Does Purgatory Really Exist?


#1

Hello, friends and brothers in Christ.

I was recently talking to a friend of mine who mentioned that there is no actual Scriptural proof for the existence of purgatory. Since I base my entire life on Scripture and have always believed in the idea of purgatory, I spent hours searching through the Book for any mention of it. The closest I could find was a Matthew verse about speaking against the Son of God = not getting into heaven and a Corinthians verse about fire. But there is no mention of the word or idea of purgatory.

Help me, friends. Is this simply an invention meant to scare us or an real entity where we go after we die?

Thank you.


#2

Look to Maccabee. It talks about giving alms to the dead. I don’t remember the exact verse. This leads to the question, why would you give alms to the dead if there is only heaven or hell. If one is in heaven they have no need of alms and if they are in hell no amount of alms will help them.

Also look to the catechism for more information.


#3

[quote=bogeyjlg]Look to Maccabee. It talks about giving alms to the dead. I don’t remember the exact verse. This leads to the question, why would you give alms to the dead if there is only heaven or hell. If one is in heaven they have no need of alms and if they are in hell no amount of alms will help them.
[/quote]

I was also wondering the question that pqxtdr posted. Similarly, a friend had told me that Purgatory does not exist and it was invented by the Church to scare people. Does it clearly state that yes, in fact, there is a Purgatory or does one have to interpret it quite a bit?


#4

vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm#III


#5

[quote=fqjohn]I was also wondering the question that pqxtdr posted. Similarly, a friend had told me that Purgatory does not exist and it was invented by the Church to scare people. Does it clearly state that yes, in fact, there is a Purgatory or does one have to interpret it quite a bit?
[/quote]

How could purgatory scare people? It only gives more hope. Purgatory is only temporary and is a place of purification of the soul from the temporal effects of sin. I think your friend has a misconception of purgatory.


#6

[quote=bogeyjlg]How could purgatory scare people? It only gives more hope. Purgatory is only temporary and is a place of purification of the soul from the temporal effects of sin. I think your friend has a misconception of purgatory.
[/quote]

well said ! :thumbsup:


#7

[quote=fqjohn]I was also wondering the question that pqxtdr posted. Similarly, a friend had told me that Purgatory does not exist and it was invented by the Church to scare people.
[/quote]

How coincidental. It is also coincidental that you and pqxtdr both joined on the same date, both have no profile, and both have made about the same number of posts.

Does it clearly state that yes, in fact, there is a Purgatory or does one have to interpret it quite a bit?

If you are really looking for an answer to your question, read the Catholic Answers tract on this subject found here:

catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp

Then come back and we’ll talk.


#8

The word “Purgatory” does not appear in the Bible…but neither does the word “Bible”. That must mean the Bible doesn’t exist! :wink:

It is interesting that many Protestants who deny the reality of Purgatory also claim that it is nearly impossible (except for Christ) to live a single day without sinning, and that even our good works are hopelessly imperfect, if not useless. At least I have been told this by a number of Protestants, so I assume the view is fairly widely held.

So, when a person dies, what is the likelihood that he is absolutely perfect? By the above reckoning, zilch. Yet can anything imperfect truly stand before God face-to-face? If one answers that it is possible, why then do we read in the discourse at the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God?”

Let us say that a “saved” Christian dies. So somewhere between the death of this Christian and his meeting with his Creator, he must be made perfect on account of his imperfections, right? It is at this point that our Protestant friends would interject,

“Now wait just a minute! We are made perfect by the Blood that Jesus shed on the cross as a randsome for many when we accept Christ as our personal Savior.”

To which we might reply, “Then how is it, if you have been made perfect, that you claim not to be able to abstain entirely from sin even for a single day? How can you be both perfect and imperfect at the same time?”

We need Purgatory because we are, even now, imperfect. Indeed, Purgatory is a great gift. Consider how sparsely populated Heaven would be without it!


#9

The word Trinity is not found in the Bible either. .

Try this: How to Explain Purgatory to Protestants

Scott


#10

Hi checkout, 1Corinthians3:10-15.This is used to support Purgutory.


#11

[quote=2 Mac 12:39-45]39 On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs.40 **But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain.**41 They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden.42 Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.43 He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;44 for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.45 But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.
[/quote]

These were not faithful men that had died with venial sin and needed to be purified but idolators. They went to Hell in their sin of idolatry, not purgatory. Also read…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV)

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Hebrews 10:11-21 (NABWRNT)

11 Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins.12 But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;13 now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.15 The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:16 “This is the covenant I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord:‘I will put my laws in their hearts,and I will write them upon their minds,’”17 he also says:

“**Their sins and their evildoing **

I will remember no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.19 Therefore, brothers, since** through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary(means holiness, holiest of all)**by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh,21 and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”

If you are covered by the blood of Jesus, you have no fear or need of purgatory and only rest and sure hope of heaven. Let us hope our dear departed loved ones had their trust in Christ and His blood to cover a multitude of sins. I know this goes against Church teaching, but read the verses for yourselves. Do idolaters go to purgatory to be purified before they enter heaven?

