Hebrews 8:12


Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Can someone help me understand this? I was baptized Catholic, but then my family converted to Lutheran, and I was confirmed Lutheran, but eventually about ten years ago, converted to Catholicism.

I’ve never believed in Purgatory, and still have concerns about it and have always wondered why we as Catholics are to believe in it. Especially if we confess and repent. This passage seems to me that once we confess, all previous sins are wiped clean and we are forgiven of them, they are gone and forgotten by God. This passage seems to enforce that.

Help me understand. Thank you.


Hi Joes, a response to your question regarding Purgatory
from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church. References below.


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.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

606 Cf. Council of Florence (1439): 1304; Council of Trent (1563): 1820; (1547):1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): 1000.
607 Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:15; 1 Peter 1:7.
608 St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4,39:PL 77,396; cf. Mt 12:31.
609 2 Maccabees 12:46.
610 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): 856.
611 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Corinthians. 41,5:PG 61,361; cf. [Book of] Job 1:5."


Your question really goes to “justification” and it is understandable that as formerly Lutheran you may need to research the question regarding justification by faith, by father and good works.

You can understand the justification that St Paul speaks of as also being part of a process. Paul doesn’t say it is immediate and lasting.
He explains further in other texts, as does James.

From Scripture supporting that good works as well as repentance and faith is required for our entry into heaven is the following.

Paul also wrote, "Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; " Philippians 2:12

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. (Galations 6:7-9)

“It is not those who call me ‘Lord, Lord’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my father in heaven.” [Matthew 7:21]

In very specific response to the question, James wrote:

"Take the case, my brothers of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.
This is the way to talk to people of that kind:'You say you have faith and I have good deeds; I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds–now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show.

You believe in one God–that is creditable enough, but the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Do realise, you senseless man, that faith without works is useless. You surely know that Abraham our Father was justified by his deed, because he offered Isaac on the altar? There you see it; faith and good deeds were working together; his faith became perfect by what he did. This is what scripture really means when it says: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was counted as making him justified; and that is why he was called the friend of God. You see now that it is by doing something good, and not only by believing, that a man is justified." [James 2: 14-24]

Yes we must trust to the mercy of God, who alone gives value to good works
However good works are necessary.

Jesus as Judge of souls, clearly demonstrates this in Matthew 25 verses 31-46.

“The Last Judgement”
“When the Son of Man comes in all His glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men from one another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.
He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. then the King shall say to those on his right hand,” Come you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was a stranger and you made me welcome. I was thirsty and you gave me drink; naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.

Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?

And the King will answer, " I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."

Next he will say to those on his left “Go away from me with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for when I was hungry you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.”
Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty; a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and not come to your help?”
Then he will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.

And since Jesus is Judge of souls, we accept His criteria for salvation depends upon our charity towards other people, which He regards as charity directly given to Him" not simply upon our faith in an instant perfection from sin and automatic salvation upon claiming Jesus as our Savior, repenting our sins.


Pardon, Joe,
this is the Catechism link for Purgatory:


A CAF link

God bless you,
kind regards,


You are thinking of Purgatory as a punishment for sins. Perhaps it is more like a boot camp which is necessary to make us fit to live in Heaven.

Look at it this way: I am a pretty good fellow, and I went to confession not too long ago, but am I ready this moment to live with the saints and angels in the glorious presence of God? Frankly, no. I still have sinful tendencies. I have some faith, but I also have doubts. I have some love, but not a very perfect love. Given the opportunity, I would gladly enter that heavenly boot camp. It would be a long and difficult program, but upon its completion I would finally be ready and fit to enter God’s heavenly kingdom. I can’t imagine it any other way. So what’s the problem with Purgatory?


Heb 8:12 quotes Jer 31, the most important New Covenant prophesy. It speaks of how God will deal with and work in His people in “those days”, differently from the old covenant. In the new way God intends to truly become our God again (Jer 31:34), so He may do a work in us, of placing His law in our minds and writing it on our hearts (Jer 31:33). This is His work of justification via grace, the divine Potter molding His clay into the beings He’s always intended them to be, accomplishing in our hearts what we cannot accomplish on our own by mere external obedience of the Law.

