A Chariot of Fire?

You are here

A Chariot of Fire?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (2 Kings 2:11)

Last Thursday was Pope Benedict XVI's last day on the job. By resigning the papacy he set a new precedent for any future Pope who reaches an age where he cannot function in the job. He also created a new title for a retired Pope, Roman Pontus Emeritus. 

The most interesting image from the day was Benedict's departure. Deliberate or not it looked as if the Vatican took a page out of the Old Testament. Elijah-like, in a chariot of "white" fire Benedict was "translated" out of Vatican City. What staging! Andrew Lloyd Webber couldn't have done it better. 

Now the attention is drawn to the gathering of Cardinals who will soon be locked into the Sistine Chapel. The world will be looking for the white smoke to rise from the chimney signaling the election of a new Pope. The next Pope will be faced with a church struggling to solve monumental problems, such as the many cases of priest sex abuse. It will be fascinating to watch this selection to see how the Roman Catholic Church conducts its future business.

The Papacy, St. Peter's Basilica and the setting of Vatican City in the heart of Rome is tailor-made for such a spectacle as Benedict's departure this week. The world stops and wonders at such scenes and then life goes on as usual. In a short time a new Pope will come out on the balcony and wave to the world and the mystery and pageantry will again cause the world to pause. 

Religion is still a powerful feature in the midst of an secular age. Jesus described a time of religious deception. “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4,5). What happens in the Roman Catholic Church is important to watch. 

You might also be interested in...


  • Tholp1
    I love all mankind, but I am not a particular great fan of the Pope and the ways of this Church. I tell everyone that. Some get angry some say "Oh well". I saw people following this event on the television at work. It's incredible that they do not know the pain and suffering they will cause many in the days leading up to Christ's return.
  • Webelieve
    What are the odds of the next pope being named Peter? :o
  • Olumide Oyetoke
    What date would the new Pope be elected?
  • jesmosey
    As Adam said, no one knows. This papal election will start March 12th (which, coincidentally, happens to be the beginning of God's sacred year), and will run as long as it takes to get 2/3rds of the attending cardinals to agree on a candidate. On average, the process takes about 3 days. The longest one has taken was four. However, if after two weeks or so they have not arrived at an agreement, I think then they change the voting arrangements to speed things up.
  • Adam Boise
    There is no set date for the new pope's election. It all depends on the procedure that the cardinals go through to elect him which can take days or weeks. You can find out more about this process online if you do a google search.
  • Join the conversation!

    Log in or register to post comments