Heaven, Puragtory, Hell

Alright, I am a “protestant” Christian, so I don’t know much about this Purgatory place.
But, I do know quite a lot about Heaven and Hell.

This is what I believe/was taught/read in the Bible:
Nothing Else

God believes you are worthy of Heaven, you spend eternity there
God knows your heart, if it is not loving God, and you’re not obeying him, you go to Hell.

Is the belief in Catholicism that all people go to Purgatory? Or who goes there & how does God determine who is worthy to go there & who goes right to Hell (if anyone).
Do we wait in purgatory until the final judgement :confused:

Is Purgatory a place where we go (as a second chance). Where we can decide to become true “Christians”, then go to Heaven?

Actually, under the premise of a benevolent and just god, who judges humans for eternity, purgatory is a logical consequence.
It is not benevolent to let someone suffer for eternity because he stole an apple or took a ferry boat on a Sunday but didn’t repent.
It is not just to let someone who has committed rape, homicide, and some other really bad stuff into Heaven without any punishment, just because he discovered his love for Jesus 10 seconds before he died.

Yeah, I know, all that applies to human standards of justice and benevolence, maybe not God’s standards. But a god with such low standards as to select people for eternity without such a second chance is not worthy of worship.

And, quite frankly, people who think such a god is a good god, should really reconsider their idea of man. When it comes to Christian visions of an afterlife, I’d take the Catholic one, it simply makes more sense than the Protestant.

Actually, I agree with you.
I think that there should be a place where people can go, to repent & change there ways if they didn’t follow God’s ways on Earth. And, if you refuse God in Purgatory, then I believe that Hell would be just/fair.

Hard to believe that a merciful god would condemn a soul (which he created) to an eternity of punishment. There’s no mercy in that, only vengeance and vindictiveness.
Rather, I believe that god, in his mercy, causes those souls to perish. That it, they completely die, never to be resurrected, never to know or have consciousness again, as if they never had lived.
Eternal punishement, but not eternal punishing.
That will be contested, I’m sure.

If Purgatory exists, and we don’t know whether a soul is in Heaven, Purgatory or Hell, we must pray for all departed souls, including those who: committed mass genocide and caused world wars; killed millions of their countrymen and women; raped and murdered; stolen vast sums of money; the innumerable adulterers, idolators, bearers of false witness, and so on.
If they never repented, then they are doomed. But if, at some point in their hearts and souls, they repented and were genuinely sorry…well, God is kind of obliged to extend his grace, under his own rules.

I hate to give credence to Godwin’s Law, but here it is in operation:
In Hitler’s case, we have no idea if he is in Hell. We have no idea of his state of repentance in his final moments; we only know that the extent of God’s forgiveness is vast.
We have no right to condemn anyone to hell, and none whatsoever to assume that any soul is in hell.
And I do not believe the old get-out of “whatever you bind…whatever you loose” holds in this case.

The Catholic Church has never taught that Purgatory is a second-chance. This is a false claim that some Protestants make. We die, and we are judged. Nothing impure can enter heaven. If we die in friendship with God but we still have imperfections/attachments that keep us from loving God totally, then Purgatory gets rid of these imperfections/attachments.

**You are the lump of clay telling the Potter how he should make or do with you and everyone else. God standard is perfection and He has given a way of escape by giving the perfection of Christ to whosoever will; but do to unbelief many/most choose to go their own way.

Hell is simply an absence of God in the broadest sense; the God you didn’t want to be around or like in the first place; therefore you have no complaint…right?**

**You die and you are either judged or rewarded; for those in Christ have already passed from judgment as the Bible teaches.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Romans 2 “in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. {There will be} tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”

Colossians 3 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Romans 6 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.**

Purgatory isn’t a second chance. If you will be condemned to Hell, that is where you will go. No one in purgatory goes to Hell. Purgatory is all about cleansing. Every soul in being cleansed will enter Heaven.

Read St. Catherine of Genoa’s treatise on Purgatory.

It’s on the internet. Excellent.

actually Imitator of Christ, The souls in Purgatory have already repented, they are there to be purified of the temporal punishment of sin, that is ,if they hadn’t taken care of it while still here below. In a sermon one time our pastor asked us to ponder this beatitude, 'Only the pure in heart shall see the face of God ’ and I for one often think of my sins of omission. Got to go somewhere to take care of those, You know we can’t look on the face of God until we reach perfection, it does tell us that in the good book, You Know!:gopray2::getholy: Carlan

Here’s the link:

Read St. Catherine of Genoa’s treatise on purgatory:

Scroll down and read the whole thing; it’s pretty concise.