The prophecy speaks in general terms, saying nothing much about how He accomplishes this justification/salvation, but forgiveness of sins is the first step in this process, man and God are truly reconciled as we come to faith in Him, formally, by our Baptism, the “sacrament of faith”. Now we may commune with our God. But remember Jesus words to the woman caught in adultery: “Your sins are forgiven; go, and sin no more”. We’re not forced to remain in righteousness, we’re not forced to remain in communion with God, apart from Whom we can do nothing (John 15:5), anymore than Adam was forced to do so.

Purgatory is simply another merciful aspect of God’s work of making us truly just, of “placing His law in our minds and writing it on our hearts”, of purifying us so we may see Him, so we’re made capable of seeing Him as we become finally detached from the sin that attracts us away from Him first above all else. God is truly our God as we come to love Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength: then the greatet commandment is fulfilled, then our justice is complete. No sinners can enter heaven according to scripture, and love is what overcomes sin; love and sin are mutually exclusive. Love defines our justice, not solely forgiveness.

IOW, in Catholic teaching, we’re justified by God making us authentically just, lovingly restoring His creation back to the heights from which it fell, not by merely declaring us to be just, but by doing a work in us which we cooperate in (Phil 2), a process of sanctification, of transforming us into His image.


When Hebrews says “…I will remember no more.”, hell is remembered no more, but then there still remains the restoration on our part. Some of this restoration may be forgiven, but then some may not. We just don’t know how much is forgiven outside of the forgivness of hell.

An illustration would be, if I had an old board with nails in it, and I removed the nails, the holes left by the nails need restoration. The holes may not only exist in others but in ourselves as well.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.


Thanks everyone for each of your responses. I have so many questions and your responses simply generate more questions. I suppose we are all in different milestones on our journeys in faith, and that is why each of us is here.

I have to take the time to read and understand much of what is said here, because at first pass, I don’t quite comprehend it, so I will continue to ask for understanding of it and seek information.

Trishie wrote: “He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come.”

I’ve always wondered about this passage/wording…, does this mean one who has ever once blasphemed against God will never be pardoned, even he repents? Does this mean if someone were to use God’s name in vain or cries out in anger against God is cursed for eternity? That seems a difficult pill to swallow. Or is this simply an extension of the characterization of those who deny Jesus as our Lord and Savior upon their death will be damned to Hell?


Commentators have considered the sin to mean final impenitence or simply that it will be only rarely forgiven. Haydock Commentary:

But how is this consistent with the Catholic doctrine and belief, that there is no sin any man commits of which he may not obtain pardon in this life? To this I answer, that in what manner soever we expound this place, it is an undoubted point of Christian faith, that there is no sin which our merciful God is not ready to pardon; no sin, for the remission of which, God hath not left a power in his Church, as it is clearly proved by those words, Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, &c. St. Chrysostom therefore expounds these words, shall not be forgiven them, to imply no more, than shall scarcely, or seldom be forgiven; that is, it is very hard for such sinners to return to God, by a true and sincere repentance and conversion; so that this sentence is like to that (Matthew xix. 26.) where Christ seems to call it an impossible thing for a rich man to be saved. In the same place St. Chrysostom tells us, that some of those who had blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, repented, and had their sins forgiven them. St. Augustine, by this blasphemy against the Spirit, understands the sin of final impenitence, by which an obstinate sinner refuseth to be converted, and therefore lives and dies hardened in his sins.


For a person to be truly just, capable of seeing God, they must no longer even be attracted to sin, to lesser, created, things above Him. We’re simply out of order to the extent that we do that, even though we don’t know yet why this is so, let alone that we’re compromising our very own wholeness and happiness. God alone satisfies, God, alone is our justice and our ultimate good. He wants more* for *us than we know enough to want for ourselves-and He refuses to leave us wanting. That’s why we need purgatory.


