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What Does The Bible Say About Purgatory

Christ Speaks Of Forgiveness In The World To Come

What Does the Bible Say About Purgatory?

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?

Do Not Be Harsh Or Complacent

The Church warns that even if someone believes in Jesus, and does all the works that He asks, but has no charity and Love in their heart, they are in trouble. We need Love and respect for others.

Revelation 2:2-4 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked 3 Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary. 4 Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first.

The Bibles 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!

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Descriptive And Clear Bible Passages About Purgatory

Origen, St. Irenaeus, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Jerome all saw descriptions of purgatory in the Bible.

Psalm 66:12 Thou didst let men ride over our heads we went through fire and through water yet thou hast brought us forth to a spacious place.

This verse was considered a proof of purgatory by Origen and St. Ambrose, who posits the water of baptism and the fire of purgatory.

Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.

St. Augustine, in the 20th Book of his City of God, chapter 25, interprets this as purgatory. The preceding verse refers to the saved and verses 5 and 6 describe the repose of the blessed.

Micah 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me forth to the light I shall behold his deliverance.

St. Jerome considered this verse a clear proof of purgatory.

Malachi 3:3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.

Origen, St. Irenaeus, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Jerome all thought this was a description of purgatory.

Matthew 5:26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

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The Bible Teaches Purgatory

What Does the Bible Say About Hell?

There is proof for Purgatory in the Bible. Its found in 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 15. Lets examine this Biblical proof for Purgatory. I will use the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, a famous Protestant translation.


1 Corinthians 3:11-15- For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire.

Now lets look at the last part of this passage again. In 1 Corinthians 3:15, we see: If any mans work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. So we have a man whose works have been judged. His works are, in fact, burned and he suffers loss yet he is saved, but by fire. He suffers loss, but is saved by fire.



1 Corinthians 3:3- for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?



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What Did Jesus Say About Purgatory

Jesus mentioned nothing about the existence of purgatory. If anything, Jesus spoke more about the realities of hell than the doctrine of purgatory.

During his crucifixion, Jesus offered a profound answer to a dying thief.

Then he said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise,Luke 23:42-43.

Jesus is . Jesuss words are true. If He said, today, than he meant it.

In Matthew 13:49, Jesus spoke of what would come at the end of the Church Age that angels would separate an evil humanity from a righteous one. Matthew 13:50 goes on to tell us the wicked would be thrown into a fiery furnace where weeping and gnashing of teeth would occur. This scripture does not support the doctrine of purgatory.

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What Is The Christian Perspective Of Purgatory

In Christianity, the belief is that everyone will eventually end up in heaven. However, some Christians believe that it takes longer than others.

Some people think that they may never make it to heaven because of their bad deeds. Others say that they will be able to see God face to face once they die.

There is also the belief that our good deeds count towards how long we stay in purgatory. In addition to this belief is the view that there is a chance that we could miss out on going to heaven altogether.

If this happens, then we would have to wait until Judgment Day to find out whether were saved or not. An additional view of the Roman Catholic Church is that purgatory is a place where souls atone for their sins before entering heaven.

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Jesus Sacrifice Vs Purgatory

The doctrine of purgatory says that people suffer to pay for for their own sins. The Bible tells an entirely different story.

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were temporary, and had to be repeated again and again to repeatedly cover sin. They did not accomplish the forgiveness of sins. Jesus was called the Lamb of God because His death on the cross was the last sacrifice that the world would ever need. His death accomplished the forgiveness of sins by paying the penalty for all sin.

Heres the unbiblical implication: if sinners need to pay for their own sins in purgatory, then Jesus death is insufficient. According to this doctrine, to gain forgiveness and go to Heaven one must add their own suffering to Jesus suffering. This is entirely unbiblical.

Catholics will usually respond that Jesus sacrifice is sufficient that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thats 1 John 1:9, and its true. The problem with using this verse in that way is that its too limiting. In Catholicism, our sin debt is only applied to our account when we confess our sins .

This is contradicted by a number of passages in the New Testament, including 2 Peter 2:1.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them bringing swift destruction on themselves.

What Scriptures Appear To Support Purgatory

What does the Bible say about Purgatory? (Is Purgatory Real?)

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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The Thief On The Cross

An excellent piece of Biblical proof that Purgatory does not exist is the thief on the cross. As Jesus was being crucified next to a thief, the thief said Remember me when you come into power, and Jesus replied I promise that today you will be with me in paradise. . Jesus said the thief would be in paradise today. Jesus didnt say Ok, well, maybe in a thousand years after youve suffered in Purgatory for the sins youve committed, then Ill see you in paradise. If even the thief on the cross will go immediately to paradise, why should Christians who have loved and served God have to go through Purgatory? Granted, the thief is probably one of those people referred to in 1 Corinthians 3:1-15 who will not have any reward and barely escaped from hell, but at least he makes it into heaven.