Hi Tanner, and you have gotta read the before and after of those scriptures, to get the real picture.Right?:yup::gopray2::getholy: Carlan

**You need to read the context of the passages in light of the whole of Scripture…right? **:thumbsup:

No, not all people go to Purgatory. There are only two final destinations for the soul – heaven or hell. If a person rejects God through sin and doesn’t repent, that person freely chooses to spend eternity apart from God. If a person has, at the moment of death, freely accepted God, that person goes to heaven.

So who goes to Purgatory? Those who have accepted God, but still have unatoned temporal punishment go to Purgatory (I’ll explain this more below).

Who knows but God. Not everyone will need the same amount of purgation. Nor is there any reason to necessarily think that time as we know it will exist in the afterlife.

No it is not a second chance – all those in Purgatory will eventually go to Heaven.

Every time we sin, our soul is harmed. A good analogy is a piece of wood. Sin is like driving a nail into the soul – venial sins like a small finishing nail or mortal sins like a massive railway spike. When we repent and go to Confession (where God grants His absolution and forgiveness), the nail is removed, but a big ugly hole is left. These holes incline us more and more to sin. Through penance, the holes are filled in and we are healed of our inclinations toward evil. As these holes are filled and are inclinations are lessened, our hearts become more and more pure – remember that only the pure of heart can see God (Mt. 5:8) and that nothing impure can enter Heaven (Rev. 21:27). That is the purpose of Purgatory – those who die having accepted God, but still have unfilled holes need to be purified (or purged) from whatever will keep them from totally and unmitigatedly loving and serving God.

And this makes sense, particularly when explained as it is here:

Father Tavard showed how purgatory has been understood by Catholics as both a place of punishment and a state of cleansing, perhaps even momentary, at the time of death. Among the mystics, the latter image has greater prominence inasmuch as final purgation means an encounter with the “fire” of divine love which removes the effects of sin on the human person.


An instant cleansing, by the Grace of God, for the sake of His Son, at the moment of death. One can describe it as a brief encounter with the “fire” of divine love to cleanse, and I don’t think many Lutherans would balk.
A place or state of “punishment”, lasting for a specific amount of time, based on the number of and types of penance, or indulgences earned by oneself or by others, that is where we take issue.
I hope that it is an issue to be discussed in dialogue. Perhaps a convergence is possible.


Thank you JMJ, I do like that analogy, I hope you do not mind if I use it sometimes.Thank you Lord for Purgatory:sad_yes::gopray2::heaven: Carlan

As I said above, we have no knowledge or reason to expect that time as we know exists in the afterlife. Nor does the Catholic Church teach (or ever officially taught) that Purgatory necessarily is in terms of days, weeks, months, etc. or that is can’t be instantaneous as we reckon the notion of instantaneous.

I got if from Father Corapi, and he got it from, I think, Bishop Sheen, who probably got it from somewhere else. Feel free to pass it on. :thumbsup:

Death is a mystery…it is a part of life as we know it. What happens afterwards too is a mystery. We don’t really know, as no one has ever gone and come back to tell us what is in store. There are stories of NDE’s…there are visions of mystics…there are “holy speculations” drawn from the great religious literature and scripture.

Modern science speaks of “black holes” and perhaps even other planes of existence which is theroized from mathematics so complex it boggles my mind…I can barely balance my check book.

The Eternal, this Holy Mystery which we call God, Light, Presence, Spirit is beyond our comprehension…much much more Beyond than mathematical theory and quantum physics is to most of us.

The testimony of the great Teachers…and particularly the One we have experienced as “God With Us” is recorded to have said, “I am come that you may have life and have it more abundantly”…“The Kingdom of God is among you(within you)” If…IF there is a “next life” and I believe there is, it doesn’t start when we die…it begins now…“Eternity is in our hearts”…we are residents of the Eternal NOW…Heaven and Hell and Purgatory and Limbo and Nirvana and Elusian Fields and Asgard and Summerland and Hades are pale constructs to What Truly Is.

All we know is what happens now all else is “holy speculation” “Eye has not seen nor ear heard…nor entered into the heart of man what God has in store…”…this life in which we reside is more important than what occurs ‘afterwards’. “Now is the day of salvation”…“Now is the appointed time”…if we would be more concerned about Now and leave Then in the Hands of the God who gave us life, I think we’d be much better off. Eternity begins Now in this moment…the Kingdom of God is present Now in this moment.

Then, of what value are indulgences? I know they are of no value in determining salvation.


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