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Is There Purgatory In The Bible

If You Think There’s No Purgatory You’re Reading The Wrong Bible

Bill Wiese – Is There A Purgatory?

Editor, The News:

Here we go again with this anti-Catholic man Art Herb.

They all seem to know the Bible, but never with research. They pick and choose what they think they know without any knowledge of the magisterium, the teaching authority of Christ.

There are a lot of different Bibles other than the King James , which omitted seven books. And todays cafeteria religions pick and choose which pleases you, not the truth of God. They change words in the Bible for their religion.

We know the word Purgatory is not in the Bible, but also the story of Susanna, Chapter 13 of Daniel, is omitted in the King James Bible, and we could go on.

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The Old Testament Jewish prayed for the dead as we do today. Remember, God said one speck on the soul doesnt get into heaven, it has to be cleaned. Also there wasnt any New Testament for 400 years, it was tradition of the passing of the word of God, until the Catholic Church first put out the New Testament in 498 A.D., 1,500 years before the Protestant religion began.

If this man knew so much, maybe he should study history. Its all there. Remember Sola Scriptura was added by Martin Luther in 1554 and that was the first change without authority about Purgatory.

Peter Panella

Bible Verses About Purgatory

Purgatory is another lie from the Catholic Church. It is false and it disrespects our Lord Jesus Christ. What purgatory is basically saying is that the New Testament is false, Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh is not enough to purify sins, Jesus was a liar, Jesus basically came for no reason, etc. Of all the false teachings of Catholicism, this is probably the most foolish.

Justification is by faith in the blood of Christ alone. Christ died for all sins. Throughout Scripture we learn its either you go to Heaven or hell.

You dont need to suffer for a period of time before youre able to get into Heaven. If someone believes this they will go to hell because they are saying Im not saved by Christ alone.

Jesus your death was not enough to atone for my sins. Please do not believe in this dangerous, deceitful, man-made doctrine. Everything was finished on the cross.


  • If I were a Roman Catholic, I should turn a heretic, in sheer desperation, because I would rather go to heaven than go to purgatory. Charles Spurgeon

1030 Exposed

  • All who die in Gods grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

CCC 1031 Exposed

What does the Bible say? Was Jesus lying?

1. John 19:30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, It is finished! Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Saved by faith in Christ alone


A Very Good Place To Start

Perhaps the best place to start is with the most overt reference to a Purgatory of sorts in the Old Testament. I say a Purgatory of sorts because Purgatory is a teaching fully revealed in the New Testament and defined by the Catholic Church. The Old Testament people of God would not have called it Purgatory, but they did clearly believe that the sins of the dead could be atoned for by the living as I will now prove. This is a constitutive element of what Catholics call Purgatory.

In II Maccabees 12:39-46, we discover Judas Maccabeus and members of his Jewish military forces collecting the bodies of some fallen comrades who had been killed in battle. When they discovered these men were carrying sacred tokens of the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear , Judas and his companions discerned they had died as a punishment for sin. Therefore, Judas and his men turned to prayer beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out He also took up a collection and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

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Christ Speaks Of Forgiveness In The World To Come

Christ Himself, in Matthew 12:31-32, speaks of forgiveness in this age and in the world to come :

Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

If all souls go directly either to Heaven or to Hell, then there is no forgiveness in the world to come. But if that is so, why would Christ mention the possibility of such forgiveness?

What Scriptures Appear To Support Purgatory

What Is Purgatory?

The concept of purgatory, of course, doesnt arise out of thin air or didnt spontaneously spawn in the Middle Ages. This idea has existed for centuries.

Most commonly, a person who believes in purgatory will point to scriptures that talk about the refinement process, for instance:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad .

Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny .

If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved even though only as one escaping through the flames .

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lambs book of life .

In the Apocrypha, we also run into a number of scriptures that support the idea of purgatory. We should note that most denominations do not believe the verses found in the Apocrypha to exist as part of the biblical canon. And therefore, we should exercise caution when reading these passages.

