Some Problems With The Belief In Purgatory
Lets return to this definition of purgatory and consider some challenges I see with this teaching.
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.
The first problem with this statement is that all of us are imperfectly purified. As long as we live in this human body we will deal with the effects of our sinful nature. Even though we are justified and made righteous we are imperfect because we still sin. Now we dont live in sin, but we can still fall victim to sin. So according to this definition of purgatory none of us would be perfectly purified when we die and would therefore require a place to clean ourselves up to get ready for heaven.
This goes against what Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:8, that to be absent or away from this body is to be present with the Lord. This is not just true for the apostle Paul this is true for all who have put their faith in Christ.
There is one other big glaring problem with the teaching of purgatory. I hope it jumped out at you when you read what purgatory is. The other glaring problem is that purgatory makes the sacrifice of Christ insufficient to remove and deal with our sinful condition. If purgatory is a valid place, then the sacrifice of Jesus was not enough and if it is not enough then it is not enough for you and me as well.
Ask A Catholic: Is Purgatory Mentioned In The Bible
By Mitch Finley
Is purgatory mentioned in the Bible?
Theword Purgatory does not appear in the Bible. Its simply a shorthand term that refers to a concept that is, indeed,scriptural. TheCatechism of the Catholic Church sums it up thus:
All who diein Gods grace, but still imperfectly
purified, are indeedassured of their eternal salvation
but after death theyundergo purification, so as to achieve
the holiness necessaryto enter the joy of heaven .
Revelation 21:27 says, But nothing unclean will enter . There are various other Old and New Testament references to this concept, and you may want to read about them here. The heart of the matter, however, is that the reality that Purgatory refers to makes logical sense.
It makes sense that most people, when they die, remain spiritually imperfect, and it also makes sense that no one can enter the state or condition called Heaven without being first purified of his or her remaining imperfections. This is what Purgatory is for. Its a state of being, if you will, or a process, that purifies the still imperfect person so he or she may then move on to the state or condition we call Heaven.
What The Catechism Says
Now, before I go into particular texts that make purgatory, I think, untenable biblically, lets define it the way the Roman Catholic Church does, because theyre the ones who promote this doctrine, and lets see whether Lewiss argument stands on its own terms. Heres what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in defining purgatory.
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. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
Nobodys going into the very presence of God with any stain or inner sin left.
Thats all from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that we must be purified completely, without sin, in order to enter the very presence of God in our final state. Otherwise, wed be incinerated, and God would be defiled and dishonored. None of us believes that is going to happen. Were all in agreement about that. Thats not going to happen. Nobodys going into the very presence of God with any stain or inner sin left.
We Are Living Testimonies
While we are alive, we are living testimonies. We are Gods workmanship. Are we showing others the love of God? Are we living in such a manner that compels others to ask, Why are you so happy? Why are you so positive?
It is Christ in us which will convince the lost. This is how we build the Kingdom of God.
It probably isn’t the best witness to yell or ridicule the beliefs of devout Catholics. Instead, lets focus on four things that Protestants and Catholics have in common:
1. We believe that Christ died for the sins of humanity.
2. We believe that grace alone saves us.
3. We believe he rose again.
4. We believe that he will one day return to reclaim us.
Apostle Paul encouraged the Body of Christ with these words, Be completely humble and gentle be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, Ephesians 4:2-3.
Is Purgatory In Bible/ Kneel Sit Or Stand
Q. Some 50 years ago, I converted to the Catholic Church. But one question has always bothered me: Where will I find the word purgatory in the Bible?
A. This is a question I am often asked. The answer is that you wont find the specific word purgatory in the Bible. But the concept is surely there the notion of a period of purification after death before one is worthy to enter heaven.
In fact, even before Christ the Jewish people recognized that there could be such a need and believed that the prayers of those still living could aid in that cleansing. In the Second Book of Maccabees , Judas Maccabeus prays for his fallen comrades who had died in battle while wearing amulets dedicated to pagan idols.
That Old Testament passage tells us that Judas turned to prayer as an expiatory sacrifice and thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin showing his belief that the deceased could still be helped by the intercession of the living.
In the New Testament, arguably the clearest reference to purgatory comes in Matthews Gospel , where Jesus states that whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come implying that there are at least some sins that can be forgiven in the next life.
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The Refiners Fire Occurs Here On Earth
Malachi 3:3 states, 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 and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.
For contextual purposes, Bible readers must consider what is written in the prior verse, But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? Malachi 3:2.
Every waking day of a Christ-followers life is a day for Christ to spiritually refine us. Spiritual refinement is a lifelong process which occurs while we live and breathe on earth.
Take The Questioners Logic And Use It Against Them
The underlying assumption in the question is that if something is not found directly in Scripture, then we, as Christians, should not believe it. This kind of thinking is a result of the Protestant dogma of Sola Scripturathe belief that the Bible alone is all the Christian needs to determine correct doctrine and dogma. Which makes Catholics wrong for believing in Purgatory since, again, the word Purgatory is not in the Bible.
So, how do I turn their logic against them? I ask them if they ever have altar calls in their church. If they say yes, I ask them to show me where altar calls are mentioned in the Bible. They cant. They arent. Then I ask them if they go to church on Wednesday nights. I dont know about the rest of the country, but in the South, Wednesday night is church night for Protestants. If they say yes, they go to church on Wednesday nights, I ask them to show me where that practice is mentioned in the Bible. They cant. It isnt. Finally, I ask them if they believe in the Trinity? Of course they believe in the Trinity is the answer I get 100% of the time. So, I ask: Can you show me where the word Trinity is in the Bible? They cant. It isnt.
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Is Purgatory In The Bible 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!
