Pope John Paul II holds a ball to be used in the World Cup Soccer opening game as FIFA President Joao Havelange looks on in Rome December 9, 1989.
Pope John Paul II holds a ball to be used in the World Cup Soccer opening game as FIFA President Joao Havelange looks on in Rome Dec. 9, 1989. (REUTERS/File photo)

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Pope John Paul II's prophecy about a time of "anti-church" and "anti-gospel" is coming to pass, Fr. Linus Clovis of Family Life International says.

While speaking at a U.S. Bicentennial Celebration, Pope John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, prophesied over America:

We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the church and the anti-church, of the gospel versus the anti-gospel. We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future, trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. ... How many times has the renewal of the church been brought about in blood? It will not be different this time.

Clovis points to multiple events as prophetic fulfillment: The legalization and acceptance of gay marriage, atheistic secularism and political correctness.

"There is a growing sense, even among the least sophisticated, the spiritually indifferent and the historically naive, that something is wrong, that something has to give," Clovis says.

More than 40 years after the speech, the words ring ominous, Clovis says.

"The anti-gospel of the anti-church is, in many cases, indistinguishable from secular ideology, which has overturned both the natural law and the Ten Commandments, the sources that, from time immemorial, have informed and protected man's moral, spiritual and physical well-being," Clovis says.

"This anti-gospel, which seeks to elevate the individual's will to consume, to pleasure and to power over the will of God, was rejected by Christ when tempted in the wilderness. Disguised as 'human rights,' it has reappeared, in all its luciferian hubris, to promulgate a narcissistic, hedonistic attitude that rejects any constraint except that imposed by man-made laws." 

One look at recent headlines confirms Clovis' words.

North Carolina continues to battle over the transgender bathroom bill.

The United States refuses visas to LGBT Russians fleeing the former Soviet Union.

Soldier Bradley Mannign now calls himself Chelsea.

Major League Baseball investigates if one player used a gay slur on his eye patches.

Clovis says headlines like these may be discouraging, but people of faith should hold fast to biblical principles.

"Recognising that 'we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,' we fight, like the apostles, taking the martyrs for our models and Christ Jesus Himself as our reward," he says.

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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