Verses in the Apocrypha that support the idea of purgatory include 2 Maccabees 12:39-46 .

1 Peter 3:9 also seems to refer to imprisoned spirits whom Jesus ministered to. But this passage has broiled itself in debate for millennia.

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What Does The Holy Bible Say

The Bible speaks very little about a purifying fire. There is one passage in the Old Testament speaking of making “atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin” . 1 Cor 3:13 says of the “co-workers of God” that “the work of each will come to light, for the Day* will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each ones work” . The first letter of Peter speaks of steadfastness in faith “so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The truth that something like a purifying fire between heaven and hell really exists was only established as a certainty of faith in the Church in the sixth century.

Catholic Scriptural Principle #3there Is A Way A Process Through Which The Spirits Of The Just Are Made Perfect

And finally, I take them to 1 Corinthians 3:13-15: each mans work will become manifest for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any mans work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Where is this place that a man, after he dies, has his works tested, and could suffer loss, as through fire, but still be saved? Hell? No, once youre in Hell, you dont get out. Heaven? No, you dont suffer loss as through fire in Heaven. It must be somewhere else.

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The Bible’s Clearest Description Of Purgatory: 1 Corinthians : 11

which is Jesus Christgold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubblethe fire will test what sort of work each one has donewill receive a rewardwill be savedthrough fire

1. Where is all this burning happening?

What is this third place?

2. Who “will be saved?” Only those with a surviving building?

will be saved

3. Good works are important!


Is Purgatory In The Bible

What is Purgatory?

This may well be the most common single question I receive concerning our Catholic Faith whether it be at conferences, via email, snail mail, or any other venue. In fact, Ive answered it twice today already, so I thought I might just blog about it.

Well begin by making clear just what we mean by Purgatory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

All who die in Gods grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven .

This seems so simple. Its common sense. Scripture is very clear when it says, But nothing unclean shall enter . Hab. 1:13 says, You are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wrong How many of us will be perfectly sanctified at the time of our deaths? I dare say most of us will be in need of further purification in order to enter the gates of heaven after we die, if, please God, we die in a state of grace.

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Purgatory In World Religions

The idea of purification or temporary punishment after death has ancient roots and is well attested in early Christian literature. The conception of purgatory as a geographically situated place is largely the achievement of medieval Christian piety and imagination. Beliefs and practices relating to purgatory profoundly affected Western society in the Middle Ages and beyond. As the focus of a complex system of suffrages , penitential practices, and indulgences, purgatory strengthened the bond between the living and the dead, provided motivation for works of social philanthropy as well as for pilgrimages and Crusades, and furnished abundant matter for visionary and imaginative literature.

In general, the origins of purgatory may be sought in the worldwide practice of praying for the dead and caring for their needs. Such ministrations presuppose that the dead are in a temporal state between earthly life and their final abode and that they can benefit from the generosity or transferred merit of the living. Purgatory answers the human need to believe in a just and merciful cosmos, one in which ordinary people, neither hardened sinners nor perfect saints, may undergo correction, balance lifes accounts, satisfy old debts, cleanse accumulated defilements, and heal troubled memories. Since these are universal concerns, there are parallels to the Christian conception of purgatory in many religious and cultural traditions.

Where Did The Belief In Purgatory Come From

The foundational belief of purgatory comes from the books known as the apocrypha, primarily coming from 2 Maccabees. These books are included in most Catholic Bibles, however most orthodox and evangelical faiths do not see these books as being inspired and are not included as part of the Biblical canon. Because the teaching developed from these books we need to see if the teaching of purgatory is mentioned or even found within the traditional canon of scripture.

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What Is The Support Against Purgatory

Many denominations do not support the idea or doctrine of purgatory. But why? Do they simply not like the idea of purgatory? Or do they have support for their reasons not to believe in it?

One could point to the fact that the refinement process described in the verses above represents sanctification, an ongoing process of purification a Christian receives during their life to become more like Christ.