What Are Indulgences And Plenary Indulgences And Are The Concepts Biblical

An indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment.Treasury of MeritIs the concept of Catholic indulgences biblical?Indulgences and PurgatorypurgatoryIndulgences and PenanceCatholic Indulgences and the Treasury of MeritCatholic Indulgences and Temporal punishment

For Further Study

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There Is No Such Thing As Purgatory For Mankind

Did you know that there is no such thing as Purgatory? Purgatory is a man-made doctrine which is completely false. The only type of purgatory mentioned in the Bible is in the book of Hebrews and it involves Jesus Christ!

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high Hebrews 1:3

If you want to look for purgatory in the Word of God, it can only be found at the cross of Calvary!Jesus Christ purged our sins when He gave Himself as a sacrificial payment to God for our sins! Our sins are completely forgiven when we put our trust in the Savior Jesus Christ, accepting His satisfactory full payment to God for our eternal redemption.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:12

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more Hebrews 8:12

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood Revelation 1:5

Praise God today for the forgiveness of our sins! We are unworthy, but Jesus is full of grace and mercy!

Who Believes In Purgatory

What Does the Bible Say About Purgatory? // Ask Pastor John

Most Catholics and a few scattered denominations believe in Purgatory as being real. Most evangelical or Protestant Christians do not. There is no record in the history of the early church that this doctrine was ever taught. I found none of the early church fathers wrote about it like Polycarp, a student of the Apostle John or Justin Martyr. You decide for yourself whether or not you believe it. Of these things we can be certain:

  • that there is salvation only in the name of Jesus Christ
  • and there is simply no other way that a person can be saved
  • and that salvation means that one believes that Jesus lived a sinless life, died in the place of sinners, was raised from the dead, and today sits at the Right Hand of God .

I pray that you will place your trust in Jesus Christ today and be saved , otherwise you will stand condemned and judged as guilty by the Savior, the Lord, Judge, and Master Jesus Christ .

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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, lets discuss the support and opposition to the concept of purgatory within the Christian faith. Well also touch on some of the history of this concept.

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What If Purgatory Really Doesnt Exist

Ponder the following example. Imagine a Christian man, justified by the Lord, loses his temper and yells at his next door neighbors for letting their dog dig a hole in his yard. We can see that the man treated his neighbors rudely, albeit the neighbors behavior was also reprehensible. His actions would be considered a light sin . Its not of the same moral weight as theft or murder, but its still a sin.

After shouting at the neighbors, with all the anger and stress in his body the man walks into his house, has a heart attack, and dies having just committed a small sin in the final moments of his life. Remember, this man is Christian and justified by the Lord, yet has committed a sin. Does he go to heaven or does he go to hell? Are all sins created equal? No, all sins are not equal and even justified men of the Lord can make mistakes and sin.

Remember, purgatory is not a second chance for conversion the man is already justified. If there is no place of intermediate state of purification, the man would be damned to hell! Who would be saved? Those who teach against purgatory teach an unreasonable doctrine. Will Catholics go to heaven?

Luke 12:48:

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.

If we accept Christs sacrifice on the cross, confess him as Lord, yet commit bad actions, God judges accordingly.

Matthew 12:37:

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What Does The Catholic Church Say About Purgatory

According to the Catholic Church, the souls of men who have died under grace but are not free of all imperfections go to purgatory. The Catholic Church teaches that “the soul in purgatory must be freed of certain defects: the guilt of venial sin the inclination toward sin and temporal punishment due to sin”.1 “The Church also teaches that the punishment due to sin, whether mortal or venial, is not always and necessarily forgiven along with the guilt of sin hence this punishment is to be paid by the sinner either in this life or in the next before he can enter the kingdom of heaven .”2

The Catholic church also teaches that: “Concretely, the souls in purgatory can be helped by works of piety, such as prayer, indulgences, alms, fasting, and sacrifices. These works are undertaken by the faithful on earth . . . and they are performed for the benefit of these souls.”3 It says that “the manner in which this is accomplished is hidden in the mystery of divine wisom.”4

With this teaching, the Catholic Church is saying that Christ’s work was not sufficient to take away our sin. It only takes away our guilt. According to the Catholic Church, whether Christ died or not, we must go to purgatory to pay for our sins. But…


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