:thumbsup: Thanks for that explanation.


Always good to keep asking questions. The Church has been around for 2000 years, there is not a question that hasn’t been asked and answered millions of times. Keep looking and investigating to learn the faith.:thumbsup:

Any sin can be forgiven, except the sin of final impenitence, of obstinate refusal of God’s grace and forgiveness. God won’t force salvation on anyone, and someone who bluntly refuses, God will respect their decision and free will.

Another great passage showing an important aspect of Purgatory is from 2 Samuel 12, where David has sinned greatly, and he confesses to the prophet Nathan, and God forgives David’s sin through Nathan. And yet, we still see that there is punishment due for the sin, the temporal consequences of the sin. The sin is forgiven, but there still remains temporal punishment.

2 Sam 12:1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the Lord, the son born to you will die.”


This blog article of mine may help some. Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory


I re-read Hebrews 8:12. If I understand it correctly, it talks about replacing the old covenant with the new for the Jews.

It was addressed to the Jews. It sounded to me with the replacement of their previous covenant, God will be merciful towards their past iniquities and won’t remember their sins. A special deal just for them. It didn’t specifically mentioned Gentiles although the new covenant does extend to the Gentiles. It also did not talk about repentance or purgatory either. (Other verses elsewhere covers those requirements). This verse in itself is not sufficient to support your claims.

Purgatory has been painted like a torture house. Let me put it another way. If you have done evil and fell down and got yourself dirty, but you repented and God has forgiven you, won’t you want to get yourself clean up real good before stepping into your Father’s spanking new house? Have you repented every little sin you have committed throughout your whole life? Can you remember all of them even the non-mortal sins? Some of them you may have even just brushed-off, deemed harmless or considered non-memorable, but a sin nonetheless. Because Revelation says NOTHING unclean can enter heaven. Even that tiny immaterial speck of dirt. You are going to live in God’s house, don’t you want to make yourself presentable? Think of purgatory as a laundry room where you are scrubbed super clean before presenting yourself to God. You wouldn’t want to soil heaven would you, even just a teeny little bit?


You are perfectly right.
It is the blood of Jesus which cleanseth from ALL SINS AND ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
Further more, there are no such thing as Purgatory. It is an invention. It is not in the Bible.
And there are other things that are practised by catholics that are not in the Bible.
For instance praying to Mary or to Saints.
Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father who art in Heaven…”
We pray to the Father in Jesus name.
If it is not in the Bible, DO IT NOT.


It is the precious blood of Jesus that CLEANSETH from ALL SINS AND ALL UNRIGHTOUSNESS.
Thus sayeth the Word.
Gods Word is Final Authority. We must Believe Gods Word.
If an angel from heaven speaks anything to the contrary of the written Word, let him be accursed.


1 Cor. 3:15
Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

This means that you can do a lot of work in your Life without faith. Speaking empty Words, without faith. Spending time on for your own pleasure. Maybe you are not Active in the Church. This can result in dead works.
But if you are a christian, despite those dead works. You will have no reward for those works you have done.
But because that Jesus have saved you, you will go straight to Heaven when you die.
Jesus is your Foundation.


The problem is that it is NOT IN THE BIBLE!


Says you…but my article linked above shows that you are dead wrong.

Furthermore, you cannot supply a single scripture that even infers that everything must be found in the Bible, which makes Sola Scriptura unscriptural and false doctrine even by its own errant standard.

So you can parrot that stuff all day long…but it doesn’t change the facts that Purgatory, like the Trinity, is certainly implied in scripture, and Sola Scriptura is not. http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h244/corona_stellarum/Smilies/emo-epicfail.png


I’ve got a question for you:

Does the Bible tell us there is a place(s) other than Heaven, earth, and hell?

Please do give citations of chapter and verse to support your answer.

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