Monday, July 14, 2008

Scripture Dealing With Purgatory.

On Lily Maiden’s blog a young poster named Bethany asked for the scriptural references for purgatory. I promised her that I would post them. If you have other questions about Purgatory please check out the two articles that I link to at the top of my blog. Chances are that I covered your question already.

I am asking any readers of my blog to please get out your bible and double check what I am writing. Never take another person’s word for what the bible says but instead, read the verses in context. That is a good habit to get into.

Let’s start with Matthew 23:26 Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Most people will quickly understand that the judge in this parable is actually God. Some will mistakenly assume that prison he is referencing is Hell. But how can that be when no one gets out of Hell? The verse says that you will not get out of jail UNTIL you have paid the last penny. That indicates that at sometime the person will have the ability to get out of jail. How is that possible if the above verse is speaking of Hell.

In Luke 12:41-48 Jesus describes the actions and rewards of the good, bad and ignorant servants when the master is away. The good servant will be rewarded, while the bad servant will be beaten and assigned a place with the unfaithful (hell) Yet, Jesus qualified this story by discussing the plight of the ignorant servant. 48 And the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. The servant obviously is not in Heaven because there will be nothing akin to a beating in Paradise neither can it be Hell we will no longer be with the Master(Notice that the bad servant was sent away)

Corinthians 3:10-15 compares Christ to a building foundation Verses 11-114 For no one can lay foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ(faith in Jesus)If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw 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 one’s work. If the work stands that someone builds upon the foundation the person will receive a wage. These verses speak about the fact that we need to have our life built upon Jesus in order to enter heaven. The next verse states that But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as though fire. The person indicated in the verse is still saved but will need to go through a purification process to enter heaven. Catholics call this purification process Purgatory.

Also in Corinthians 15: 29 Paul speaks about a Christian practice during his time period in which the individual was baptized for the dead. Paul does not state whether he approves or disapproves of this now defunct practice. He is using it as an example to prove the resurrection of the dead. But it would seem a waste of effort for early Christians to be baptized for either those who were in Heaven or Hell. No one goes from Hell to Heaven or back.

Peter affirms in 1 Peter 3:18-19 that Christ did indeed die for our sins but that after his death and before his physical resurrection he preached to those souls in prison. It would make little sense for Jesus to preach to those in Hell who can not be saved by him. Neither would it seem appropriate for Peter to refer to those in Heaven as being in ‘prison’ The only logical explanation is that Jesus spoke to souls who were in a third realm that was neither Heaven or Hell.

It is very possible that I missed some verses so please visit Scripture Catholic which is a wonderful resource that I visit frequently.


Lola said...

Thank you for using books my Protestant friends have in their Bible. (ie not Maccabees).
Most of my friends are either Protestant or Evangelical. This has given me some guidance on how to point out the reality of Purgatory, even though the word "purgatory" isn't used. As is "Trinity". Just in case the subject comes up...

My dd goes to a "christian" school and was given a nice paperback bible. I made a comment to my husband as I flipped through it that it was missing some books, and bless her heart my daughter said " I have to take it back." I promised to get her a complete Bible.

SagHarborGifts said...

Wow! Interesting, and easy to read. Good job!

Life Savior said...

Mrs. Deb,
I don't think Matt. 23:26 says that, maybe you are getting confused with something else. :)

To your other verses, I do not interpret them the same way as you do.

Let me ask you another question:
If you were born on a desert island, and all you had was the Bible- no priest- no parents- or any other influences. Would you believe in purgatory?

Anyways, I still don't see how you believe that Jesus doesn't pay for all your sin. And that you think YOU can pay it off in your OWN POWER through time in "purgatory."
I know that my sin is SO great, I could never pay it off through my own power in purgatory. Only Christ can remove MY sin.

Maybe you can explain. :)


deb said...

Life Savior, I will have to go back and check the verse. It is very possible that I got the exact verse number or chapter wrong. LOL

You are misunderstanding what Catholics believe in Purgatory. We do NOT believe that we humans pay for our own sin. Jesus does that. Purgatory is just cleansing us from the EFFECTS of sin.

Give me some time, and I will attempting to write another article on Purgatory. I will think and prayer about how to word my article more clearly. If I am confusing you, I am probably confusing others.

Jeaux said...


While I respect your use of scripture in your argument, I ask that you go and read the latter part of Hebrews 9 again. Christ suffered once for all of our sins and man will face judgment following his death. It is Christ's blood that makes us holy, not any works that we do lest any man should boast.

deb said...

Jeaux, I agree with you. Christ died just once for our sins and it is by grace that we are saved. I am uncertain where in my article you got the impression that Catholics didn't agree with your statement? Catholics do not say that we are saved by our own works. When a person enters purgatory, they are already saved and are not doing anything to further their salvation.

Jeaux said...

I am not Catholic, so I don't assume to represent your faith. I did come across the idea of purgatory by reading from a Catholic website. In an article entitled "Who Goes to Heaven and Who Goes To Hell" on it says How To Get To Heaven: 1) Avoid evil, 2) If you have done evil, then repent 3) Do good. Why I agree these are all things that a Christian should be doing and/or avoiding... I believe the blood of Christ is the only thing that saves me, not any good work that I can perform.

I am most confused by purgatory because it sounds like I am making some atonement for my sins. That seems like it goes against the work of Christ on the cross.

Please explain more.

deb said...

Jeaux,I've never read the article or even been on the site so I am not certain if I am qualified to comment on what you read on Catholic planet. From what you have stated though, it does seem like the authors left out Christ. If so then they are not representing Catholic beliefs correctly.

Give me a couple days and I will try and post a better article on purgatory. I could post today but I am very, very lazy. LOL

Jeaux said...


I appreciate you talking to me about these things. Like I said before, I am not Catholic. I am married into a Catholic family (wife, mother, etc.) but I have never gone through Catechism as I am very firm in my faith and belief system. I can not talk with my family about such things without getting into a debate, but you have provided an opportunity to discuss in a non-hostile tone and for that I give you my appreciation. If you would like to discuss over e-mail instead let me know.

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