God bless


#12

Your** q****uestion,“Does Purgatory Really Exist?” has a fatal flaw.**

You use the word “exist”. I understand the difficulty of writting a lucid question about spiritual entities. You may have been in a hurry, so you are excused. But the word “exist” raises a problem

If you are thinking that Purgatory may exist on some far-flung planet or deep under the surface of the earth - you are wrong. There is not a real, measurable and touchable purgatory. Purgatory is a spiritual separation from heaven, hell and the living existance on the earth. Spirits do not occupy space, time or do they have weight. Spirits are nonphysical.

I fear you have committed a common human error.

I see in your Profile that you are not Roman Catholic. So I assume you use a Protestant Bible in your Sola Scriptura journey. We have seveal more books in our Bible: I use the Douay-Rheims Bible ( a translation from the Latin Vulgate.

Jimmy Akin explains purgatory to Protestants better that I can , here is the URL.
cin.org/users/james/files/how2purg.htm


#13

[quote=mikeabele]These were not faithful men that had died with venial sin and needed to be purified but idolators. They went to Hell in their sin of idolatry, not purgatory.
[/quote]

There is no evidence at all that they went to hell. The Jews at the time who prayed for them obviously didn’t think so, or their prayers would have been a wasted effort, and even offensive to God’s righteous judgement. “for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.”


#14

I thought this link was eye-opening: scripturecatholic.com/purgatory.html


#15

[quote=VociMike]There is no evidence at all that they went to hell. The Jews at the time who prayed for them obviously didn’t think so, or their prayers would have been a wasted effort, and even offensive to God’s righteous judgement. “for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.”
[/quote]

Is idolatry a mortal or venial sin? Does a person in mortal sin go to hell or purgatory? Clearly the church and Bible both teach that idolatry is a mortal sin, and that those that have commited mortal sin go to hell, not purgatory then later heaven. Clearly the Bible also says that idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

According to Scripture, because of the superiority of Christ Jesus’s sacrifice for sins there is no need for a place such as purgatory:

Hebrews 10

14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.15 The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:16 “This is the covenant I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord:‘I will put my laws in their hearts,and I will write them upon their minds,’”17 he also says:

“**Their sins and their evildoing **

I will remember no more.”


#16

[quote=mikeabele]Is idolatry a mortal or venial sin? Does a person in mortal sin go to hell or purgatory? Clearly the church and Bible both teach that idolatry is a mortal sin, and that those that have commited mortal sin go to hell, not purgatory then later heaven. Clearly the Bible also says that idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

According to Scripture, because of the superiority of Christ Jesus’s sacrifice for sins there is no need for a place such as purgatory:

Hebrews 10

14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.15 The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:16 “This is the covenant I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord:‘I will put my laws in their hearts,and I will write them upon their minds,’”17 he also says:

“**Their sins and their evildoing **

I will remember no more.”
[/quote]

Idolatry may be a mortal sin, but the Jews in Maccabees were not necessarily idolaters. They were wearing the sacred tokens of idols, but they may have done so without worshipping the idols. It may have been the lesser sin of superstition rather than the mortal sin of idolatry. Therefore, “it was a holy and pious thought” for Judas to pray for the dead and offer a sin offering for them.
There is definitely a necessity for those who enter Heaven to be made perfect, as the passage from Hebrews points out. However, I think both Protestants and Catholics can agree that the accomplishment of redemption is different from the application of redemption. Christ’s sacrifice was once for all, and in that act, Jesus redeemed us. However, we must respond to that grace in order for that redemption to be applied to our lives. Even a Protestant would agree with this, because the question, “Are you saved?” only makes sense when considered in light of the distinction between redemption and the application of redemption. In the same way, Jesus’ sacrifice has made perfect forever all who will enter Heaven, but the application of this perfection is not immediate.


#17

[quote=mikeabele]According to Scripture, because of the superiority of Christ Jesus’s sacrifice for sins there is no need for a place such as purgatory:
[/quote]

As I have come to understand Purgatory; the “superiority of Christ Jesus’s sacrifice” is not in question, but rather the cleanliness (state) of our souls at death.

Help me out with this mikeabele…

Since nothing unclean enters Heaven (Rev 21:27); do you mean to say that you are now completely sinless (Rom 3:23)?


#18

Help me out with this mikeabele…

Since nothing unclean enters Heaven (Rev 21:27); do you mean to say that you are now completely sinless (Rom 3:23)?

We cannot make ourselves clean, by any amount of suffering on our part, to attone for our sins apart from Christ we would have to shed our blood and our blood would have to be pure, spotless like the animals sacrificed in OT times, which is just a picture of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice(Heb 10).

