Heaven or Paradise?

Greetings, I converted from JW and know most of the basics of the Catholic faith now. I just have one question, assuming we all go to purgatory where will we go after our time in purgatory is finished? The JWs teach that only 144k will go to heaven to rule with “Jehovah” the rest of us live on earth in paradise. :confused:I’m really confused
So is paradise a place in heaven? Is heaven paradise? Thank you all, God bless:D

I’m sorry dear that I don’t have time to give you a longer response just now… :yawn: Way past bedtime and brain stops functioning at 9:00. :blush:

Just wanted to clarify that we don’t all go to purgatory. After death, each soul is judged by God – by our own will we either have chosen to be in relationship with God by loving and serving him in our lifetime (to the best of our knowledge and ability)… or we have chosen to be separated from God by rejecting His love and service in this lifetime.

Those whose destination is heaven may (almost certainly will) need to go through a time of purification from our attachments to sin and sinful inclinations that remain from our lives. Catholics call this purgatory.

But not everyone is going to heaven. :nope:

Paradise is a garden. It is a return to Eden. It is describing in ways which us humans can understand by likeness. But there is one thing truly missing from any garden we imagine and that is God. The beatific vision is the Catholic way of describing the same thing. But words cannot truly describe what we can experience in beholding and walking again in the presence of God Almighty.

Those who aren’t damned to hell will all end up in Heaven with God and the Communion of Saints. Every single one of us. There are probably over 144k creatures of God in Heaven now. Saints go straight to Heaven. I am sure Purgatory does its job and over the last 2k years has purified quite a few people.
Old Testament dead that loved God ended up in the Bosom of Abraham. I imagine quite a few to be in Heaven now.

Then of course there are all the Angels. Think of this, we each have a Guardian Angel. That’s over 6 billion Angels hanging out with us on earth…gives the Chorus of Angels another dimension…

Heaven = paradise. Read Revelation, last book of the Bible

Simply put, we receive our individual judgment at our death. The final judgment is yet to come, as there are others yet living on earth. The “paradise” that Jesus referred to could not be heaven, as He had not ascended yet. Note that he descended to the abode of the dead and preached the Gospel to those spirits in prison. (1 Peter 3:18-20, 1 Peter 4:6)

What would be a great help is a copy of Catholicism for Dummies. An excellent, very readable catechism.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1030 All who die in God’s 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.

I believe DarrylB has the right idea.
Paradise, for Catholics, is not the same as heaven.
It is the best that the natural can be (as in Eden) without the explicit presence/knowledge of God. Sanctifying grace may well be present but not the Beatific Vision which defines heaven.

Before Christ the top layer of Sheol (the realm of the dead) where Abraham and the just resided was considered to be a natural paradise. After His death Jesus descended there and released them to heaven.

Traditionally “limbo” was considered as much the same place for unbaptized babies who died after Christ. One does not have to hold to this belief, it is optional.

Finally, Paradise is used in the Bible by different authors in different ways and one has to be alert to the context. Jesus on the cross said to his fellow prisoner that this day he would be with him in paradise. That seemed to mean heaven.

Its really an obsolete word these days for most Catholics now that limbo is no longer a mainstream belief.

Father Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary:

PARADISE. A synonym for heaven. Jesus spoke of it in his promise to the good thief on the Cross (Luke 23:43). In only two other places in Scripture is it used in place of heaven. There is a reference to “the tree of life set in God’s paradise” (Revelation 2:7). Paul wrote about a man in Christ “caught up into paradise” (II Corinthians 12:4). (Etym. Greek paradeisos, park, the Garden of Eden, paradise; from Persian pairidaēza, an enclosure.)

Since nothing unclean enters heaven, Revelation 21:27 ], it’s a good chance everyone who dies in a state of grace, but isn’t perfectly clean spiritually at death goes to purgatory first.

heaven and paradise ] are interchangeable terms. It’s not heaven **-]or /-] **paradise

Everyone who is purified in purgatory, goes to heaven after that.

Jesus says this about those who go to heaven

(emphasis mine)

Matthew 7:13-14 ,
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy,[a] that leads to destruction, ἀπώλεια, ] and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Note: ἀπώλεια, apóleia: = destruction, eternal ruin.

Luke 13:23-28 ,
23 And some one said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?
***” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!’ 28 There you will weep and gnash your teeth*",

Jesus, the one who will judge all souls, knowing in advance, what He will do and go through, is telling us in advance what will happen for all humanity. He answers that question above

Jesus didn’t deny or correct the questioner’s point of only a few are saved. Jesus validated the point, and expanded on it.

that said

those who don’t get a straight shot to heaven, as in souls in purgatory, then after purgatory, they go to heaven, so they are counted in with the “few”

Everyone else then, were/are on the wide road, the easy road, not to heaven but to hell.

So, there is the time after we die but before the Resurrection, and there is a time after the Resurrection. All those who die and make it through purgatory will have their souls “in Heaven”, that is, viewing God’s glory and being in His presence. This is not a bodily existence, only an incorporeal one. It’s not a time of walking in the clouds and harp playing or floating around like ghosts. Perhaps I overstep, as we don’t know for certain what God will allow us to experience.

After the Resurrection, God will raise up everyone bodily again and give all of the saved glorified bodies. He will remake Heaven and Earth, and we will live spiritually and bodily in each, as Heaven (God’s presence/beatific) will be on the New Earth.

Again, maybe I’ve overstepped into some fancy. Here is a link to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

There are specific sections on Heaven, The Last Judgment, and Hope of the New Heaven and the New Earth which may help. The truth is that we don’t have full knowledge yet of what is to come.

If you’re interested in the Catholic position on the end times, this article may help (though it’s a little technical): catholic.com/tract/the-rapture

I’m not too familiar with the JW position, but the Catholic position differs a little from some evangelical teachings which became newly popular in the 1800s.

Jesus is telling this story. This is before souls are reunited with their body.

Lk 16:
19 “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz′arus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz′arus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz′arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz′arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”

If you’re interested, Fr Jose, had a near death experience. His story was told By Fr Joseph Mary Wolf of EWTN in a homily during mass.

Father Jose Maniyangat Story Hell,Heaven and Purgatory by father

The written story ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=604990

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.