Do those in Purgatory ever think they're in Hell?


Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell

The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.

Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

“The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”

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No way. There’s a judgement first with Jesus. Jesus is compassion and love. Do you really think he would let you worry? In the bible he says do not worry some 365 times, so why when you have chosen him…would he who is love itself ever let you worry? You will know you are loved and to go to heaven.
It is only because we don’t trust in God now that we worry, we don’t need to and the more we let go of the world and rely on him the more we see that. He is mighty and he cares for us far more than we can imagine. God bless you.

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Right, I think the problem with purgatory is that you don’t know when you’re going to get out.

I actually just asked our priest that. He said you would know it if you were in hell, because there is no hope there.



It’s not dogmatic, but it has always been taught/believed throughout the centuries that purgatory is a part of hell.

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

-Dante Alighieri

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Unless it’s part of Scriptures / Church Teachings, said belief is speculative at best…

Consider this:

Different understandings of Greek / Hebrew - get translated into English as “hell”…

  1. Gehenna - Hell…

  2. and Hades/Sheol – akin to prison… .

In the Bible (1 Peter 3) we have:

  1. In the body Christ was put to death; in the spirit he was brought to life. And in the spirit he went and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits … They had refused obedience long ago, while God waited patiently in the days of Noah […] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who entered heaven after receiving the submission of angelic authorities and powers, and is now at the right hand of God.

And 1 Peter 4

  1. Why was the Gospel preached to those who are dead ? In order that, although in the body they received the sentence common to men, they might in the spirit be alive with the life of God.

Seems akin to Purgatory:slightly_smiling_face:

In English usage the word " Hades " first appears around 1600, as a transliteration of the Greek word “ᾅδης” in the line in the Apostles’ Creed, “He descended into hell”, the place of waiting (the place of "the spirits in prison " 1 Peter 3:19) into which Jesus is there affirmed to have gone after the Crucifixion.

Christ doesn’t play gotcha games.

At death your will is either aimed toward God or at from God. Those aimed toward God love Him, those aimed away hate Him. Your will is fixed after death. Even if it were possible to forget your judgement you would know because your desire would be for God and you would have faith, hope and charity. Those in hell have no faith, no hope and no charity.

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It is a part of Hades, not Gehenna, in Scripture and Church teaching. That is an important distinction. I don’t dispute it or believe it. Knowing what Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven are like is not my job right now. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. In other words, I have enough on my plate in the present.

I can’t point to an official teaching, but I can confirm that I’ve heard it described this way countless times. Some even say that the damned and the souls in purgatory dwell together and see each other in their sufferings, but even though they burn in the same fire, their experiences are rather different based on the fact that one group has no hope and the other does. You won’t find that formally defined anywhere, but there are many opinions out there.

No there won’t be any confusion in the next life wherever you end up.

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Yes, according to some private revelations I read, some are even tortured by the same demons in the fourth level of Hell.

C. S. Lewis described a kind of purgatory in The Great Divorce. Souls in Hell are allowed a bus trip to the outskirts of heaven. They are like ghosts, have very little solid humanity, having worn it off by their selfish lives. They are almost nothing.

Once there they are allowed the option of not going back, of advancing to Heaven. But they can’t take any of their Hellish attitudes with them. It’s very hard to progress, as Heaven is much more solid than Hell. Some (very solid) saints they knew in life come to the outskirts to try and encourage them in.

Some get back on the bus. But some choose the (temporarily painful) walk of conversion. They become more solid. For them, their prior stay in Hell was really a purgatory.

I don’t view Hell as a “cleansing” fire. Those in Hell are incapable of being cleansed or purified. There is no more hope or chances for them. I wouldn’t call Hell an “eternal Purgatory”. One doesn’t go to Hell to be purified.

The lower part of the Netherworld/Abyss is for the damned souls, and the upper part is for the saved souls.

That is the difference between Purgatory and Hell. In Purgatory you know you are getting out.

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Do Those in Purgatory ever think they’re in Hell?

Purgatory is not anything like Hell…

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I would think souls in Purgatory would realize where they are, just as those in heaven or hell would know it. We don’t lose our conscious awareness when we die.

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