Christ took our sins, He suffered, bled, and died 2000 years ago for every sin past, present, and future anyone will commit. I am covered by His blood by his grace through faith in Christ Jesus, no longer will God remember my sins, but only His Son’s finished work at Calvary. Not everyone is covered by the blood of Christ and trusting in His finished work at Calvary for eternal life. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NABWRNT)

17 So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.18 And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation,19 namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21 For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Romans 3:20-31 (NABWRNT)

20 since no human being will be justified in his sight by observing the law; for through the law comes consciousness of sin.21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets,22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;23 all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.24 **They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,25 whom God set forth as an expiation, ****through faith, by his blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,26 **through the forbearance of God—to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.27 What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. 28 For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.29 Does God belong to Jews alone? Does he not belong to Gentiles, too? Yes, also to Gentiles,30 for God is one and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith and the uncircumcised through faith.31 Are we then annulling the law by this faith? Of course not! On the contrary, we are supporting the law.

Romans 8:28-39 (NABWRNT)

28 **We know that all things work for good for those who love God, **who are called according to his purpose.29 For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.30 And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.31 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?32 **He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?**33 Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us.34 Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.35 What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?36 As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


#19

Dear Mikeabele;

You seem to be confusing the doctrines of justification and sanctification with the concept of purification to stand in the presence of God. Purgatory does not justify a person, nor does it sanctify a person (Catholics see these terms as interchangeable-so does the Bible). If you are coming at the issue from a Protestant perspective, then you see everything that comes after the legal imputation of justification (i.e. “gettin saved”) as “sanctification” of the person by works done in faith. Purgatory plays no part in justification/sanctification. One is either Heaven bound or Hell bound. If you are Hell bound, there is no purgatory as a “second chance.” If you are Heaven bound, there is Purgatory to purify the soul and to exact temporal punishment for sins that have already been forgiven by Christ, through His perfect sacrifice.

The doctrine also appeals to common sense and justice.

Consider the heinous mass-murderer who on the night of his execution has a real change of heart and becomes a follower of Christ. Under the protestant doctrine, this person gets a “free pass” to the eternal splendor of Heaven" without ever facing any sort of spiritual reconning for his crimes. Under catholic doctrine the person will also go to Heaven, by accepting Christ’s perfect sacrifice. BUT he will go to Heaven by way of Purgatory where he will - in some manner - suffer the temporal (temporary) punishments for his heinous acts. Thus, Purgatory is perfectly in line with Biblical teachings and concepts of justice. It is a reflection of God’s infinite justice, and His eternal holiness, that calls all of us to be perfect like him (Mt. 5:48; Heb 12:14.) and to be cleaned so we may stand in His presence. (Rev 21:27.)


#20

Purgatory
Question from on 01-08-2002:
Where in the Bible can I find a reference that there does exist a Purgatory in order to combat non-catholic’s who tell people that there is no mention of purgatory or anything like it in the Bible. Thank You for helping me. Bill Gese Answer by Bill Bilton on 01-09-2002: I. A State After Death of Suffering and Forgiveness

Matt. 5:25,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 - temporary state of purgation called a “prison.” There is no exit until we are perfect, and the last penny is paid.

Matt. 5:48 - Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are only made perfect through purification.

Matt. 12:32 - Jesus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell.

Luke 12:47-48 - when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This is not heaven or hell.

Luke 16:19-31 - dead rich man is suffering but feels compassion for his brothers. There is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell.

1 Cor. 15:29-30 - Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, to atone for their sins. They must be in purgatory.

Phil. 2:10 - every knees bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and “under the earth” which is the realm of the righteous dead.

2 Tim. 1:16-18 - Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him. There is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell.

Heb. 12:14 - without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God.

Heb. 12:23 - the spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect.

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 - Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

Rev. 21:4 - no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth.

Rev. 21:27 - nothing unclean shall enter heaven. Even the propensity to sin is uncleanliness. No purgatory means no salvation for most people.

Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 - examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time.

Baruch 3:4 - Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell.

Zech. 9:11 - God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering.

2 Macc. 12:43-45 - prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. They are in purgatory.

II. Purification After Death By Fire

Heb. 12:29 - God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).

1 Cor. 3:10-15 - works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. This is the purgation of purgatory.

1 Cor. 3:15 - though he will be saved, “but only” (houtos-in same manner) through fire. Man is both rewarded and saved by fire.

1 Cor. 3:15 - suffer loss = “zemiothesetai” = root word “zemioo” = also refers to punishment. This means expiation of temporal punishment.

1 Cor. 3:13 - revealing the quality of each man’s work by fire and purifying him relates to his sins (not just his good works).

1 Cor. 3:17 - proves this purgation deals with punishing sin (destroying God’s temple = bad works = mortal sin = death).

1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 - purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and state of mortal sin (v.17).

1 Peter 1:6-7 - Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.

Jude 1:23 - people saved being snatched out of fire. People are already saved if in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if in hell.

Rev. 3:18-19 - Jesus refers to this fire as what refines into gold those He loves if they repent.

Dan 12:10 - Daniel refers to this refining by saying many shall purify themselves, make themselves white and be refined.

Wis. 3:5-6 - the dead are disciplined and tested by fire to receive their heavenly reward.

Sirach 2:5 - for gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Zech. 13:8-9 - God says 2/3 shall perish, and 1/3 shall be left alive, put into the fire, and refined like silver and tested like gold. Mal. 3:2-3 - also refers to God’s purification of the righteous at their death.

From E.W.T.N. website


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