaven?
My wife sent me a video today that is moving around the internet. In watching it, it was a touching moment from a couple days ago where a little boy asks the pope if his father is in heaven. His father was an atheist but had all four of his kids baptized into the catholic faith.
I have had similar questions posed to me. I find and give comfort in the fact that while someone spent their life rejecting Christ’s gift of salvation and purpose, that we simply do not know if they come to Him before their passing. Like one of the other men on the crosses, I do know that any who cry out to Jesus, even in their final moments find eternity with Him.

However, this is not the answer the pope gave. The short answer was that even if the father never had the “gift of faith”, he did have his son’s baptized which means he was a good dad. He said only God knows who goes to heaven so if this man with a dad’s heart came face to face with God who has a dad’s heart, do you think that God would not let him come into heaven. The crowd yelled “no” and the pope said “Well, there’s your answer.”

My first response was to fact check the video. Here the pope is not speaking in English so I figured someone had added subtitles to make him say something he was not saying. I was saddened to find that this is not the case.

What the pope taught here is simply wrong and dangerous. Why? Because it is contradicts the Bible and if people believe it, they could completely miss heaven and a relationship with Jesus thinking that they are good and that’s what it takes.

Look at what the Bible says…..

“And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10: 17-18

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6: 23

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“… you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10: 9-10

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” John 14: 6-7

This is a small sampling of the truth that we can only find salvation, purpose, and intimacy with God by accepting Jesus as Leader and Forgiver in our life. It is simply wrong and dangerous for any Christian leader to teach other wise.

There are many things I like about this pope when it comes to helping people and being relatable. However, to trade truth for likability is wrong and not needed. You can hold onto love and truth in full measure at the same time…. like Jesus.

So if you are seeing this video passed around, please know the heart is right but the teaching is dangerously wrong. There is no such thing as being good enough to go to heaven.

I understand wanting to comfort a child’s broken heart but we can not do so with lies that lead people away from God’s truth.

The truth is He loves you. The truth is He has done everything it takes to pay the price for your sin… no matter what you have done. The truth is He offers you a gift of mercy and grace that takes your shame and all you have to do is give Him your life.

Simply talk to Jesus now and tell Him you know He is the Son of God (that He’s God and you are not). Believe in your heart that He has died and raised again victorious over sin and death (that you accept that forgiveness). Tell Him you are ready to start a new life of purpose and passion with Him today and then go for it!

If we can help by answering any questions you may have or by getting some Christian community around you at The Shepherd’s Fellowship, feel free to touch base! There is a better life right in front of you……. take the gift.


Pastor Tom Hypes

About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd's Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin' Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.