Protestants question about Purgatory


#1

Catholic’s believe that we cannot enter heaven until we are completely cleansed by Christ and made perfect as Christ calls us to be perfect. Its written in the bible.

Now first let me explain purgatory from the RCC views. Short and sweet.

We feel it is a burning suffering because we got to see God but now we must go through the final cleansing because we are burning with desire to be with him in our eternal life.

Purgatory is a gift to us, because we are not perfect before we died, now many can become this way after death, but we believe very few are. But my point is this is where we have the final cleansing and become perfect to enter heaven.

Now do Protestants believe that when they die at the moment of thier death they are indeed perfect and ready and able to enter heaven?

Anotherwards at the moment of death, all Protestants have completed this perfection before death?


#2

I’ve asked the same thing. Are you now, at this moment, perfect and free from all sin and from all desire to sin? I’m still waiting for somebody to answer YES to that. :slight_smile:

BTW, I agree that purgatory is God’s final mercy to us, his final gift before we enter heaven.


#3

Hello rinnie, I’ve debated Southern Baptist on this this for quite some time.
There view is Christ died on the cross for them and are forever saved! ( O.S.A.S.)
It seems they go through life then die and go straight to Heaven no matter what! :rolleyes:
It will be interesting to view the responses on this thread…

Matthew


#4

This can be a sticky issue. Here’s questions I have gotten:

  1. Where does Jesus talk about Purgatory?

  2. Where does Jesus talk about praying for the dead?

  3. Jesus abolished the “Old Law”, so the OT doesn’t apply.

  4. 2nd Maccabees isn’t even in the Bible. Even if it were; see no. 3.

Purgatory is a toughie… I need answers on refuting these, myself. I’ll be watching this thread very closely. Thank you for posting this thread!


#5

My husband is a Protestant and we’ve discussed this before. I asked him the “do you think you’re worthy to enter Heaven if you were to die right now?” His reply was “who IS worthy? That’s the point…no one is worthy, which is why Jesus died. So we could all have eternal life.” So, there’s one Protestant viewpoint. He’s a baptized Catholic (was baptized just before we got married), but claims to be a nondenominational Christian.


#6

My mother-in-law is a Protestant and claims that anyone who believes in purgatory is damned to Hell because it’s a direct denial of Jesus dying for our sins. If we feel the need to be cleansed, what was the point of Jesus dying? Needless to say, I avoid these discussions like the plague! Fortunately, she lives a whole state away.


#7

I think it might be a mistake to talk about being worthy. Ask him instead, if he is now perfect and without sin and without any desire to sin. Then ask him if those in heaven are perfect and without sin and without any desire to sin. Then ask him how those who were imperfect and sinful and with desire to sin became changed so that they could enter heaven.


#8

Good idea. I’ll avoid the word worthy in the future!


#9

mark for remarks


#10

The best answer I have read in answer to common Protestant misconceptions about Purgatory is by Scott Hahn…here…Purgatory-Holy Fire…catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0091.html

From which I will cite (for quick reference):

The work of our redemption is accomplished. It is finished. But the application of that redemptive work of Christ by the Holy Spirit is another matter, one that I did not really come to grips with because it involves suffering which nobody wants to come to grips with — either suffering in this life or suffering afterwards to expiate or to repay or to provide restitution for the effects of sin…That is not because Christ’s work is not enough. It’s rather the application of the work of Jesus Christ. Now that block, that obstacle was one of the biggest. It was the biggest for me as far as the doctrine of purgatory was concerned, and I would suggest that for many non-Protestants, for many Catholics, it’s an obstacle, too, because I find in discussions that many Catholics as well as Protestants share this misunderstanding.

It isn’t just Christ suffering. It’s Christ suffering lived out in us and through us for our sake and for those around us, but then as charity flowers and becomes complete and perfect in us, love covers a multitude of sins. Why? Because Christ’s love wasn’t enough, He didn’t suffer long enough? No, because His suffering and His redemption having been finished and accomplished by the Holy Spirit, the third forgotten Person of the Trinity, applied in us who are mystical members of His mystical body.

The essence of Christianity is Christ reproducing His life, His suffering, His death and then His resurrection in glory in us. That is the essence of Christianity…This is why purgatory is so hard for us to understand. We don’t want to carry the cross. We want to make an optional clause in our contract with Christ. “If you want to be my disciple, you’ve got to carry the cross. You’ve got to die to self.”