Timothy Paul Jones On Purgatory:
Timothy Paul Jones, author and associate vice present at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, talks about purgatory in his Crosswalk.com video, Does the Bible Support the Idea That Purgatory Exists?
“Really what we’re dealing with in the question of purgatory is: How does a Christian enter God’s presence Gods holy presence when there is still sin unconfessed in his or her life? Thats really what were asking.
Jones discusses the theological idea from the perspective of Augustine in the 5th century, Martin Luther in the 16th century, and modern Roman Catholic thinking on the issue.
The same problem remains with purgatory. Its requiring something other than more than the finished work of Jesus on the cross to make us right with God, he said.
For more insight on purgatory and other common misconceptions of what happens after death, read, “Does the Bible Say What Happens After Death?“
Jessica Galán encourages her readers to embrace malleability in the midst of lifes difficult moments. She spends her day teaching amazing students from diverse backgrounds in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Shes wife to a super-creative man and the proud mother of three resilient young women. Shes served as a writing facilitator for Lysa TerKeurst through COMPEL Training. She enjoys daily cups of steaming hot café con leche and breaks out in sporadic salsa dancing when no ones looking. Connect with her on .
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The Church Believes In Purgatory Because Of The Bible
Before we examine the bible verses, however, we should note that one of the claims by condemned by Pope Leo X in his papal bull Exsurge Domine was Luther’s belief that “Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture, which is in the canon.” In other words, while the Catholic Church bases the doctrine of Purgatory on both scripture and tradition, Pope Leo emphasizes that scripture is sufficient to prove the existence of Purgatory.
Biblical Reasons Why Purgatory Doesnt Exist
Nearly everybody has heard of purgatory, but what is it and are you ever going there? Lets find out!
Definition of purgatorynoun, plural purgatories.1. a condition or place in which the souls of those dying penitent are purified from venial sins, or undergo the temporal punishment that, after the guilt of mortal sin has been remitted, still remains to be endured by the sinner.2. . Italian Purgatorio. the second part of Dantes Divine Comedy, in which the repentant sinners are depicted.Compare inferno , paradise .3. any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.
So purgatory is based upon the belief that when you die, your soul lives on for the purpose of being cleansed from your sins.
What does penitent mean?
What does the bible say about life after death?
Genesis 3:4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Genesis 2:17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
- Genesis 2:17 | God | Truth: thou shalt surely die.
- Genesis 3:4 | Serpent | Lie: Ye shall not surely die.
In John, Jesus Christ was confronting a particular group of evil pharisees.
It is very interesting that Satans first recorded words in the bible are a lie, indicating his dominant nature.
Job 21:13They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
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Is Purgatory In The Bible
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.
What Is Purgatory Like
We should also note that purgatory does not exist as a second chance for unsaved sinners to redeem themselves. If you have a basic familiarity with Dantes Divine Comedy, you will know that unsaved sinners, even very good ones, end up in one of the nine circles of Hell, including one of Dantes favorites, Virgil.
As for purgatory, the most common language we see used is refinement, purification, and fire.
If that gives you any idea, purgatory doesnt exactly scream Easy Street. A great deal of pain and loss occurs as someone experiences the purification of their sins and the harms their transgressions have caused others.
Intense joy also does appear to occur here along with pain. We should note that purgatory is seen as a gift of Gods grace.
Apart from specifics we see in Dantes Divine Comedy, a work of fiction, we dont have many personal accounts of visiting purgatory. After all, you only get there after youve passed from your life here on earth.
But we do know that those who believe in purgatory advise others to avoid it and that the saints still living here on earth can help guide people on their journeys in purgatory through prayers and indulgences.
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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.
What Is The Doctrine Of Purgatory
Purgatory is defined in Catholic teaching as the state, place, or condition where the souls of those who die atone for their unforgiven sins and are purified. * According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this purification is needed to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Catechism adds that the tradition of the Church . . . speaks of a cleansing fire, as depicted in the artwork accompanying this article. However, this is not a Scriptural teaching.
Challenging Circumstances Refine And Purify Us
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,James 1:2-4.
As the Holy Spirit prompts questions like these in your heart, think of them as refining trials, and consider it pure joy.
Could I have responded in a gentler manner?
Did I serve others without complaint?
Has bitterness caused me to harbor resentment towards others?
Am I judging the walk of a recent convert?
Do I show the love of Christ to others?
Fires will come to every believer because this life doesnt absolve us of difficulties. Challenging circumstances refine and purify us.
Are We Perfect Right Now
And, going beyond Scripture, you could add in what I call the common sense perspective on PurgatoryStep #3. It goes like this: Ask the question, Are you perfect right now? In every single way physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually are you perfect? Do you have any attachment to sin? You never have a bad thought, say a bad word, do something you shouldnt, or dont do something you should? Do you ever get sick? I have asked a whole lot of people that question and I have never had anyone say to me that, yes, they are perfect.
So, youre not perfect. But, God forbid, lets say you were to die this very instant, and you were to go to Heaven. Would you be perfect in Heaven? Always, always they answer, Yes, I would be perfect in Heaven.
Absolutely, you would be. You would be perfectly united to the Body of Christ, no more sin, no more pain, no more anguish, no more illness. Your soul would be free from sin and your body after the Resurrection of the Dead would be in its glorified state. You would be perfect in Heaven.
Then I ask them to think about what they just admitted to. You die imperfect but you enter Heaven perfect. How did that happen? Between dying and then entering Heaven, there must have been some process by which the spirit of the just was made perfect . Your imperfections were purged from you. And I tell them to call that process whatever they want, but that process is what we Catholics call Purgatory.
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