Most of the passages listed above have a rebuttal found here.

Scripture only seems to discuss two distinct destinations after we perish: heaven or hell.

Also, purgatory has some doctrinal issues. It seems to make salvation a works-based process instead of a gift given freely by the grace of God through his sons sacrifice and resurrection.

After all, if we experience enough refinement in purgatory, we can earn a spot in heaven. And those on earth can speed up the process via indulgences and prayer .

Scripture also appears to support the idea that when those who are saved die, they immediately go to heaven, no temporal refinement process involved.

What Can We Learn From This

What Is Purgatory?

We know that certain differences of belief will exist between denominations. The belief in purgatory does not prevent someone from attaining salvation, and vice versa, the nonbelief in the place does not remove someones security from heaven.

But the belief in purgatory can and will affect someones actions, how they worship, and what they believe about what happens after death.

We should always analyze why we believe what we believe and how it affects our actions as well as in the context of Scripture.

Hope Bolinger is an editor at Salem, a multi-published novelist, and a graduate of Taylor University’s professional writing program. More than 1,100 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in November of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.

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Is There A Purgatory According To The Bible

Question: Dr. Luginbill:I have a question about purgatory. I continue to follow your email commentaries on ichthys.com and work my way through your studies, when I have a chance. I really look forward to each new posting. I was wondering if I could take a moment of your time to ask about purgatory. As a former Catholic, I must admit that I never understood the concept of purgatory. Recently I was looking through the Catholic Encyclopedia and found some scriptures that were listed as evidence for the existence of purgatory. Among these were Matthew 12:32 and I Cor 3. Also, there were numerous references to writings of St. Augustine, St. Bernard, St. Isidore and Origen, just to name a few. Is there substantial scriptural evidence that proves the existence of purgatory? Take care and God bless!

1) there is no “soul” per se . There is a human spirit and a body and thus will it ever be – the spirit, our immaterial part, is eternal, but this present body is mortal how it changes in the future, for better or for worse, depends upon whether or not we choose Christ in this life .

2) the judgment doesn’t take place until the resurrection seeThe Time of Judgment in Peter #18, and for even more detail, in Coming Tribulation part 6, “The Last Judgment“.

Please also see the link, in CT 6“The Last Judgment: Revelation 20:11-15”.

In Him whose Word is the only truth, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

What Are Examples Of Purgatory In Other Religions

The best example I can think of purgatory, in the history of religions, comes from Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greek understanding of the afterlife was that people want to one of three places: a place of torment, a place of paradise, and a place somewhere in-between the two. This third in-between place was known as the Fields of Asphodel. In this third destination in the afterlife, people would souls would wander aimlessly. The people neither lived good nor bad lives, by the Greek definition of them. They would wander in a somewhat dreamlike state for all eternity.

As for other religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have a variant form of purgatory. Neraka or Naraka exists as a holding place for the soul in between life cycles and reincarnations.

The Scriptural idea of Gehenna, in the Judaism sense, could also fit some of the molds of purgatory. The Bible often describes this place as a place of refinement, as going through the fire. But theologians have broiled the concept of Gehenna in debate ranging from purgatory to hell itself. In either case, we follow Christianity and not other religions. Even if other belief systems have similar concepts, we need to analyze what Scripture says and follow accordingly. Therefore, let’s discuss the support and opposition to the concept of purgatory within the Christian faith. We’ll also touch on some of the history of this concept.

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Purgatory In The Bible

What are the references to purgatory in the Bible? Purgatory is defined in Roman Catholic doctrine as a place or experience of suffering for the souls of sinners who are absolving their sins before going to heaven. Furthermore, entrance into Heaven demands this momentary suffering due to sins whose guilt has not been forgiven. Catholic doctrine goes on to say that only those who die in the state of grace but have not yet undergone the punishment of their sin can be in purgatory. Therefore, no one in purgatory will stay there forever nor go to hell. Discover mentions of purgatory in the Bible from the collection of scripture quotes below!



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