Now what does this mean, that Christ has not paid for our sin? Of course not. It doesn’t mean that. Christ has paid once and for all for our sin. His death is the ultimate satisfaction and price for our redemption, but His life and His death must be lived out in us. That’s why we need to pick up our cross, and we need to imitate Christ. Did you catch that? **We don’t suffer because Christ’s sufferings weren’t enough. We suffer because Christ’s life must be reproduced in us. It is finished. It is accomplished, but now it must be applied. The work of the third person of the Holy Spirit is New Testament history, is personal history.
**


#11

I just had a lightbulb moment! I get it!! I love Scott Hahn! I wish he lived next door!! Thanks so so SO much!


#12

Jesus didn’t abolish the law, he fulfilled it. If you read Acts, the Apostles were still going to the temple every Sabbath years after Pentecost. It was only when the Jews became very anti-Christian and made temple-goers swear against Christ is when the Apostles stopped going to the temple and celebrated the Lord’s Day exclusively.


#13

=rinnie;9513097]Catholic’s believe that we cannot enter heaven until we are completely cleansed by Christ and made perfect as Christ calls us to be perfect. Its written in the bible.

Lutherans agree.

Now first let me explain purgatory from the RCC views. Short and sweet.

We feel it is a burning suffering because we got to see God but now we must go through the final cleansing because we are burning with desire to be with him in our eternal life.

OK, though I’ve heard other descriptions - from Catholics.

Purgatory is a gift to us, because we are not perfect before we died, now many can become this way after death, but we believe very few are. But my point is this is where we have the final cleansing and become perfect to enter heaven.

Its the “where” part I think you’ll find protestants like me have a problem with, if you mean by “where” a place.

Now do Protestants believe that when they die at the moment of thier death they are indeed perfect and ready and able to enter heaven?
Anotherwards at the moment of death, all Protestants have completed this perfection before death?

Not by our own doing, of course, but it would be wrong to say that Lutherans believe we are perfect and ready to enter Heaven before death. We are not.

Jon


#14

Yes, many assumptions seem to have been made down the ages. That’s why the CCC definition is so useful, it strips away those assumptions.

Its the “where” part I think you’ll find protestants like me have a problem with, if you mean by “where” a place.

Yes, another assumption that needs to be stripped away.

Not by our own doing, of course, but it would be wrong to say that Lutherans believe we are perfect and ready to enter Heaven before death. We are not.

Quite right. It is God’s final unearned gift of mercy to us that he perfects us in this way.


#15

=snarflemike;9513817]Yes, many assumptions seem to have been made down the ages. That’s why the CCC definition is so useful, it strips away those assumptions.

A need for purgation, for entering Heaven. This occurs at the moment of death by the grace of God. If I can say that, then ok, as far as I’m concerned.

Yes, another assumption that needs to be stripped away.

This seemed to be the biggest complaint of the Lutheran reformers.

Quite right. It is God’s final unearned gift of mercy to us that he perfects us in this way

Agreeable, to me. Again, I think it is/was the state/place issue, the indulgences and masses for the dead that Lutherans really have/had a problem with.

Jon


#16

#17

#18

It is the cleansing Fire of the Holy Spirit which makes us fit to enter into the Presence…“to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”.


#19

Scriptural references for praying for the dead show the existence of purgatory. Prayers don't benefit those in hell and those in heaven don't need them. The "abode of the dead" where Christ went and taught after his death show that there can be another place other than hell and heaven, but the church doesn't say how long one may be there either in minimum length or maximum length. It is also possible that one would prefer being there than on earth, despite being cleansed by fire. Again it is a spiritual realm and what exactly takes place is not clear. The great news is all those in purgatory will be in heaven. ;)

2 Maccabbees is clear below and a lot more supportive scripture is posted in scripturalcatholic.com, including prayers for the dead. I do understand Luther did not like 2 Maccabbees but there is too much other scripture to support it including ECF writings. Interestingly also, the early Christian tombs in Rome had prayers for the dead inscribed in them.

Expiation for the Dead.
38 Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the seventh day was approaching, they purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there.
39 On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his companions went to gather up the bodies of the fallen and bury them with their kindred 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 fallen.f
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 exhorted the people 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.g
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 in mind;
44 for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
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.
46 Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.


#20

I believe that for the believer to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). I believe that Christians, when they die, go immediately to paradise and are in the presence of Jesus. Paradise is the intermediate state where those who died in Christ await the resurrection. Technically speaking, heaven is a state that awaits for us only after the resurrection and final judgement.


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