[Lady_K2;2911342]Ooh! Ooh! Can I jump in here? This is one of the question marks in my mind about Catholicism. So, maybe I can explain the perspective of the typical Protestant and then I can learn something of the Catholic view regarding Purgatory.
As I have always viewed it, from a Protestant background, a person comes to “saving faith” at a single point in time. When a person recognizes and confesses Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they are cleansed of Original Sin and they become a new creation in Christ and are sealed with the Holy Spirit right then and there.
This is incorrect. Just because a person comes to faith in Christ does not mean that they will necessarily stay in that relationship. Jesus will never leave, but we have free will and can and some do leave. If you need scripture I can certainly give it. 1 Cor 3:11-15 is but one verse that explains purgatory, which is the final step of our sanctification.
The rest of their life ***should ***be marked with continual growth and spiritual development and moving into God’s will and plan for their life.
So, for Protestants, in our theology, there is not much room for thinking that a Christian has to “do stuff” (forgive my lack of beautiful words) to earn their way to Heaven, because we don’t believe that we can ever be good enough to earn Heaven anyway. It is only God’s unmerited favor that grants us entry into Heaven.
You I’m afraid don’t know Catholic theology. Catholicism does NOT say we “earn” our way to heaven that is completely erroneous. We are saved by God’s grace (Eph 2:8-10), and His grace alone (sola gratia) however, we also in that grace MUST do good works and will be judged by those good works, (Rom 2:6) and Mt 25:34-46 explains the two differing groups who will either be saved because they obeyed (did/do) what God asked and required of them as He does for all of us. Those who have the “obedience of faith” as Paul says in sort of book end statements in Romans 1:5 and 16:26 are those who are saved.
And every single person sins, in some way or another - by commission or omission - sins every single day. Even the good works that a person might do may be borne from personal intentions (i.e., a feeling of guilt over some other wrong done; a desire for recognition and praise).
Right and does every person die completely sanctified? No, therefore there has to be some purification process (1 Cor 3:15) for heaven and sin are incompatible (Rev 21:27).
So there’s no room for the idea that a person has to “work off” their sins. You are either saved or you’re not.
Not “work off their sins” in a a strict sense; only Jesus can do that. However, what do you do about Phil 2:12?
Now, let me throw in my own personal caveat. Many Protestants are in the Once Saved Always Saved camp.
I’m not so sure I’m there anymore.
There are lots of people today who claim they were once Christian and are now Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, … whatever. I can’t imagine that a person who has “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” and now rejects that experience and DENIES the risen Christ goes to Heaven.
So I’m kinda in the middle on this one.
Well, that’s an honest response, I’d say. And you are correct that we can turn our back on God. Lot’s wife did.